Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chelsea Court Memories

My family has recently been cleaning out my father's house as it has too many stairs for him to live there again. Naturally, we are finding memories everywhere, both expected and lost. What's that line from the Field of Dreams; "The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces." It feels like that sometimes.

Many of the memories are related to objects known over our lives. Sometimes, the memories come from the place itself. Sunday afternoon, I was loading my car and found these kids riding their bicycles around the court circle on the first nice Sunday of spring and I remembered all the laps of that same circle I did when I was a kid.

Back then, the tree in the middle was only about 15 feet tall and surrounded by bushes. We would play racecar riding our bikes around and around. We would play war while hiding behind the bushes. We would practice basketball or hockey on this great, low traffic piece of pavement. If we got a little snow, we would slide our bikes with the rear brake locked and imagine ourselves as dirt track racers. Finally, when we talked my Dad into building a low power go cart from copper plumbing, we would drive that go cart as fast as we could around the circle.

It's hard to believe that was 50 years ago. No wonder that tree in the middle is so tall.


  1. I like to use Google Street View to visit the old neighborhoods we lived in. Amazing how easy it is to be transported back in time, if only in our minds.

  2. I grew up on a cul-de-sac too. One of my favorite humorous memories was my feeble attempt to ride all the way around the circle on my bike with my eyes closed. I made it 3/4 of the way around before slamming into a mail box. That hurt. A lot. Looking back now, though, it was quite funny, I only wish video camera were popular then, we probably would have won $10K on America's Funniest Videos.

  3. Doug,
    The Google time machine is great if you lived in a good neighborhood. A friend looked up his old family home in Detroit, only to find it a burned out shell.

    Great story. I can imagine doing that myself. Its a good thing kids have rubber bones.

    My story about the go-kart was incomplete. The first time I took it out on the circle, I just put the go pedal to the floor and hung on. Unfortunately, the lateral g's made me slip sideways onto the throttle linkage. When I lifted my foot, I was still WOT. I had to steer out toward the street, pull myself off the throttle, and quick hit the brake.