Monday, July 7, 2014

Week 27: Lyon Street

  Think back to that first house you called home. Maybe your family lived there when you were born, or maybe you moved there a few years later.. but it's usually the house you lived in when you first became aware of your surroundings. Remember the neighborhood? It was your whole world... and as you soaked up new things daily, it was a source of constant information. It was a place where you thought you would always be. And for those years... it became your identity. No matter how far we travel, the dialect, the memories, and the mindset of that place, during that moment in time, are always stored somewhere within us. That is the basis of this week's book-of-the-week... a gate into memory titled Lyon Street.
A magic box of memories
   The book is actually a three-chamber opposing hinge box with a short poem written on the top and vintage photos stored inside. The cover is a combination of pastepaper, shellac paper, and a collograph print. All three signify the rich reds and browns of the rows of red brick duplexes that lined the original Lyon Street in 1950.. The collograph print is a map of the street and surrounding neighborhood. A raised board attached to the top cover has a handprinted poem about the little street. It reads 
Lyon Street... A small town lane. Moves to the rhythm of a '50's beat. Rows of little houses, trim and neat... Lyon Street

stairsteps... Doug, MaryAnn, and Kathy
   Inside, the three hinge straps are lined on one side with a rich red tapestry paper referring to the trellises of wild red roses that bordered each duplex... or a green circle-stamp paper, depicting the rows of tiny green-grass lawns that crammed the newly transformed post-WW2 farmland. In each of the three box sections is a collection of black and white photographs from the era. There is no question that photographs are a gate to memory and Lyon Street is the perfect place for storing that photographic narrative.
photos from 1955- 1960
   Below is a current photograph of the little house that was a whole world of friends, family, and experience from 1952 to 1964. The big oak tree with the evil crook that caught little feet is gone, the pyracantha bush of the many Redberry Wars is gone, the Four-O'clock bush that filled so many flower-girl baskets is gone, the trellis of red roses by the front door is gone, and the big hill we rolled down to the street is oddly barely a slope. Thomas Wolfe  was correct in his assessment, you can't go home again... but just as the mind has it's own perspective, memory can have a very definite reality, especially when it's collected as a bunch of photographs and housed in it's own magic box called Lyon Street.
The Duplex (to the left of the telephone pole) on Lyon Street, 2014

No comments:

Post a Comment