When I was a wee lad of 8 back in ‘75, I grew up for a time in a rather dodgy neighborhood in a town in Southeastern Pennsylvania. My father was a divorced single parent, something unheard of at the time, and he raised me and my two sisters on his own.
But that’s not the story….
Across the street from our little row house lay a large abandoned house. The house was run down, broken windows, and generally in a state where referring to it “run down” would be calling it kind. Anyway, there were times when I would sit at our front windows and study it. How long had it been there? What secrets did it hold inside its rickety walls that although ill-kept, appeared sturdy.
To an 8 year old boy, a mystery is like the ultimate candy treat. In my mind, mad scientists, monsters, ghosts, and a parade of other extraordinary things lived over there and though I never went over there (and was frequently told never to think about it…hehe), the image of that house stuck with me even to this day.
I returned to that same town some years ago and think of that house even today. I won’t visit that old neighborhood because I have no need to and I wouldn’t want to spoil that 8 year old’s perfect imaginary vision of the house across the street.