The Clotheslines Are Gone from the Back Yards Where I Grew Up but I Still Have the Memories of Times Gone by

Over the years things have changed in this neighborhood where I grew up. The corner store that sold newspapers, tobacco, magazines and candy is now part of the car dealership’s lot. They expanded and the other businesses shrank. The single gas station in town is now a convenience store. The grocery store is long gone and is a motorcycle shop now. When I used to ride my bicycle around the neighborhood as a child I would see back yards with dogs and clotheslines. Now the yards are smaller. Most are fenced in, and there are houses that are more cookie cutter in design. Wooded areas where I used to play have been cut down and housing projects erected.

Things are different. I saw one house with the steel pipes in the ground in their yard that used hold the rope for the clothesline. I remember my dad stringing new rope for mom on the clotheslines in our back yard. It had a coating of plastic on it. I still have some of those original wooden clothespins that mom used on the lines in our back yard. They are still stored in the aluminum bowl she kept them in. She would sit the bowl on the ground and bend and grab clothespins as she hung up the laundry while dad worked at the mill.

It was mill workers and coal miners here when I grew up. Now it is people doing all sorts of things, but I think the predominant work is healthcare. There are a lot of nurses and medical technicians living in this neighborhood. Up on the hill are the doctors. The surgeons are a couple of miles away closer to the golf course that was put in. We never thought we would have a golf course like it around here. Things really change after just a few years have gone by. It has only been about 35 years for me since I rode around here on my bicycle. Being able to look back is amazing. I hope that the youth who are looking ahead have fond memories of their neighborhoods when they look back years from now.

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