Thursday, August 21, 2014

There Goes the Neighborhood...DEMOLISHED

Up until the time my dad moved us to Florida, we moved around a lot. Sometimes our move would be across town or just two doors down from our last residence but we always seemed to remain in Mobile County. The places we lived that I remember the most vividly, was a place near the fairgrounds, my grandmother's house, a little yellow house on Easter Lane as well as a house two doors up the block also on Easter Lane. My favorite of all the houses that my dad rented was a ranch style house on slightly over a half an acre of land which we knew as our second rental house on Easter Lane. We were actually renting from one of my sister's best friends's parents who had recently moved out of the area and offered us a much better deal than our land lord gave us in Easter Lane rental home #1.
Holiday Subdivision
Our neighborhood was a mix of older people and average sized families with a few kids. Many kids in the neighborhood were around my sister's age and only two were around my age. Angie, maybe two or so years younger than myself, was a horrid little girl. She was a mix of tomboy, spoiled brat and undisciplined pageant kid. She was occasionally fun to play with but almost always in a bad kid way. I was terrified of her for the most part, she spat, cussed, talked back to her parents and enjoyed torturing me through various forms. She taught me how girls can pee standing up while wearing a frilly dress. She horrified me by telling me how she would hide in her parent's closet to watch them "get it on" which scarred me for life. Angie was like the real life version of the Toy Story character named Sid. Sid's, I mean Angie's toy collection consisted of headless dolls, action figures, and pretty much anything that comes to mind when you think of a demented child. My visits with Angie usually ended with me getting my ass beat when I got home, usually due to something she had done but I got blamed for. My parents were the type that thought everyone else's kids were more behaved than their own.
A character inspired by Angie.
The first, and last time, that Angie came with church with me the Sunday school teacher, Ms. Karen, drove me home, showed my parents the bad words that were written on my Sunday school lesson paper. What no one believed was the little girl in the frilly dress from two doors down was the one that wrote those words. I could barely spell three letter words, four letter words were not in my vocabulary at that point. It took many months before Ms. Karen, realized that I was not the one that wrote the bad words though my parents never really believed that I was innocent. The other little girl that I played from the neighborhood, Monica, was the daughter of my Sunday school teacher. Monica was a well behaved "proper" little girl and I preferred to play with her over Angie. Monica's toy collection consisted of Barbies and Strawberry Shortcake dolls which I spent hours playing with.


My favorite Christmas and holidays happened in that neighborhood. What would one expect from a subdivision called Holiday which consisted of of two streets that began with Easter Lane which formed a circle and merged into Christmas Drive? Many families competed against each other for the most creative Christmas displays, I think it's where my dad began to get ideas in regards to outdoor light displays. A family across the street, the Jones', covered all of their bushes with garbage bags and turned the sprinklers on one night and transformed their front yard of their ugly green, gray and white house into an icy Winter Wonderland, this was when it began to get cold in October up into March or April.
My sister Becki and I during Christmas 1980 at the Yellow House.

Not the Jones' house but this was what they did.
We moved away from this neighborhood when I was 7 years old. The last time I saw this neighborhood, I was 16. My sister, brother in law at the time and myself drove through and were shocked at the condition of the houses 12 years later. Recently I got curious to see what our old neighborhood looks like now, 22 years after the last time I saw it. Being that it's about 330 miles from my house in the Atlanta area, I decided to take a trip using Google Earth and Street View. I was SHOCKED at what I saw...to say the very least. Unsure of the actual addresses we lived at, I just pulled up Easter Lane and Christmas Drive in Mobile, Alabama and found absolutely nothing. It's all gone. Everything from the homes to the church at the end of the street were gone. The subdivision entrance is now fenced off and gated with signs that read Authorized Personnel Only and Gate 101. The only remaining evidence of this neighborhood besides the entrance is the view of the streets from above which shows the streets are disintegrating and eroding away. The two yards in the neighborhood which had in ground swimming pools show no sign they ever existed, they have either been filled in or covered. I really don't think the houses were old enough to condemn and demolish so the reasoning behind the demolition of the neighborhood is a mystery to me. The only thing I can think of is the fact that behind our subdivision was land owned by the Mobile Regional Airport and they possibly took over the land in hopes of expanding though I'm not exactly sure why, there are only four and a half airlines that fly a total of twenty two flights out of the airport each day.
The Present Day Easter Lane Entrance To Holiday Subdivision.

Aerial View of the Easter Lane Entrance of Holiday Subdivision.

Aerial View of present day DEMOLISHED Holiday Subdivision.

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