The House On Westley St

30 Westley St

I don’t know how I happened upon it, but I did.  As so often happens, I was probably happily tapping away on my laptop when something of totally zero relevance caught my eye, and like a skiff catching an enticing breeze, hove to and followed it.  But breezes are fickle, as is my thought process, so it wasn’t long before I was looking at a picture of the house at 30 Westley St. It’s the house where I grew up.

If the picture had been presented to me instead of me personally pursuing it, I may not have recognized it at first.  It has to be over 100 years old now and has never looked better.  But even in it’s new wardrobe, I still see yesterday.  We lived on the driveway side of the house and our landlord lived on the other.  I can’t tell if those are the original cedar shakes or not.  Probably not.  Ours were stained a brown color and brought no character to the aesthetics of  the house.  

My brother and I slept in the bedroom at the front of the house. I don’t remember the two windows in the middle over the porch. That is where the attic stairs were, the entry door being next to my bed.  How my imagination would conjure up all manner of monsters creeping down those stairs with every mysterious creak.

The driveway was just gravel then, and the double garage was shrouded in vintage aluminum with swinging double doors, which, as I remember didn’t ‘swing’ at all.  But it posed no problem as we didn’t own a car.  It obviously fell down or was torn down and replaced by the one we see today.  The porch looks pretty much the same. I remember coming home with my first, much perused copy of a girly magazine and hiding it under that porch until I could sneak it in the house. The front yard, where the little tree is today, was occupied by a huge oak tree with multiple above ground roots that were lifting the sidewalk and consuming the entire space. 

Those little cellar windows peeking out of the foundation reminded me of my first cigarettes.  I would sneak one of my dad’s and go down into the cellar to smoke it, standing by the little window nearest the front of the house, blowing the smoke out through it. My dad had an old overcoat hanging down there that was never worn. I would hide the spent cigarette butts in the pockets.  I forgot about them.  I was grown and in the Air Force before they moved.  I’m sure they discovered them, although it was never mentioned.

In addition to this picture of the exterior,  there were also several  displaying the rooms as well.  That scary attic is now a finished living area.  The retrofit has been so complete that it was not always possible to determine where in the house the pictures had been taken.  Needless to say, the old black stove, monitor top refrigerator, and wringer washer are long gone.

I marvel at this restoration, akin to the Phoenix rising from the ashes.  She is again a stately lady who has seen and most surely will see other little boys playing in the yard, and looking out the windows that once were mine.  Perhaps sitting on the porch as I did, looking for the next thing to explore or just get into.  It isn’t my house anymore.  Too much time and too many years have changed all that.  But at least we have both survived, the house better then I apparently.  And, although it is no longer the house that I grew up in, where most of the attributes are now gone, it is nice to know that the memories are still there, perhaps waiting for that little boy to come and get them.

P.S.  The house today has a listing value of $1.2 million.

 

About oldmainer

I am a retired manager living in Southern Maine and a would be writer of poetry, narratives, short stories, and random opinions, and that's how Oldmainer was born. Recently, I decided to try an experiment. I added photography to the mix, using only a cheap cell phone with a limited camera and the editing software that came with it, and added the blog site Inklings at poormanspoet.wordpress.com to showcase the results. So, feel free to use whatever you find interesting or worthy, but please honor the terms of my copyright when and if you do. They may not be much, but they are still a piece of me. I appreciate your checking me out and hope that you find something that will encourage a return visit. Thanks for stopping by.
This entry was posted in Aging, Family, Generations, History, Home, Life, Loss, Memories, Perspective, Random Thoughts, Reflection, Tribute, Was, Youth and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to The House On Westley St

  1. Fun memories. If you ever found yourself in that city, would you consider knocking on the door? The owners might be interested to hear about the history. Or they might not. It would depend on the people. A few years ago, a woman stopped by our house and told us she had lived in it as a child. Her memories were vague but she did tell us some interesting things. I really enjoyed meeting her.

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  2. quiall says:

    Beautiful house! It makes me want to look for my childhood homes. We moved around a lot so there are several.

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  3. Bob our childhood exploits sound similar other than the scary attic. My dad caught me smoking in the woods behind the house. What town did you grow up in?

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  4. Wow…lots of memories and a huge price tag.

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  5. scifihammy says:

    It looks a marvellous house to have grown up in and I’m glad you stumbled across it again – online – and relived all these wonderful memories. 🙂

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  6. George says:

    That’s a great story and I love that it’s still there. Have you ever had thoughts about passing by and stopping in? I know it would be completely different but I often wonder about doing the same thing, just for kicks.

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  7. oldmainer says:

    I would do that. Not sure the response I would get, but definitely worth a try.

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