Wednesday, June 12, 2024

That long ago?

LATER THIS SUMMER I'm going on a week-long Michigan adventure because my youngest sister's son is getting married. Charys lives in Colorado now. Her family has rented an Air BnB in Grand Rapids for the week. I'm going to hang out with them.

It's about a block from the corner of Burton and Eastern. And that's where the memories, however fuzzy, really kick in.

In the summer of 1985, I lived in a house at 830 Burton in Grand Rapids. I had at least one roommate, Bill Oostendorp. Was there somebody else in there with us? We had friends renting the house but they weren't moving in until late summer to attend Calvin College. 

I was working at a restaurant as a cook. It was called Mountain Jacks, and the job wasn't much fun. I was also getting ready to move to Mount Pleasant and tackle the journalism degree at Central Michigan University. So basically I was a broke college kid idling through the summer.

It was almost 40 years ago. Yup. Forty freaking years. That hit me like a runaway train the other day - how does time slide by like that? 

The main thing I remember about 830 Burton is the porch. It was massive and a great place to watch traffic and people. I'd get home late at night, take a long shower and hang out. It was a really hot summer, from my vague memories, so there were a lot of 3 a.m. porch sessions just staring at a quiet street.

Thank god I wasn't 21 yet, though we had our fair share of getting into trouble. There was an end-of-summer bash that involved a keg. One of my few clear memories is the massive amount of ice we went through to keep the beer cold - must of gotten it a few days before the party. Right.

The week in Grand Rapids will be great, seeing family and old friends. I'm sure there will be some summer evening strolls around the neighborhood, and I'm sure I'll stop by 830 Burton to look and remember, mostly with a smile and good vibe.

How four decades passes like the blink of an eye is beyond comprehension.

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