It seemed appropriate to begin my place-based Wayback Wednesday sub-theme with the place where it all started for me: the house where I grew up – which is, in fact, also the house my dad grew up in. (His family moved there when he was two and he never left.) It is not, as the picture shows, in any way fancy, though I feel that having the same home for multiple generations of a family somehow implies grandiosity. It is just a normal not-any-particular-style house. (But it’s awesome and special because it is, y’know, ours.) I often refer to it as a Colonial Ranch because – unseen in this picture – the single-story addition added to the back in the late 1990s to accommodate my dad’s disability gives the ground floor a sort of ranch house vibe, while the two-story front is more Colonial Revival-ish looking than anything else.
Incidentally, one of the cool things about the neighborhood where I grew up – on the South Side (Fifth Ward, represent!) of Binghamton, NY – is that it grew very organically, so none of the houses look the same. It’s exactly the opposite of a tract home or McMansion development, which is one of the things I love about it. Every home has its own unique character.
I picked this photo – and its companion below – not because they’re particularly old, which they aren’t, but because they’re so typically Binghamton. If the city had an official cliché, it would be “if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes” and these pictures illustrate that perfectly. The one above was taken right before we went to bed on Christmas Eve, while the other was taken the following morning, after an unexpected overnight snowfall surprised us with a white Christmas.
(I also like these pictures because my Cavalier, which I loved and still miss, is in them.)
Weather aside, these pictures do pretty much show the way the house looked when I was growing up. It’s a little different now, because the front porch is bigger, and it had been changed from its earliest incarnation long before I was born, when the room was built over the garage. (Next time I’m home I’ll have to poke around to see if there is a photo from before that addition, which would have been some time in the 1950s.) As far as I’m concerned, however, adding that room was a pretty big deal, because it was my room.
And on that note, I’ll stop writing… with the oh-so-exciting teaser that next week’s Wayback Wednesday post will go inside that very same addition with a photo or two of my bedroom through the years. Stay tuned to find out what now-embarrassing celebrity posters adorned my walls!
Do you have photos from your past that you’re willing to share – and a blog to post them on? Play along with Wayback Wednesday by linking back to this post or sharing in the comments so we can snoop into your past, too!