Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mulford at Callan, Evanston, Illinois (sorry, no pictures)

At 7:30 in the evening on Wednesday, I found myself in a rental car, driving past the corner of Mulford and Callan in Evanston, Illinois.

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Unfortunately, since it was already sunset, it was too dark for me to take photos with my cell phone.

So why was I there? Because I was there before - in the late 1960s, as a matter of fact. This is the neighborhood in which I grew up, before we moved away from Illinois in 1970. My apartment building is still there, the playground is still there (although the equipment was obviously replaced some time in the last 38 years), and the field is still there.

I've visited the neighborhood once since I left, back in May 1980. I was taking a train across country, and had a layover of a few hours in Chicago. That time, I was able to wander around the neighborhood a bit. I subsequently wrote about it.

Here I am in Evanston, I'm walking down the street
Don't remember names so there's no people here to meet
Walk around my old backyard, it's very very small
Doesn't have a bike or cookies, doesn't have a ball

I wasn't able to visit my backyard in 2008, but in 1980 I was struck by how small things looked, compared to the way they looked when I was a kid.

The "bike or cookies" reference definitely fits in the neighborhood. When I learned how to ride a bike without training wheels, I had to demonstrate my prowess by riding on the sidewalk on Callan south of Mulford. When I was able to demonstrate my bicycle skills, my parents gave me a dollar. I ended up going to Howard Street and buying a package of cookies with my money (butter cookies, I think).

I'm not sure when I'm going to make it to Evanston again, but I hope to get there during the day and spend some time there.

And take pictures.

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