Monday, April 7, 2014

My Heart Will Always Be In Alexandria

Alexandria, Indiana is my hometown.  I was five years old when my family moved from Alexandria to Anderson, which is a few miles south.  Seven years old when we left Indiana altogether to move to Tennessee, but I always claim Alex. as my hometown.  Both of my parents were born and raised in Alex., and all of their siblings either still live there or in cities within 20 miles of there.  My fondest memories of my childhood center around Alex. as we would always travel back there to visit Grandma and my aunts and uncles every summer, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  When I got old enough I would stay in Alex with my grandma for the summer.  I loved walking from grandmas to downtown Alex to the bakery to eat a carmel roll.  I loved spending time with my cousins, going to the city pool, riding bikes, climbing trees, etc.  I think my love for small towns comes from my childhood memories of being in Alexandria.

This past week I went to Indiana to celebrate my mom's 70th birthday.  My one request was to spend a day in Alexandria.  It just happened that Saturday was the grand re-opening of the Alexandria Historical Museum.  The museum is located in the old clinic where my Aunt Patty was born.

 In the museum we found a picture of John High.  He married Clara Ellen Wright who I believe was my dad's aunt from his father's side.  John was in Pearl Harbor when it was attacked. At one point he was reported missing and the family thought he was one of the many casualties from that tragic day, but they found him a short time later very much alive.

 An Alexandria High School tradition in the 1960s was the graduating class wore corduroy pants and skirts and drew on them with marker and the entire senior class signed them.  I think it is a pretty cool idea.
 In the museum we also found my grandpa Wright's junior year book - 1937.  He is William Wright also known as Johnny Bill.
 I had mom and dad pose by a photograph of the Top Hat Drive-In.  It is at the Top Hat that my dad first noticed my mom and decided that he wanted to ask her out.  The rest is history.

 In high school my dad worked here at Cox's grocery store.  He walked there from his house every morning to stock the shelves.  He then walked down to the bakery to get a bite to eat and then walked a few more blocks to school.  After school he walked backed to Cox's to work some more before walking home.
 Inside this building used to be Rex-All Drug Store where my mom worked as a Soda Jerk.
 Just a block down the road from my first home is Dor-Tees.  It is still open today.  It is a fun little drive-in where you can get hot dogs, hamburgers, and milk shakes.
 This green house is my first home.  I was four when we moved from here to Anderson.  I remember a few things about our house.  I thought it was huge but mom tells me it wasn't .  I guess that is a pre-schoolers imagination for you.  I still remember my mom spanking me outside this house.  I decided to walk down the sidewalk by myself to visit a neighbor.  Mom came running after me, grabbed my arm, and beat my little butt.  lol 
 This barn which needs to be painted was our garage.  I think there was a loft in the garage that dad used as an office. 
 We couldn't visit Alex without stopping by the cemetery.  We tease my parents because they have already bought their tombstone and plot and have made all of their funeral arrangements.  lol  I would have had them lay down in front of their stone but the ground was too wet. 
 Their plot is next to my mom's family.  Her mom and dad our buried in the row in front of them.  In the row in front of Grandpa and Grandma Meeks is my grandmothers family the Derstlers. 
I would have loved to have spent a few more hours to walk the streets. I wish I could have walked to Grandma Bonnie Wright's house and just reminisce.  Sadly, Alex.  is dying.  The buildings are falling apart and being torn down.  Most of them are empty and bank owned.  I wish I had unlimited funds and could rebuild and revive my favorite little town.  After WW2, Alex. was named Small Town USA.  It was featured in several magazines and THE place to live.  For many years it was the bedroom community to the bigger towns that housed all of the GM (General Motors) plants.  However, with GM closing up, the towns that housed the employees have all died.  My heart breaks.  Regardless, it was good to go back and visit.  I loved hearing all of the stories that were told from my aunts and uncles of growing up in Alex.  My heart will always be there.

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