Friday, July 14, 2006

The Past is Present

Well, I suppose I'm not the only person remembering, so not to forget. Today, amidst the summer heat and humidity, I walked home to find a hand-written letter waiting for me behind my front door, along with the more traditional pile of bills and flyers.

It was addressed simply Resident and had traveled across the country from Santa Rosa, California. So, I open it and this is what it said:
To present resident,

Odd request coming out of the blue but may I stop by and 'visit' your home between September 20 and 22? Why, you might ask!?

Because I used to live in your house from 1943 to 1946 as a child of sixteen-nineteen and would like to see how my family home has changed over the past 60 years. I am making a last trip back east this fall and am eager to see the changes in the NOW Philly, which is Queens Village - when my memory goes back to the Jewish stores on South 4th street which hired us kids about 12 years of age to work on Saturdays from 10am to 9pm on the open stands outside their stores. The movie theatre (which was still there in 1984, my last visit) and South Street which I now understand is quite the place to be.

It would not be a long visit - perhaps less than an hour - but I would deeply appreciate it.
Natually, I am pretty intrigued by this person's request - simple math puts her at around 79 years of age. What touches me the most is that she knows that this is her last trip to her birthhome. Obviously, I am going to say yes - I hope she can do it on the 22nd of September, since (ironically) I'll be in California September 19-21.

Funny. While she travels here - I'll be traveling there. Her letter and first-person history of my neighborhood reminded me of a post I made back in January ... check it out!


brandy101 said...

aw how sweet!

Now I wonder if any wandering sould ever think about visitng your old furnished apartment in far NE philly?

I recall stories of my great-grandmother shopping at those stores on 4th...she was a merchant herself: had an ice cream parlor/candy store in Port Richmond back-in-the-day.

Liz said...

It's so nice that you can grant her this wish Robert. Thats what life is about- connecting.

kenny said...

pretty amazing timing, with you revisiting your past and now she would like to revisit hers.. I hope you 2 have a great visit. I hope you write about it and let us know how it goes.