She was thrilled to see him, as I knew she would be. That’s why I kept it a secret from her. She dotes on all her grandchildren. They all either live far away or have very busy lives, so she is very happy when they visit.
We had lunch and chatted for a while. Then he and I took a ride so I could show him more about the area where I grew up. He’s been by there before but this time I drove down the back street, pointing out where the neighbor’s chicken coop was, and the hill we used to go sledding on. I explained that this was the poor section of town, as in – poor. Then I stopped by the old stone house on the street. It used to be rented out as apartments and had a HUGE garden on the side. Several families had lived there when I was young. I even used clamp-on metal roller skates on that front walk because it was the only level place to skate. I have a photograph of some neighbors standing by the corner of that house, with a big pumpkin they grew. The garden has been gone for more than 30 years. Many of the houses on the street have been replaced by brick office buildings. Now the stone house is the home of one of the most expensive restaurants in town, possibly the county.
The irony of all this (explaining to him the history of the street) is that his boss has been to that restaurant. But I was there first. A long time ago.
(No, that's not me in the photo. The miss in pigtails and her older brother lived next door to me. The older couple were our landlord and his wife. One sunny day I'm going to go back down there to take some photographs from the same angle as the old black-and-white photos.)