On the street where you live

On the street where you live
 
                In the summer of 1956, along with more than 130 other families, my parents, two brothers and I moved from the small town of Wake Forest more than 100 miles to the gathering hills of Forsyth County and Winston-Salem, as what was then known as Wake Forest College moved completely to a new campus with lots of new brick buildings and red clay.
 
                Growing up in a small college town, where my father was the local Baptist minister and College Chaplain, I knew almost everyone who was connected with the college, and in some way or another, that was about everyone in town, whether the person be a teacher or business person, hoping to sell their wares to college students.
 
                I rode my bike everywhere, went to the large town pool every day in the summer, and lived on Durham Road, across from a cow pasture and a nine hole golf course, where Arnold Palmer once played, and where you could walk a couple of fairways and be at the baseball field to watch the Deacons play in the afternoon. A History professor, who lived not far from our house, was a baseball enthusiast and regularly walked with me, going over the fence into the cow pasture, to the golf course, which was the shortest way there. That same professor later served for many years as Wake Forest’s faculty representative to the Atlantic Coast Conference.
 
                And then, in a summer it was no more. We all moved away, to a city that knew little of us and we of them. Wake Forest’s new campus was  located on what was then the outskirts of Winston-Salem.  But the college had set aside a piece of land adjacent to the campus, built a road on it and called it Faculty Drive, hoping to recreate some semblance of our past town.
 
                During most of my Winston-Salem growing up years, we lived on a ranch style house on that street, and at that time, every single family was connected with Wake Forest. I knew who lived in every house, the parents and their children, many of whom were classmates and friends of mine. I rode my bike to the college gym with other kids; played football on the 12th fairway of Old Town Country Club’s golf course that our back yard opened onto, and generally still had the benefit of a small town childhood, though I went to a high school that had as many students as half the population of Wake Forest.
 
                The 1950’s are now a long time ago, and many of the families are now gone, and others are living in the houses there. Still, I have memories of my old street, where we were young once. My younger brother, who lives next door, wrote me last week to tell me our old house was up for sale. I immediately asked him to go see the inside if he had the opportunity and tell me how it looked and what changes had been made. I immediately thought of all the rooms where our family had once lived.
 
                But what I really wanted was to go back in time once more, to live on that street once more, and to be one more time a part of a close knit community that, looking back over the years, was really special. 
 
                Several years ago, one Thanksgiving afternoon, my older brother and I walked the entire street just to see if we could name all the families who once lived there and what departments the professors worked in while they were there. We remembered them all.
 
                It was also 1956 when Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, wrote the music and words to the Broadway musical My Fair Lady, music that included the song “On the street where you live”.
 
                Taking the words somewhat out of context, these lines are a part of that song…
 
“I have often walked down this street before.
But the pavement always stayed beneath my feet before…
For there’s nowhere else on earth I would rather be.
Let the time go by…I won’t care…”
 
                Everyone has a street where you live.  This was mine.
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