This Beatles’ song came on the radio as I was driving home from this walk. It seemed completely appropriate as a title song for this day’s walk. Today would have been my brother’s 39th birthday. He died at the age of 17 in a car accident. I was 19 when this happened. On this day I decided to go back “home” and walk some of the streets surrounding the house I grew up on.
“Up the hill”, “Filley Park”, “The Bakery”,”The Woods”. All descriptive names that mean nothing to most. To me, my brother and our two friends it was our world. We all grew up on a quaint dead end road in north Lansing. My brother and I lived in the last house on the road. Our driveway was unpaved. There was a row of large rocks that crossed the most northern part of the driveway to keep drivers from cutting through to the road north of us. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. There was a walking path that many would use to walk through, including Betty, the elderly lady who would visit her friend on Howe Rd. Traveling up this path led you “Up the Hill”. Across our driveway opposite our house was a wooded area. This was the “woods”. It was our source of entertainment for most days. We made forts. We climbed trees. We played hide and go seek. We had a spring fed stream. My brother loved creating things for us to do in the woods. He made a “Tarzan Swing”, a Tepee, a “Demon Drop” ride using a dog cage and an old mattress. He created games where we searched for hidden treasures. Sometimes we just walked the paths or had picnics. It was a place of adventure. Now it is an over grown wooded lot at the end of a dead end road. Its magic seems to be missing. Maybe the source of joy was always just the spirited imagination of a young boy.
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