Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Deepwater, in black and white

Walking through my childhood neighborhood always triggers mixed feelings...I'm flooded by memories, but the wear and tear of the years can't be disguised by memories turned rosy, filtered by time...

Where you just see a boarded up, run down house, I see myself telling jokes with my first best friend Ricky in the courtyard (before the faux Spanish re-do) and reading "The Little House" for the very first time in his mom's beauty shop (the center section)...
She gave me the book; I still have it. I treasure it and the memory.
But as much as I'd like to, I can't ignore the boarded windows. The emptiness. The neglect. And it makes me sad.

That's the story of Deepwater, and why I chose to post these photos in black and white; as I walked, I saw the neighborhood through two sets of eyes, past and present...

For me, the next two photos do a good job of depicting Deepwater as it is right now, a neighborhood straddling the past and the present..
...the first, an empty lot where the childhood home of my friend Brad once stood...

...and the second, a brand new picket fence bordering a sidewalk that has felt the weight of children's feet for almost 60 years...

Such a contrast, and the first one breaks my heart. But I feel that together they depict, more than anything, that this is a neighborhood in transition...faded in spots...perhaps even dead in spots,  but overall still clinging to life, refusing to give in to time.

While some houses, like Brad's and Ricky's, are boarded up or torn down, others have been given facelifts and corrective surgery, taking decades off of their appearance; children still ride their bikes, play basketball, walk to school...creating their own Deepwater memories.

For that, I am grateful.


  1. Great job, Barb! I love that you did it in B&W. Since I still live nearby and go to a church in the neighborhood, I'm very aware of the transitioning. It's affecting our church; however, unlike many other churches in the area, we've decided to stay put and minister to the Deepwater residents, old and new.

  2. Great job as always...You know my Mom still lives there too...and when I'm in the neighborhood, I am so taken aback by it's decline...SO MANY great memories and for those I am grateful! LOVE YOU HONEY!!! You are so gifted with word and eye!!!

  3. Brenda, I love that South Avenue has stayed put and still ministers to Deepwater residents, as it always has. Rae, we walked by your mom's house - always brings back so many good memories (like my first kiss on your front sidewalk! lol)

  4. Since my childhood memories are of neighborhoods in faraway states, a few months ago I traveled to them via Google Earth. One home still looks exactly the same while another one that I was able to see looked sad and neglected. Both conjured up many fond memories, though.

  5. The black and white sure gives it a feeling of days gone by. Fine photos, but I especially like that picket fence.

  6. Yep - (sigh)

    We love The Little House here, too. Just read it to my younger son recently.

    There are places I have no desire to visit anymore because I want to remember them the way they were. I once said to my wife, "I love the Cape so much I never want to go there again." She didn't get it, but I suspect you might.


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