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Archive for December, 2007

39 Houses Left.

#42 was 3964 Celburne, the portion of the street that was close to Brumley. Since I am on the theme from prior posts, I also sold them girl scout cookies. There were LOTS of boys in the neighborhood (some swore there was something with the water), and a couple boys closer to my sister’s age lived at this house. I didn’t know them very well at all, but I am glad the family bought cookies from me nevertheless. How else would I have gone to Girl Scout Camp and won a badge and a dolly? Thank you, cookie eating primarily-male families of Bridgeton.

On a more serious note, this house never did sit right with me after one event. I don’t really know if this house was even the right home, but it was close enough to have been seriously affected.

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You heard me right! Come on down to CRAAAAZY Carl Lambert’s Xmas Tree lot where you cut your own tree FOR FREE! That is right, in fact, cut more trees if you want! They’re probably going to be cut down anyway so hack away you crazy maniacs and nevermind the people who planted such pretty trees in the first place!

“But Crazy Carl Lambert, how does it work?”

Its so easy, its like setting fire to abandoned houses in a poorly patrolled area responsible for by a fledgling major airport! All you do is drive your pickup into Carrollton under the cover of darkness, don’t forget to pack a chainsaw and plenty of gas, and find a tree worthy of your double-wide! Once you have found a spectacular 20 foot specimen planted by a former resident of the area, cut about half of it down! Of course, once you have realized that your living room might not exactly fit a 10 foot tree, be sure to start hacking away at the bottom stump and remaining branches! Leave the debris behind! Don’t forget to enjoy some off-roading through the most vacated areas on your way out!

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With the bitter cold and now 8 inches of snow, I was really surprised to see that three more went down this past week…three that meant more to me than most of what remains. Two were on Brumley, and the other one was at the intersection of WW and Brumley. Their owners were my neighbors who bought girl scout cookies from me, who waved at me a few times as I rode my bike up and down the street, and the site of one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. Sure I didn’t know their owners well and I would not recognize any of them today, but I knew their faces from my past. Only one house now remains on Brumley, the one directly across from where mine was.

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3991 Bondurant Destroyed 12/11

#46 was 3991 Bondurant. During the weekend ice storm, we saw the wrecker parked in the driveway, covered in ice and waiting to dig in. Monday we were hit with another wave of ice, but Tuesday, the ice cleared up and the house was destroyed.

This house was just at the entrance to the park. A quiet little house that sat vacant since last winter (or possibly very early spring) and was vandalized heavily this past fall. I can say that I am sure the police department is glad to see this one go, since much in the graffiti was directed at them. For me, it was one that was such a nice and well-kept home. It was the ideal little Carrollton house, and its dilapitation makes for the perfect poster-home for why the airport should have done something sooner.

I got some enjoyable pictures from this house, from its humble well-manicured beginnings to its ice-covered last hours. Although there are two houses left on Bondurant, the street feels very empty without this one.

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I knew something was terribly odd with 14831 Ralls for years. This was one that, again, stood out in memory of times gone by as being rather odd beyond belief. There was the fact that it had some homespun additions done to it years ago, including a brick lamppost at the end of the driveway with a giant, round ball light atop. There was the overabundance of gardening evident in the vast types of plants in the front yard alone. But it was the fact that I never could quite tell, for YEARS, if someone was actually living there that threw me off the most. Given the condition it was in I had figured the place to be an abandoned dumping ground even before my mom left the area. I was wrong. (more…)

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Most of the south side of the subdivision (south of Innerstate 270) has already been destroyed. After all, the runway is fully functional with three-fourths of the south side of Carrollton existing under the barely used concrete strip. The houses I cared for the most have been well buried for years… ten years next November for my best friend’s home.

Yet, there are a few remaining on the south side, and I must be blunt- I have done a sorry job documenting them. I guess since they are in such close proximity to commonly used roads through Bridgeton plus the fact that I lived on the north side contributed to my taking only typical street-level shots of those places. Yet, now that the airport is relentlessly pushing for cleaning the whole slate, the south side has been attacked the most as of recent days.

#s 49 and 48 were the last 2 houses remaining on Carrollton Ave. The one on the very end of the cul-de-sac just before the apartment complex was taken yesterday, December 3rd. I had no idea it was even ready to go… it just disappeared. I didn’t even notice it was gone until driving out of the subdivision today, I happened to glance down Carrollton Ave. and saw the crew’s work truck parked on the street.

I did a double-take and saw orange fencing, and then the wrecker within. It was 4:00 in the afternoon, and I saw the wrecker still moving around the collapsed site- the house must have just went down an hour ago. I pulled up to the street and got out to talk two of the nicest guys I will ever meet. They have put up with my filming, taking pictures of them and my questions. In fact, their picture remains at the top of this blog, destroying my own house. We chatted about future plans for the area, as well as the conditions of the few houses left. They were also surprised at the faster pace they have been given work orders as of late (especially since there was no demo work from May 07-October 07.). Even though they are the ones physically taking the neighborhood apart, they have heart for the area, and for the people they inadvertently displaced. It is odd to think this about the people who destroy your home, but their workplace has been our homeland for decades now. (more…)

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12803 Primghar Destroyed 11/29

The house went down as expected on November 29th. Since daylight savings, it has been increasingly difficult to go into Carrollton during light hours. So it was a mild shock going in at twilight to faintly see the wrecker atop a mound of dirt and debris. After taking some night shots I repeatedly heard heavy rustling of leaves despite the windless evening. I won’t attempt to analyse an illogical event, but I will say that I did listen for some time to whatever there may be. All else I will say on the subject, that night I felt at peace and with calmness, senses I don’t normally feel at nighttime through Carrollton (at least, as of late). I know a person was not physically there. I also can say that I don’t know or believe enough to think someone was there in spirit, despite the fact I really did not feel alone. It was one of the most oddest things I ever experienced… but alas, it is what it is. (more…)

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