When Mike had his home built in Carrollton, he decided, “What the hell, why not get two?”
Mike and his wife are friends of my mom and the owner of the last home(s) of someone in Carrollton I personally knew. I know he lived in the brown brick house but I am not exactly sure who lived in the other home he owned, right next door. He was also the second to last homeowner on Carrollton’s north side to leave and I could tell he sorely did not want to go.
From time to time he would see photographing and bid me caution in my roaming of the area, as well as his luck on my various projects. Each time he sees me, he stops to ask when I am going to have an art show (it will be soon, Mike!). He and his wife are good people with a sense of humor who didn’t want to see their beloved longtime homes disappear. Their two familiar houses at the bottom of my street always seemed like the flagstone of the neighborhood. Mike himself was the friendly guardian of the area, keeping a protective eye on things until the very end. Even as a kid on some kind of late night prowling (perhaps to TP the homes of friends) I would use caution slipping past his house… somehow, I knew someone there was watching.
I last photographed the house on an icy, frozen Sunday, days before its demo. He and his wife hadn’t been gone a long time and the demo guys told me just a few weeks ago that they didn’t have permits yet for much else. Therefore, I figured his house had some time left. Yet, I was wrong. Mike’s homes were just the beginning of a rash of destructions that I have barely had the time to photograph and document their final days.
I really miss his two houses… since they were there until the bitter end, I didn’t get to explore much of the houses. I also felt as though I was imposing… I mean, it was one thing to document the homes of strangers, but for the ones I knew the owners (and this time it was family friends) I felt as though I was walking through some kind of forbidden zone, even with Mike’s blessing over the project. He even told me once, after he left, to “Go ahead and have a look around, but be careful when you do- there’s graffiti in the living room, so vandals are getting in now too.” The few shots I did get were beautiful, but I wish I had done more.
Like many of the plots in Carrollton with their houses eradicated, there is still traces of the human existence to his area as well. He may have left behind a bit more.