In May of 2011, I was in the middle of my first blog challenge, and I made my first guest post - on the site of a blogger I had the pleasure of meeting once. She is also the person who got me started in my first blog challenge. I'd like to share this memory with you on my own blog while I take the rest of this week off for NaNoWriMo and Thanksgiving.
For the entire guest post, please visit Billie Noakes's blog and show my cousin's dear significant other some love.
In 1974, I was living in the Bronx, attending college. I lived with my Dad in an
apartment in a public housing project, a project I had moved to when I
was 5 months old.
Over the years, my neighborhood had changed from the neighborhood
where no one locked doors (yes, NYC was like that at one time). By
1974, not to mince words, it was a slum. I couldn’t wait to graduate
college so I could leave.
I wanted out so badly that I didn’t even attend my college
graduation. Right after classes were over my fiance (now my husband of 38 years, I
am proud to say) and I got married, and drove to Tampa, Florida,
jobless, to begin a new life.
My Aunt had helped us to rent an apartment in the Hyde Park section
of Tampa. It was a one bedroom apartment in the upstairs of a two
family house. At that time, Hyde Park was not an upscale neighborhood.
We couldn’t have afforded the apartment if it was. Where we lived
wasn’t bad but literally across the street, the neighborhood changed and
we were warned: do not cross that street.
Compared to the Bronx neighborhood I had left, it was paradise. You
could sleep at night without hearing gunfire and breaking glass. The
apartment was furnished, and even had an old fashioned bathroom,
complete with a claw foot bathtub. My spouse, who loved baths, fell in
love with that tub.
At that time, the Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway had not yet
been built. Houses had been condemned and had been vacant for years,
waiting for construction to begin. When the houses were finally torn
down, the rats and the roaches fled. They fled right into our little
part of Hyde Park.
Roaches I could reluctantly deal with – we had roaches (and rats) in
the Bronx. But what we didn’t have were palmetto bugs. One day, a huge
palmetto bug made its way into our kitchen. We were moving the
refrigerator. The palmetto bug wouldn’t get out of the way. My spouse
ran it over with the refrigerator.
We were never able to get the spot out. We moved the refrigerator to cover it.
Eventually we moved to a different neighborhood. My spouse joined the Air Force and we left Tampa in 1976.
So what happened next? Yes, you can go home again, as you will find out tomorrow.