Get your Hometown History assignment in before the Rapture, please.

Panels on the side of old "Dime Store" which depict Yale's history

OK, photography and history buffs, get on the mark!  You’re being challenged by Scott Thomas over at Views Infinitum with Assignment 13:  Hometown History.  (Click on the link to see what it’s all about.  Hint:  assignment due next Wednesday, May 25th at the witching hour of midnight.  If we all live past the rapture, that is.  Oops, sorry.  Didn’t mean to veer off into end-of-world predictions.  I’m betting that we’ll be here for Scott’s deadline, although I could be wrong.  Good reason to get your assignment done early, though!)

More Yale history. My hometown house. Built circa 1961-62

First, we must clear up any misunderstanding about the word “hometown”.  Hometown means many things to many folks.  Some people think hometown means the place where you were born and raised, hit your chin on a cement block at age five and needed stitches at the hospital, where you kissed your first boyfriend or girlfriend, or where you wore that long light blue gown and walked two-by-two into the steamy high school gym with Joe Ryan to get your diploma.

Yes, yes.  That’s a feasible hometown.  But hometown can mean more than ancient history.  Hometown can also mean where you’re living now.  Where your feet are walking.  Where you get your mail.  Where you go to the doctor.  Where you buy your groceries. 

Hometown can mean where your feet live, or where your heart lives.  It can be a rather permanent hometown, or a stepping stone on to more promising outposts.  I do have a very strong belief, though, that if we’re living in or near a town–even if we don’t like it–we’re living there for a reason.  Part of our reason might be that we need to open our eyes and let our hearts discover what we like about our current hometown.  When we’ve opened our hearts to love what we once disliked, the town will release us to new abodes.  Or else we may end up staying forever and ever, amen.

(Which is what happened to me.  I prayed to God to get me out of this “godforsaken” place during a vacation to the U.P. at age 12.  “Just get me out of the Upper Peninsula,” I prayed, “that’s all I ask.”  Guess what God did?  Chucked!  Signed me up for the long haul.  And guess what folks?  Learned to love this place, by golly.)

Stepping off soap box now.  Sorry for this little detour.

Look what happened to the corn field behind our house! History mowed it down and replaced it with trees, go figure.

Then there’s the word “history”.  I don’t think Scott specified if “recent” history qualified.  I decided it did.  Recent history, in this case, dives back to the late 1950’s and early 1960’s in Yale, Michigan.  I would say that’s history, wouldn’t you?

Since this assignment was brought to my wandering attention by Isa over in Switzerland (click here to read her contribution) and since I was actually in my first hometown–no, make that my third hometown, coming in directly after Cass City and Sandusky, MI–last week, here is my contribution for the assignment.

My dad bought this pharmacy (aka a Drug Store) back in the late 1950's or early 1960's. Family history.

See the above pharmacy up above?  I started working at this very store at twelve years old.  Earned fifty cents an hour.  Candy bars cost ten cents (or was that five cents?)  My favorite day was Christmas Eve.  We all worked our tails off at the store–except for Mom preparing for the holidays at home–and trooped back to the house just before dinner to begin our family celebration. 

Ahhh…nostalgic family history.  I am even getting teared up.  (Excuse me.  My mother taught me never to end a sentence with a preposition.  She might even have advised against excessive paragraphs, ellipses and exclamation marks as well.)

Family history for $200, Alex. Anyone want to guess who these two are?

OK, after today’s post, I only have one more set of photos from Yale to show you.  They do not qualify as history.  They are pictures of my brother Scot’s family horses. 

Hope some of you decide to play along and share your own hometown history–wherever you decide that place might be.  (I am wondering if someone who lives in the woods, twelve miles from town, might even consider the woods to be their hometown.  What do you think?)

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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63 Responses to Get your Hometown History assignment in before the Rapture, please.

  1. Brenda Hardie says:

    Oh Kathy!!! I would so love to call the woods my hometown! Maybe someday I will be able to do just that!
    I love the wedding picture of your Mom and Dad…it is beautiful, especially with the newer picture added…very lovely!
    Thank you for sharing pictures and memories from your hometown….honestly there is a book or two in you! 🙂
    Hmm…the rapture…next week? Bet not but if so I just want to say it is blessing to have “met” you here…thank you for being a part of my life (because yes…even online friends are part of life today!)
    Enjoy this lovely afternoon Kathy, and know you are important and special to so many people, including me.

    • Kathy says:

      It’s been a blessing to have met you, too, Brenda. You are such a loving supportive person. I am glad you enjoyed the pictures and memories. (And I am STILL amazed–from your Facebook comment–what early memories you remember. Lucky gal!)

  2. Fountainpen says:

    How very lovely and true, true, true..
    and such a wonderful picture of your Mom and Dad!!!!!


  3. Well done, Kathy. History is what you make of it. Personal or ancient makes no matter. I would guess the family business is a big part of many people’s history of Yale. We had one in my town which burned down. I have found memories of it.

    • Kathy says:

      Yes, indeed, Scott. (I am glad you like my contribution to the Hometown History assignment.) As usual, twas great fun! Our family business is indeed part of Yale’s recent history. Glad you have fond memories of your own hometown business. Thanks again for your assignment. 🙂

  4. Susan D says:

    Fun assignment! Wonderful pictures! Love the one of your mom and dad, then and now. And the rest of the pictures have that hometown “feel.” Nice! Yes, I have a feeling that someone living 12 miles from town might very well consider the woods to be her hometown. Whooo Whooo 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Have you ever met my mom or dad, Susan? I am thinking not. But you have met Kiah in “Pat’s”. lol… I am thinking the woods could be a hometown. They certainly are the hometown for the coyote and deer and bear!

  5. What a nice post, Kathy. And such a pretty place…. I want to move to Michigan (almost anything is better than Texas!)
    I like the first one, with the panels. There are several BIG murals here in the town where I live, all done by the same artist.

    • Kathy says:

      Micheala, did I ever tell you about the time we tried to escape to Texas FROM Michigan? No? Well, that’s a story for another day. You know, that’s the picture I liked best, too. I liked how the lady was pushing her shopping cart under it. Good luck with your mural pics!

    • Tracy says:

      I love Michigan, but I really did enjoy my visit to Texas several years back!! Love the attitude down there!!

  6. holessence says:

    I, too, love the portrait of your parents — then and now. Wonderful!

  7. Pingback: a little hometown history « lei fraser

  8. Marianne says:

    Nice warm fuzzy post, Kathy. Great photo of your parents.

  9. Dawn says:

    How exciting…history in photos…I’ll go over to read Scott’s blog and see if I can put something together. You’ve given me a few ideas… (loved the parent’s photo!!)

    • Kathy says:

      Oh goodie, Dawn! Goody? Not sure of the spelling of that word. Can’t wait to see what you come up with. (ending the sentence with another preposition, sorry, Mom if you’re reading.)

  10. barb says:

    I like that you prayed to be released from the UP and ended up staying – God works in mysterious ways, I’ve heard. (Hope it’s not the end of the world, though.) When I read this, I was worried: “She might even have advised against excessive paragraphs, ellipses and exclamation marks as well.” We should always listen to your Mom, but I can’t give them up!

    • Kathy says:

      I know what you mean, Barb. I’ve tried, really. But how else do we express the casual intonations we want to stress in our writing? I know formal writing discourages these accoutrements, but aren’t you convinced that informal writing sometimes enhances them?

  11. Elisa's Spot says:

    I am OUT of TEAAAAAAA this morning! So, for now all you get is a link about the lovely predictor, Mr. Camping(click his name it’s the link)

  12. This was such a fun little assignment. I am so glad that I saw your post yesterday about it. Your photos are so enchanting. I especially love the one of the mural. We have some murals around town too.. I think this weekend I will make an effort go out and get some more photographs of them. I feel a project coming on 😉

    the photograph of your parents is stunning!


  13. Carol says:

    Wonderful history, and wonderful pictures of your history.

    • Kathy says:

      Thanks, Carol! Just had an interesting thought. Have you ever heard of “herstory” vs “history”? Maybe I should have re-named it Hometown Herstory. ha ha…

  14. Barbara says:

    Thanks for the delightful photo-tour of your hometown, Kathy. The picture of your parents before and after 50 years is extra special! (I hope Tim & I make it to 50 years someday!) That must have been cool working in your dad’s pharmacy. Was your maiden name Sheldon?

    • Kathy says:

      Barbara, as a bona-fide family history buff, I thought you might enjoy. And sure enough hoping you and your sweetheart make it to 50 years! Yes, my maiden name was Sheldon. The store, which once belonged to my dad, belongs now to my brother, Scot. You might recall him from the family post a couple blogs ago.

  15. Elle says:

    That makes me want to go back to my “old” hometown and see what is still there. I’ve been told several buildings are not there anymore and some new ones have gone up. It would probably feel weird. I might do it though.

    • Kathy says:

      Elle, you really should do it. You probably will feel weird. I know my hometown has changed a lot since I left it all those years ago. There are stores in places you’d never imagine. (In fact the place where I fell out of the car now features two Dollar Stores.) The hometown where we live now has changed so much over the years–new stores, new owners, new houses–but it’s kinda fun to see what has changed and what remains the same. I think the clue is to allow ourselves to be interested but not hold on to the past too tightly. To grieve what passes and yet celebrate the new.

  16. Tracy says:

    Yale!!! I know where that is! I thought I was going to fall off the face of the earth when I was driving there!! lol! In addition to being a henna artist, I’m a professional clown. I had a job there two summers ago at a nursing home. I loved it! Oh, how I yearn for a small town. We own a little piece of heave near the tip o’ the mitt, I like to think of that as my homwtown. ❤

    • Kathy says:

      Tracy, if you thought you were going to fall off the face of the earth in YALE~~you would SURELY think you’ve fallen off the earth here in the U.P.!!! lol…I always think I’m in the heighths of suburbia in Yale when really it’s just a sleepy farm town. I wonder if you knew some of the same people in that nursing home that I remember? Wondering where your heaven is at the tip o’ the mitt? How lucky you are to have it!

  17. Tracy says:

    I’m taking on the challange!!

  18. What a fascinating post ! I love your approach and the personal touch in it. Lovely to see your parents, the pharmacie, family history through your pictures. Woods may not be my real hometown, although I feel at home walking there. What a nice thought and image 🙂 Have not written my post yet, my camera let me down but will do so real soon.

    • Kathy says:

      I am so sorry to hear about your camera, Isa. Hopefully it will soon be fixed. I know you are another soul who loves the woods and the treasures it shares. I remember being in Switzerland in 1975 and visiting a pharmacy there. Just to tell my dad about it.

  19. The woods are MY hometown now! Thanks for the post–and ideas.

  20. Robin says:

    I really enjoyed this post. Thank you. 🙂

    I’m not sure if the rapture happened or not. I don’t think I’m on the list and I don’t think anyone I know is on the list, so it’s hard to tell if anyone has disappeared… 😉

    • Kathy says:

      Laughing a LOT with your comment, Robin. I wonder what it takes to be on the list?? I’m more aligned with the thought that the Rapture is available on Earth~~every single day~~if we open up to it.

  21. Deborah says:

    Having just discovered in the NY Times, at the dealer where my car was being serviced yesterday, that “the Rapture” is happening, YES, it is thought to be happening TODAY (May 21,2011), you sucked me right in with that word Rapture in your title, Kathy.

    I am pretty certain I will not “disappear” today. For one thing, I really don’t want to go. I am perfectly happy to hang out watching the perfectly natural unfolding of Life, just as it has always done, when others were running around spreading ideas of gloom & doom. No, it never is “like” that, not really.

    Change is constant; and yes, the old is changing and going away; and new stuff is constantly taking it’s place. I was pondering “history” myself just the other day. I absolutely LOVE history – all history. It is not a kind of clinging to the past, or yearning for the way that I think it used to be, kind of LOVE.

    We like to watch the old Sherlock Holmes series with Jeremy Brett. What I love is the furnishings, the horses pulling carriages, the clothes, the ways of that time. And I love this about ALL time periods.

    But what did the people who lived in those times think of themselves ? They did not “feel” old-fashioned, in the way we view them, from our vantage point now. They were cutting edge, thoroughly modern. What will we seem like to people in the distant future ? Just as old-fashioned as the scenes in those Sherlock Holmes videos I love so much.

    Fun to know a bit of your personal history too, Kathy.

    Much Love –

    • Kathy says:

      As I just commented up above to Robin, I am sure that the Rapture is available to us every single day, Deb. I think we may need to clear away some of our emotional blocks, surrender to Spirit/God, and open to what we really are. But the Rapture is right here, amidst our personal history and the ferns opening in the woods and the deer skull and this morning’s cup of coffee. I am always glad when you stop by. And it was fun talking on the phone the other day too!

  22. Colleen says:

    Kathy, I’ve always loved history too. And this post has been a pleasure and a treat! There is something deeply comforting/grounding? knowing where we come from, how we got from there to here, over time and many generations…..

    And I resonate very much with your thought that where ever we are living we are there for a reason/purpose. No accidents or random acts of fate here…..

    • Kathy says:

      Good morning, Colleen, from the coffee shop in Houghton. On the second cup now. There is something deep and rich and comforting knowing our family history. Knowing that we’re not alone, that we come from a long line. No random acts at all. I believe in a force bigger than the Universe which knows our very next breath.

  23. Pingback: Hometown History Photography Assignment « Elisa's Spot

  24. Elisa's Spot says:

    Good Morning Kathy! I came back to post that I had moved out of a tangle and decided to participate. My original comment was actually a blog, so I deleted and put up a blog with my images within it. (pats for being brave please 😛 )
    Hometown History Photography Assignment

    • Kathy says:

      Gosh, Elisa, I just wrote a long response about bravery~~but the coffee shop internet connection just disappeared in the midst. Errr…maybe a blog on bravery needs to be written another time. Hmmmm. Albeit, know you are being patted and applauded and encouraged in your bravery for posting.

  25. bearyweather says:

    My home town is a long way from here … in both distance and time. I grew up in the rural suburbs of St. Paul … what were once cornfields, forests farms, and ponds are now .. shopping malls, highways, restaurants and businesses. It is unrecognizable to me as “home”. When we were kids in the summer time we dreamed of having a DQ just down the block … it is there now (along with so much more) but, what I see makes me sad – I cried the last time I drove by it. The only thing that really remains is the house my dad built and the dozen red pines he planted in the back yard to make it feel like the northwoods (the trees have matured and tower so high above it all, they definitely don’t fit their surroundings .. it is a little patch of nature in a huge, noisy concrete and asphalt jungle.
    The longer I live here in the woods, the more it feels like home … and my real hometown, which is gone, does not matter as much.
    Thanks for making me think about that .. remembering where we came from and how we want our “home” to be remembered (and exist in the future) are important things to think about.

    • Kathy says:

      My husband has had a similar experience, bearyweather. Where he once roamed is filled with condominiums and townhouses and businesses. He was so sad about the disappearance of his natural world that he insisted we move somewhere north. Was that one of your incentives for re-locating to the woods? I definitely think the woods would be considered your hometown now.

  26. Pingback: My Hometown « Solitary Spinster

  27. solitaryspinster says:

    I’ve been taking too many pictures. Here’s my (mostly) photo essay on my hometown.


    • Kathy says:

      Hi gigi! I went over and looked at all your pictures yesterday, and will be stopping by to read your blog more carefully soon. Thank you for participating in Scott’s photo challenge! It’s been fun to see everyone’s hometown.

  28. truels says:

    I like your special and very personal contribution to this challenge – both your words and your pictures related to your family.

  29. Gerry says:

    What, no horses? Might not be history from your perspective, but from the horse’s point of view . . . It was a lot of fun to visit Yale and to imagine an adolescent Kathy longing to be released from purgatory. Maybe the world changes less than we do.

  30. Pingback: Assignment 13 Recap | Views Infinitum

  31. Nye says:

    Your Bradford Pear tree was in bloom way after us, love the shot of the pharmacy sign. This is a nice touch on the post with your personal Hometown history. 🙂

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