I drove through the old neighborhood the other day and, my, how things have changed.
Families on the street where I grew up in the old Northeast neighborhood Kansas City used to be made up of middle-class working folks. Some of them were first or second generation immigrants from Europe, mostly Italy.
The entire street, for the most part, was like one big family. You'd always see folks sitting on their large front porches or cleaning flower beds or mowing their lawns or pruning their rose bushes. Kids played in yards bordered by small hedges; nothing tall enough to create a barrier, mind you.
Early each morning you could hear the honking of the horn on a pickup truck filled with fresh produce and hear Tony yell "tomatoes ... lettuce ... cabbage ... squash" all up and down the block.
You could never tell when a bunch of guys from the neighborhood might come by on their way to the park down the street and invite you to join them in a pick-up game of baseball or football. If they were on bicycles, they were probably on their way up to the old Reservoir before making their way around Cliff Drive to the Kansas City Museum, down around the Concourse, and then back home.
Those are all good memories.
I drove by the old house on Montgall where I grew up. It looked lonely and unkept. The other houses along the block looked disheveled as well.
The neighborhood markets where years ago one could buy fresh, hand made sausages and imported cheeses are now Vietnamese markets and markets that sell Hallal meats and foods. (Halal foods are foods that Muslims are allowed to eat or drink under Islamic Shariah law, much like Kosher foods are related to the Jewish citizens. The foods addressed are mostly types of meat and animal tissue.)
Storefronts that used to host hardware stores, record shops, diners and dine-stores are now home to tattoo parlors, foreign trinket stores, and what-have-you.
While making my way through the old area now called Pendelton Heights, I noticed something that I never saw when I was growing up: bars on the windows of many homes and tall reinforced wrought iron fences adorning many yards.
Yes, things have changed, as things are wont to do.
But I still miss the old Northeast. I guess I always will.