My family has deep roots in the Pine Point section of Springfield, where my great-grandfather built a house on Hood Street with his own two hands. It is still standing today.
However, before my parents returned to raise their family in the Pine Point neighborhood where they were both raised, they bounced around a bit. When my father got out of the service, we lived for a time in the old Irish section of Springfield called Hungry Hill in a house on Littleton Street. The house had a big multi-car garage behind it, one that looks almost identical to this one on the street where I now live in Northampton.
Instead of brown, the garage on Littleton Street was painted green, but other than that my neighbor's garage is identical. The house and garage in Springfield belonged to my Uncle Steve, who rented it to us. Since we had only one car, my Uncle used the others to store various cars he was working on. My Uncle was a car nut, and every car he had was a showpiece of some sort.
My main memory of the garage however involves a time when I was around four years old and announced to my mother that I wanted to sleep in the garage that night. I'm not sure why, I guess it just struck me as adventurous. All my life I would do things for no better reason.
My mother thought it was a ridiculous idea, which it was, but she humored me since she believed I would never actually go through with it. Yet, when it became time for bed I gathered my blankets, put them in my wagon which was stored in the garage, and climbed in to go to sleep. My parents chuckled to themselves, thinking I must soon come rushing back into the house, terrified by the dark and the night sounds. However, a half hour passed and I did not return. My parents started to become concerned until my Mom made my Dad go out and check on me.
My father found me peacefully sound asleep. When he went back and told my mother this, she none the less made him return and carry me still sleeping back into the house, where he put me in my bed without waking me. In the morning I woke up and was mad to see what my parents had done!
I had forgotten all about that little story until I saw that garage last week when I moved into my new sober house. It's funny how memory works, with thoughts lying dormant and seemingly beyond recall until something you see, or hear or smell, or something someone says suddenly triggers the memory back to life. That particular memory strikes me as funny and sweet, therefore I am writing it down, before it gets lost again.