From before I started kindergarten to when I moved to Southern California, I lived with my parents in only two homes. Our first home was on Madison Avenue; it’s still there but now it is the Longacre Bar and Grill. When I moved to California we lived in the house that my folks built when I was in high school.
Many years later when single and returning to Indianapolis from a 14-year stint in Michigan, I moved back in with my parents. Dad’s health was really slowing him down, and I got a chance to help out around the house. A few years later I took over the house, and I’m still living in it with my wife Lyn.
We lost my parents years ago, but I’m still in the same house. We have the same telephone number that my folks had when I was young. It’s just not a party line now.
Whenever I walk into the Longacre my memories kick into high gear. I remember trying to figure out how Santa could get himself down our small chimney.
I find it special to recall memories of long ago when walking into any room in our present home. I remember my mother eating her lunch while standing in front of the kitchen sink and looking out the window. Sometimes I stand in that same spot and enjoy my lunch ... and I can almost feel her standing beside me.
On the kitchen counter sits a toaster, which my parents received as a wedding gift. It still works perfectly.
My dad always enjoyed bird hunting, and for years he had hunting dogs. The cement foundation for the long-gone doghouse is still in the backyard. Dad and a couple of his hunting buddies traveled north a few times to hunt pheasants. He had one of the pheasants stuffed and displayed above our fireplace. It is still there today.
When Dad retired as director of maintenance for the transportation department at Perry Township School, he brought his toolbox home and put it in the garage. Guess what? It’s still there.
Dad had a special recliner chair, and once he was in it, my sister, Kathy, and I were the human remote controls.
Lyn and I have remodeled our kitchen and bathroom. Opening up a formal living room, a family room and one bedroom into one large living area was completed years ago. A few years back we added a nice sun room and a larger patio.
I enjoy stopping by the building on Madison Avenue that housed Dad’s Sunoco station. The facility is now the Blue Flame Muffler Center. We operated our school bus business out of the building that is now home to Long’s Bakery.Telling employees of Long’s that I once worked on school buses in their building really produces some questioning looks from them.
Shonk is a 1960 graduate of Southport High School, a ’63 grad of Indiana Central College (now the University of Indianapolis) and a retired bus driver from Beech Grove Schools.