Two of the three houses that I lived in with my parents are still front and center in my life. Our first home was near Shelby and Raymond streets. I know where that house is located, and my mom’s parents used to live next door.
When I was about 3 we moved to our new home on Madison Avenue. My sister, Kathy, and I grew up in that house. It was a rural setting when we first moved to the area. There was a chicken house behind the garage. We had a flock of chickens for a while, and later the building was converted to a goat house because we had several goats.
My mom’s father, Grandpa Jones, built a small house on the property for my dad’s mother to live. She lived there for a few years before moving in with one of my aunts when her health began to decline. I thought it was so cool to have Grandma living in our backyard.
My dad had a nice garden each summer, and the property had several apple, cherry and pear trees. My first business was selling apples and cherries at my fruit stand in our front yard.
When I was in high school my folks decided to build a new home. Over the years I have lived in that house on three different occasions. I am still enjoying the time with my wife, Lyn.
It is so much fun to discover things that my parents used many years ago. I was going through some books the other day and came across a cookbook that came with the kitchen appliances when the house was built.
Hardly a day goes by that I don’t come in contact with something that brings all of my family connections back to mind. I remember that Mom used to enjoy eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches while looking out the kitchen window. When I make one of those sandwiches I always enjoy it while staring out that same window.
Our previous house that is on Madison also holds many memories for me. It’s now known as The Longacre Bar & Grill, 4813 Madison Ave. Over the years I have enjoyed stopping in for a drink and a meal. My family once had a reunion at the “old house.”
A couple of years ago a bunch of my crazy classmates (we all know who they are) organized one of those “roasts” at the bar, and ohhyeaa, I was the guy being roasted.
A few months ago the business was closed and the building was put up for sale. I was shocked. I kept thinking that I might never be able to visit my old house again.
Good news. The building has been purchased and the new owner will reopen the pub this week. I have met the owners and gave them a little history of the building and the neighborhood.
They have made some changes and improvements to the building, and it is looking good. I’m looking forward to stopping by my “old house” as soon as it reopens.
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.