Monday, October 14, 2013

Northside Memories: Rose Lucas

Please enjoy and relish Rose's final blog to Northsidelex's website. Recruiting Rose for the launch of our site was a unanimous decision of our committee and worth the persuasion it required of the author. But a unanimous decision did not by any means make Rose agreeable. However, growing up in the Northside, rearing her family here, starting her successful business here and serving on the Board made her an irresistible candidate and she melted. Rose added to her schedule this commitment to share with us for a year the description of the evolution of our neighborhood before we arrived and that explains why there is this resurgence of interest and migration to her neighborhood. Thank you, Rose. We hope this will be a sabbatical.

October, 2013
As I end my year of Northside Memories, I think of all the stories I did not tell. My work and my lack of time really got in the way this summer and early fall. But, I have some reflections with which to end my stint as the inaugural writer of this series. As I have traveled around and seen all the hardscape improvements recently, I note the care given to installing sidewalks on Tates Creek Road, and I bemoan, again, the issue of cars parking in the utility strips and on the sidewalks of North Broadway (not to mention in yards!). Efforts are underway to stripe a parking lane on the east side of Broadway between Fifth and Sixth Street as was done when the Fourth to Fifth block was paved. The center line and the lane marks have already been moved to the west. I hope this is completed soon, and once again people are able to use the sidewalks along Broadway as sidewalks. I am particularly concerned about our neighbors in wheelchairs traveling in that area. The summer slipped away before I recounted the great fun of walking to Castlewood Park to swim when we were pre-teen and teenage. Collecting a crowd of people from all over the Northside (from Short to Delcamp), we would traipse to the park and spend the day, and then we each would pay a nickel for a flat box of pretzels to eat on the walk home. Sadly, no more nickel pretzels, nor the corner store where the pretzels were purchased. Many might not be aware that Elsmere Park is the oldest concrete street still in existence in Kentucky. Built in 1926, it has seen its share of patch paving, and it is in need again. Legend says the owners of the houses on Elsmere Park pitched in to pour concrete over the brick street, raising the level but preserving the limestone curbs on one of the first subdivisions taken into the city. The residents are lobbying to have repairs done in the immediate future. The recent spate of damage to cars and outbuildings is troublesome. Just within the last week, an attempt was made to set a house on fire on Elsmere Park – and a day or two later the playground near the old Russell School was a victim of arson. Over the decades I have lived here, we have seen these types of vandalism and crime rise and fall. The police have certainly been responsive this time (at least from what I have observed), and I hope they are able to stop these recent episodes. Vigilance on all our parts is essential. Keep an eye out and call the authorities if anything seems amiss. I appreciate the opportunity to leave my thoughts with those who wish to read them. Thank you, Northside Neighborhood Association, for your efforts on the behalf of all us who live, work and play in our wonderful neighborhood!