Friday, November 4, 2016

"Snatches of Memories from Earlier Days" by Rose Lucas

Recently, I attended a presentation by Holly Weidemann about the renovation of the old Fayette County Courthouse, and a jumble of memories came to mind…

Pictures of the courtroom reminded me of our first Boxer puppy.  One Sunday morning, when I was about eight years old, I was at the court house with my dad – he frequently took us to the courthouse, city hall and the jail – the benefits of having an attorney for a parent.   On that particular Sunday, one of the magistrates strolled in with this little brown wiggly puppy, and my love affair with Boxers started.  She was Mitzi, and there have been six more, including the two I have now. 

Working in the backyard garden or sitting on the patio these past few years has not been the same without the chiming of the courthouse clock.  I understand the works will be put back in order, and I look forward to hearing the clock striking again as I have most of my life.  It is a straight shot from downtown to Elsmere Park – no big buildings block the sound, and it is a wonderful and musical gong.  When I worked downtown at my dad’s office in the summers, the clock was just across the street, and it was such a joyful sound. 

Recently I have noticed popcorn in cone shaped paper bags in the grocery store.  I have fond memories of the outdoor popcorn stand located along Limestone at Water Street.  Often our family would go to my mother’s sister’s home in Versailles for Sunday dinner in the early afternoon, and coming home was always a great ride, watching the telephone poles along Versailles Road (no median, and lots of wires).  A slight detour on the way home would land us at the popcorn stand for a cone shaped bag of white popcorn (we only had yellow popcorn elsewhere), and we would have a light treat for supper. 

After I was old enough to walk downtown by myself, maybe I was about nine, I spent many a summer day in Gratz Park.  First I would return books and then check out books from the  Lexington Public library (now the Carnegie Center) , and then I would sit on one of the benches at the fountain and have a sandwich and read.  I kept this up until I had read everything on the second floor (children’s books) and was not old enough to check out books from the first floor (adult section).  I seem to remember the age was 12, or maybe 14, to use the adult section.  Reading library books was a big deal at our home; my dad would bring home new editions frequently.  Thus, my sitting at the fountain turned into sitting on the porch (not nearly as cool) so I could read “grown up” books.

I hope the children growing up in the Northside are harvesting memories for their futures.  Few places offer all the adventures we have and enjoy, no matter our ages.