Those of you who know me know that I'm a former resident of Dearborn Heights, MI. My parents moved there shortly after I was born, and I lived there until 2007 when my parents pulled up stakes due to financial reasons and moved to a small town somewhere in Kansas, leaving 22 and a half years of friends and memories behind. Some of them permanently.
I didn't get much sleep last night. I ate dinner late, had some chocolate milk with it, and because of that I couldn't fall asleep until after 2a.m. Then shortly before 6 I woke up from a dream that had me incredibly nostalgic and left me unable to sleep anymore (probably spurred on by the song "Always" by Erasure, which I listened to a lot in the late 90s), so I figure I might as well talk about my home a little bit.
The neighborhood I lived in was situated between four major roads: Van Born Rd. to the South, U.S. Route 24 to the West (or Telegraph Road, as it is known locally), Michigan Avenue to the North, and M-39, a.k.a. the Southfield Freeway, to the East. There are bunches of locales in the area that bring me memories: Doughboy Doughnuts, located near where Van Born met with M-39; K-Mart, located at the end of the street that I lived on as a kid for 8 years; the Pack Shack, where I used to buy Star Wars Miniatures after the game became popular; Ford Lanes on Van Born and Oxford Lanes on Telegraph, where I used to go when I wanted to exert myself physically without doing something overly demanding... Henry Ford Community College (now just HFC), where possibly the best years of my life were spent...
There's this Walgreen's at the corner of Telegraph and Van Born... dunno if it's still open or not. During my college years, there was this middle-aged clerk there who used to call me "Smiley" because I'd always exited the building with this big smile on my face whenever I bought something. I remember my Mom always hated that intersection because of the high risk of accidents.
My Dad and I used to go to Doughboy's on Saturdays for doughnuts and cherry cola. The counter stools were the type that you could spin around on, so naturally I had a lot of fun with that. The shop picked up a TV at some point, meaning that my Dad ended up watching a few episodes of "Kim Possible" when it first aired. He didn't seem to mind the show too much, which was surprising to me since modern-day entertainment on the whole doesn't really appeal to him.
There was a Toys 'R' Us on Michigan Avenue where I bought Pokemon Sapphire in 2003. I wanted the game bad enough that I walked up there to buy it, which I later confirmed was over a 4 and a half mile round trip... my memories of that game are a whole other story, though.
I lived equally distant between two different Pizza Huts. Seriously, it took me a half hour on the dot to walk to either one.
I remember this one video rental place on Telegraph that my Dad went to in the late 80s. When we lived a bit closer to the place from 1997 on, I remember my Dad going there to rent something for the first time in years and being surprised to find out that his name was still in their computer systems after all that time.
You have no idea just how much I want to meander down Van Born just one more time... unfortunately, doing that doesn't appeal to me much anymore. Doughboy's is gone... from what I understand its owners set up shop in another part of the county just within the past five years. Of course, K-Mart went out of business (fun fact: my Dad worked at their HQ for a few years as a programmer). A lot of the shops that I knew, including this one gas station where I used to buy Doritos in the late evenings, have long closed down... the Giant System, an old-fashioned burger joint...
If I had to guess, that woman who used to call me "Smiley" has probably either retired or found another job elsewhere. Never knew her too well, but I liked having a nickname that wasn't demeaning in some way. I kinda miss her.
Oxford Lanes closed down at some point, I know that much. I think it was converted into a used car dealership. The Toys 'R' Us is gone now too, of course, as is that video rental store. Ford Lanes is still around...
...I'm sorry, everyone. I'm rambling. I don't know if I needed to talk about all of this or not, but I needed to sit down and type. I guess what I'm trying to say that as much as living in the middle of nowhere has grown on me, I still miss the suburban life I used to lead. Sorry for taking up your time over nothing.
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