Thursday, November 13, 2008

Small World

It’s a small world after all. Imagine my surprise this week when I got a press release from the Beaver Dam Fire Department reporting fire damaged a home at 208 East Mill Street. It sounded familiar and took me a moment to realize I used to live there. I worked at a radio station in Beaver Dam for eight years and spent the first four of them living on the second floor of this home.

It’s not like I actually owned the home. I only rented it. However I did invest a little time in improving it. So yes to a certain extent I did feel a little bit of a loss. Of course there are mixed memories.

I got to the upstairs apartment via a back outside stairway. When I first moved in there was a rickety old stairs going right up to the back door. The stairs shook as you climbed them. I convinced the landlord to replace them and he did with a wonderful set of stairs that twisted their way up to the back door. He nicknamed them “the cattle trough.”

I recall the fall of 1996 water proofing the decking for those stairs as I listened to the Packers on the radio on their way to a successful Super Bowl winning season. At the top of the stairs there was a deck with enough room from a few chairs and a charcoal grill. It also had a nice view of the rest of the neighborhood.

I also repainted the walls inside. The only complaint was the shower from hell. It was an old-fashioned bathtub with one of those hose connections that ran through a harness connected to the wall. It didn’t adequately catch all the water and I always worried about the flooring underneath rotting out.

I probably would have lived in that apartment the entire time I lived in Beaver Dam, but it was a duplex and the series of downstairs neighbors I had eventually pushed me out. I actually can recall just about everywhere I’ve lived over my life and again with mixed feelings about each location. The only real dive I ever lived in was during college and that goes along with being a poor college student.

It saddened me when I first saw this picture, but a house is as much about the person that lives there, as it is wood, nails, concrete and plaster that makes it up. No one was hurt in the fire and if the fire department is still located in the same spot, it is literally right around the corner from this house. It’s a small world indeed.

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