Monday, February 1, 2010

On The Road Again...

Sunday started like most other Sundays. We went to church. It was wicked, wicked cold. -9 when we got up. (That's -23 celcius). So we came home from church, changed clothes, and set out... leaving our mountain once again....
... and right into Warren.
Tim wanted to make sure that the pipes had not frozen on the houses down town. Everything was fine. So we continued on...(Side note: These are not our houses. They are random shots of some of the historical houses in town.)
It strikes me that pictures can be misleading. We've got some beautiful historical homes, but there's also some ugly parts of town.
The main drag, Pennsylvania Ave, which winds alongside the Allegheny River.
This brick, with the star? 'They'll give you $5.00 for them.' I've heard this all of my life. Since I was a child even. The price has never gone up. It has never gone down. 'They'll pay $5.00 for them'. To any locals reading along, if you know who 'they' are, the mysterious 'they' who will pay $5.00 for them, call me right away. Tim and I have a couple hundred of them.

Anyhow, there is a town called Starbrick. It used to have a brick factory where they made those bricks with the star in them. It is gone now. Some day, I should just travel around taking pictures of places where people used to work. We've lost a major portion of our industrial base here in my neck of the woods. This is the old generation plant in Starbrick. It works on a smaller scale. We get most of our electric from the Kinzua Dam now. This used to be a school. Starbrick School. I went to fifth and sixth grade there. The windows have been redone. The blue framework shows how big the windows used to be.

The window on the second floor? I remember the lucky days when I was chosen to be the one to run in the side doors and up the stairs to grab the big old bell with the wooden handle and reach out that window with it, ringing it to signify the end of our recess. We all vied for that opportunity.

So that's Starbrick.

Then we headed towards Youngsville. I used to work in this building. It is part of the Rouse Estates. You can read about Henry Rouse here.
There is a great and powerful computer guru who lives in Youngsville. Dan Ralston brought our computer back from the brink of death.
We went to Pittsfield to drop off Mary's birthday gift and card. We couldn't stay, so we didn't get any farther than the laundry room. Mary and I have been friends for 40 years now. We met when we were 12.

This is the church that Mary and her husband Danny got married almost 26 years ago.
And this farm? This is where Mary grew up. I spent some happy days here helping at her family's dairy farm when I was a kid.
And from Pittsfield, we headed to Garland. This tiny house here, this is where my own grandparents used to live when I was a kid. Past Garland is Torpedo, where they used to make explosives for the oil fields. But now all that is left is a church, and Torpedo Wire Company, and a few houses. We headed on towards Grand Valley, to celebrate Rachel's second birthday. Rachel is my great niece, the daughter of my niece, Kelly. The boy is my great nephew, the son of my other niece Kristi, who stands behind her boy. The fellow in the background is my Tim. We stopped by my sister and brother in law's place...
and came away with fresh-from-the-farm brown eggs. They have cows and chickens.
It was a nice weekend.


A Novel Woman said...

Great post. I love those star bricks, btw. Never heard of them before, but can you imagine having a whole house with little stars on it? I can.

And thank you for posting a photo of yourself with Mary. You guys look so happy together!

I could live in either of those first couple of houses, although I'm partial to the second one. (sigh)

Paula said...

Hey that was a great trip ... for you and us!!

Glad you had a nice w/e!

steviewren said...

Another great day in the life of!

You might be able to sell those bricks in Texas. They put stars on everything there. In fact I believe you aren't allowed to move to TX unless you agree to display the 5 pointed star somewhere inside or outside you home.

BUSH BABE said...

My favourite shot in there? The one of you and Mary... what great smiles. Loved the guided tour - will have to print these out so I can find my way when I come visit!!!

Kelly said...

Another great trip with you! Doesn't it make you see everything differently when you're explaining it and sharing it with others?!

The Factory said...

It's all America and stuff. Cool !

Bill of Wasilla said...

I wish I could break some of those eggs.

I truly enjoyed your tour and, once again, left with the feeling that had actually taken it. I could even feel and smell the air.

I think your idea of photographing all these old places where people used to make things but don't anymore is a good one.

Did kids ever get mad at you, for ringing that bell and bringing their recess to an end?

Anonymous said...

Yes I love the photo of you and Mary, also the picture stories of your home areas and days. Really brings it all to life. Also like the snow pictures - very picturesque, but gaahhh, the cold! Will be content to look at the pics and visit in warmer weather I think.
Thanks for the great posts. Love Barb

WhiteStone said...

I, too, love the photo of you and Mary! It's wonderful to have friends going back to childhood! Mine are all elsewhere and not close by. Sigh!

Mikey said...

That is the best, that last pic. Love me some farm fresh eggs!! That makes the whole trip worth it :)
Love those old houses, and the stories about how you grew up in that area. 5 star bricks, I had no idea!!
I learn a lot from you, Lady. A lot!