Saturday, September 1, 2018

Itty Bitty Teeny Tiny 16125

I was born and lived in small town America for the first 14.5 years of my life.

And I thought by tossing the zip code on there it would make it hip and cool like "90210" or something... did it work?

I recently got the chance to go back for a quick visit (that was NOT a funeral) - and so I decided to take a run around town and snap some pics of my yester-years.

The town is kinda movie-esque... no?

I mean it looks like a studio backlot to me!

If I'm being 100% totally honest... I don't hold fond memories of this place.

I know a lot of them exist - but a lot of dark ones have clouded them out.

But I had to admit - the quaint little place is kinda cool in a weird, backwoods, small town kind of way.

The architecture all over the town is super impressive... like this church.

And this weird little house across the street!

Oh... and this CLEARLY HAUNTED house!

The "down town" has a pretty cool look to it...

With railroad tracks running right through some tight alleyways!

As I kept running - I came up on this brick road with this impressive building on it.

I love this building!

My grandfather worked at this Post Office and I actually DO have fond memories of running down the hall back to his office to visit him here.

He was a great guy... and the few fond familial memories I have managed to maintain typically involve him and my grandma!

I picked up the pace a bit but I had to pause at this spot...

See - Greenville was a railroad town in its heyday - and this was one of the spots where a large rail yard used to be.

But not anymore... now it's just empty. And kind of sad.

But they do have a pretty cool railroad park in town... yay for preserving memories!

Then I ran up on this school...

This used to house the fourth, fifth and sixth grades but JUST THIS YEAR has closed down as they merged those grades back into the elementary school.

Fond memory alert...

This spot here is where we used to lay down cardboard and break-dance before the first bell alerted us to get inside!

See? I've always been hip-hop!

This basketball hoop here - behind the above school - is SUPER SPECIAL to me.

I can't tell you how much time I spent just shooting hoops and kicking it right here with one of my very best friends - Tye.

More on him in a bit.

I kept on running and eventually hit the track that started it all for me - where I did my first Hershey Track and Field meets and fell in love with running!

Had to a do a lap around that oval for old time's sake!

I knew I couldn't avoid this spot - as much as my mind may have wanted to.

Bentley Ave. Where I grew up when i lived there.

I ran by the house we lived in - and honestly came back by maybe 5 or 6 times - but could never bring myself to take a pic.

I saw my old window in my room - and all kinds of feels came back... and not majority good.

I couldn't hang around long... so I kept on running!

Had to take a picture of my bus stop to show the goofballs!

Spent many a morning right here - just down the street from our house - waiting for the big yellow bus.

With all the unpleasant memories bouncing around in my head - I needed to see something that could bring a smile.

So I ran to the baseball fields.

So many games and so many rounds of home run derby went down right here.


I also passed this building... this used to be our local hangout spot... the East Side Dairy.

You could get ice cream, penny gum and Swedish fish, pop, snacks, etc.

Man... we frequented this place a LOT.

Great memories but said to see it no longer a store...

No trip down memory lane would be complete without cruising up Chambers Ave. to see the spot where I spent CRAZY AMOUNTS of time!

This was the house of one of my very best friends and if truth be told... his family became more like my family - with his mom and sister and cousins and extended family embracing me to the core (God Bless them for that!).

It was running by here that I realized - yeah - I had some pretty poopy memories from this town - but I also gained some pretty amazing people in my life here too.

And most of them came from this house!

Like this gem of a lady!

That's Aunt Josephine... she's kicking it in her 90s and is as awesome as can be!

She keeps me laughing and keeps me feeling loved like only she can do!

And then there were these guys...

I've always stayed in touch with Tony... but I hadn't seen Eric or Chris in like 20+ years!

And we picked right back up where we were!

Some relationships and friendships can transcend time, space and distance... and that just amazes me!

So great to hang with these guys for a while and commit to staying in touch better.

And then finally... there is this.

I mentioned Tye earlier.

I can't be in Greenville and not go visit his grave.

His race ended WAY TOO EARLY on graduation night (for me - day before for him)... and I will ALWAYS have a tie to this place because of our friendship.

Look western Pennsylvania... I'm not gonna say I exorcised my demons on this trip - that didn't happen at all.

But for the first time... I did find it enjoyable to be there (not for a funeral... whew!) and am thankful for the little bit of love (well - more like "like") I uncovered for the beauty of your quaint little self.

Til next time Greenville... keep it real!

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