The Long Way Home


Mill Street Blues
October 16, 2015, 6:31 AM
Filed under: Art Gallery | Tags: , , , ,
Mill Street, Coraopolis

Mill Street, Coraopolis

This is the place where I’d bike along the tree-lined street to escape our stifling hot apartment. This is the place where Sherry’s Drugs sold fountain malts, where I’d buy pantyhose at Nola’s to match my color guard uniform. This is the place that housed a café where my friends and I scraped together our first-job cash to order grilled cheeses. This is where I asked a hairdresser to make me look like Louise Brooks. Where I’d buy daisies for my mother, where I’d peek through the windows of revolving stores, each struggling to keep pace with a changing world. This is the place where I ate my first violet pastilles, tiny sugar-coated aniseed in a floral tin imported from France. They taste like sweet, cheap perfume, there isn’t any other way to describe it; I became hooked. They made me want to try the rose-flavored ones, then a candy flecked with hot pepper. They gave me a taste of life outside that small river town – one was never enough. This is the place where I sat on a bench planning my first train trip alone, where my life as an artist began.

Gem Way, Garfield/Pittsburgh

Gem Way, Garfield/Pittsburgh

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6 Comments so far
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I love how you describe our little hometown! I feel like no matter what hardships we experienced, we knew every shopkeeper, every secret nook and cranny of the alleys we rode our bikes through, every secret the moms thought we didn’t know…makes me nostalgic for those days that our lives were limited to a 1 mile x 1/2 mile territory!

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Comment by anonymom

Thanks! You know those times, how we lived it – and even in all the shared experiences, we each have our way of looking back. I miss it too, in a strange way. There were tough times, but I miss those long days where imagination took over and made it better.

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Comment by Lisa

The “like” button doesn’t come close to how I feel about this (and really, ALL) your posts. But I don’t know how else to say how I feel, other than, they make me FEEL something that is so real and close, things that I had forgotten…growing up in a town that everyone treated like a tired prizefighter. Thank you…

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Comment by allisonsciullo

I read this comment yesterday, and carried it with me till now – thank you for reading, that means a lot. These are things that over the years, I’ve thought about, but only recently, have found ways to put into words (the best I can). “A town that everyone treated like a tired prizefighter” – beautiful, dead-on way to describe these forgotten little towns, and the lives that make them.

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Comment by Lisa

…very moving, Lisa!!…

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Comment by Kari Jeppesen

thanks, kari – I almost thought about not posting, but now i’m glad I did. x

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Comment by Lisa




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