Nude Across America Pt.20: Back to the Hood

2021-07-06
In New York, we visited the neighborhood that DF grew up in and walked to her old school. She with her brother described every house and who lived in them a long time ago. Memories flood in sometimes. I’m about to have a similar experience, filled with reflections on influences, time, life and values.
In the late 1960’s I lived in Battle Creek, Michigan for a time. I still have friends, the guys in the ‘ol gang that one calls brother. I got the opportunity to get back, to have a visit and look at some of my roots.
The Old Home
Ohio slips by more quickly than expected.
We soon find ourselves stopped at a roadside picnic stop in Southern Michigan. We’re searching for “suitable attire” for our visit. We have to wait out a few car’s passing and use some open doors, as we, ick, dress.
As I arrange for my visit, I remember getting into Mark Korn’s old jalopy of a black Oldsmobile boat as a teenage group and going for “a cruise” out I-10, to a rest stop. Just enough time to have a cigarette, or two, before heading home for the night.  I’m surprised when I realize that this was that place! I’m in the vicinity of Battle Creek, closer than I know, just a seven minute smoke away.
During this journey, each region along the way has had its styles, from the influence of history, passing fashion, regional climate, or ethnic influences. Street signs bear languages other than English, red brick replaces stucco. It is all very subtle, but very clear, if you’re looking. Michigan is Michigan, by the foliage, the types of crops, the soil and lay of the land.
We find my ‘ol …

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