Jefferson & Claybrook – Circa 1976

The neighborhood I grew up in is called Madison Heights. I didn’t know that at the time and only recently learned that while researching other streets and neighborhoods for my podcast, Our Memphis History.  I mention it to give you an idea of how much you probably do not know about where you grew up. You may remember the closest convenience store (ours was just across Claybrook, I think it was called Stop n Go) or the neighbor who always said Hi and waved. But there was a time before you lived in your neighborhood. A time when things happened that were only a part of history and not your memory.

I just finished a book on local Memphis history and it was a treasure trove of locations of days gone by. There were hotels where famous people stayed which have now been torn down. Or businesses that once thrived but are now boarded up. I wish I knew more about those days and those events.

Other memories from growing up are crystal clear. Like the time it snowed 14 inches in March of 68 and it was almost level with our porch, which was 2 steps up from the ground. Or the time there was a terrible wreck in the middle of the night when an on call police car was hit by a speeding carload of Marines. The police car ended up in our front yard and my mother took care of the officer until the ambulance arrived.

I miss those days long ago of our youth. Our optimism was unsullied by time and our days were full of firsts. The good old days.

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