Indianola Avenue

 

I can’t speak for any other place

In the long history of the sordid human race

But all that I am and all that I do

Comes in part from growing up on Indianola Avenue

 

My Mother Martha Jane brought us there when I was three

And there we stayed till we were grown to be what we would be

Divorced, she worked just up the street at Kermits’ Village Hardware

It paid the rent and bought our food with not much more to spare

 

But we were happy, warm, and safe and seldom had a fear

The babysitters came and went – a new one every year

While Mother worked they gave us space to find out who we are

Exploring alleys and the High St. woods we trampled near and far

 

I felt the freedom of the time when no one locked their door

I think back now with a smile, we couldn’t have asked for more

At four o’clock Christmas morn all our wishes met with joy

For the hardware store where Mother worked also sold lots of toys

 

And the owner Kermit Hargis would never turn Mom down

For the credit to buy us every toy on every Christmas round

Throughout the years I worked there too, it’s where I learned my future trade

At ten I got a paper route which led to many escapades

 

At four on Sunday mornings I would ride my bike downtown

To pickup Sunday papers – but first I’d mess around

I’d climb up on the roofs of the buildings on the square

And try to catch a pigeon still asleep and nesting there

 

O’ the feeling of such freedom all alone before the dawn

Riding my bike on those empty streets or climbing alone before dawn

I did not feel the sting of war or protests in the streets

Still a child I played ‘Army’ while the Vietnam War ‘played’ on TV

 

There were always kids around to play; our street was full of noise

We often got some teams together for baseball, football or just boys being boys

But mostly I loved basketball – I played it all year long

There was nothing like the way I’d feel to hear that “swish”-ing song

 

 

But then at thirteen I discovered girls, or they discovered me

‘Hormone-driven’ I’d have to say – there was nothing stopping me

I had to have those sweet young things – at any cost I would later see

I lost all sight of what was right or the risk of pregnancy (that’s a whole other story)

 

The only thing I wanted more was to play drums in a band

And in the basement of our home is where it all began

With Baldwin, Ape, and Centimole we rocked the best we could

We thought we were so good and cool – a lot more than we should

 

From that damp beginning grew   a dream that wouldn’t die

It burns me still the hope that I’ll make music sweet and high

To touch the souls of those who hear and open up their eyes

To greater truths and happiness to grow until they’re wise

 

For yes there was another side of me I failed to say

That grew among the rocks and soil on Indianola ‘Way’

A search for truth and meaning, a Christian ‘epiphany’

A dream of love unending, the way it was meant to be

 

A heart that felt too deeply the miseries of man

A mind that looked behind the myths of ‘freedom’ in this land

A spirit that rebelled against the evil ‘corporate’ world

Yet ended up its servant, his ‘freak flag’ now unfurled

 

So many things I learned there, so many memories

Frisbee with ol’ David Roach, with Chuck Butler climbing trees

Raising pigeons, chickens, hawks; so much was there to do

In that little house with its little yard, on Indianola Avenue

 

They say you can’t go home again but one thing that’s for sure

I’ll never forget those halcyon days we joyfully endured

Love shared with ones family and friends will never die

As long as we remember – in our hearts it will abide.

 

                                                                                   Thomas Theodore Welborn

                                                                                                           12-31-07

 

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