The Fennell Trove of historic images and documents has been providing us with a very interesting glimpse into the past of our community. Nancy Fennell Hawkins left Maplewood in 1954. Yet still she feels connected to this small plot of turf. Just what is it that makes some folks feel most connected to the planet when they are within the city boundaries?
I’ve thought about this. I don’t know the answer. I’m one of the connected, I suppose. I have been 44 years in the same house. Even as I write this, I wonder how could this be? My wife and I have long been able to afford to move somewhere else. Truth is we’ve never really seriously looked anywhere else.
Homes have come up for sale within a few blocks of where I live. Some have larger kitchens which my wife would like. Some have a bedroom and a bathroom on the first floor, which we both would like. Some have a large two-car garage which I would like. But so far we’re staying firmly planted.
The sun is on my home until it sinks below the horizon…all year long. It doesn’t disappear behind a home on the other side of the street because there isn’t one. It doesn’t set early because my home is not on the eastern side of a hill as some others are. We have adapted almost perfectly to living where we do. Many of our neighbors have as well. They have been on the block for decades.
Nancy Fennell left when she was 18 in 1954. She still treasures her memories of growing up here and her family connection to Maplewood. And why not? It’s a pretty good place to live.
I have an advantage over the reader because I have had Nancy’s excellent book, I Remember When – Memories of Growing Up in Maplewood, Missouri 1936-1954, at my side the whole time I’ve been constructing these posts. She has included an incredible amount of detail about what life in Maplewood was like during her time here. Not only that she is a good writer. Take a look at her book at the Maplewood Public Library. I should be done with it in another week or so. I guarantee you won’t regret it.
I will have one more post from this pile of artifacts that Nancy has lent us. It will consist of loosely connected addenda to her family story. There are some very interesting items still unseen. I think you’ll like them.