Fun with street view
about my long-standing preference for walking or biking, I traced it back to a rebellion against my mother's absolute refusal to walk. She had no physical reason; just hated walking and insisted on driving absolutely everywhere.
She would drive around the block for a half hour to grab the parking place nearest the door of a store, thus saving a half minute of walking.
The most egregious example happened in 1956 when we lived near Bluemont School
. As I remembered it, our rented house was exactly across the street from a little convenience store. Then as now, convenience stores had limited stock and high prices, so we didn't shop there often; but on occasion she'd need something in the middle of baking a pie or whatever. She would walk out to the garage, get in the car, start the car, back down the driveway, then turn into the driveway of the store. Process reversed after purchase.
This seemed so weird, illogical and time-wasting that I really didn't trust my memory. Was the store really that close? Or was it a couple blocks away, which might justify driving for most people?
Google Street View answered the question.
In the top picture, our rented house is the one on the left. A fine spacious bungalow. Still solid, remarkably unchanged since 1956. Only the driveway and garage have been redone. (This bungalow was actually a better and roomier house than the new 'suburban ranch' we bought the next year, and this location was much more walkable than the new subdivision. But the cramped new rancher was in a higher-status area. In 1956, keeping up with the Joneses was mandatory and 'walkable' was a bad quality.)
The middle picture is turned 90 degrees at the same location; included only to provide 'chain of evidence'. You can see the white Dodge pickup on the left and the store on the right.
Lower picture is turned another 90 degrees and slid about 30 feet to the west. There's the store. Shortly after we moved out of the neighborhood, the store closed in a rather unusual way. The owner killed his wife, then ran his hands through the meat-grinder in a suicide attempt. Didn't work, and he ended up in the insane asylum. Clearly the building has been a student apartment since then; also relatively unchanged.
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Much later and more sympathetic memory: My father's boss lived in the next house east (left) of the one we rented. After hiring my father, the boss had arranged for us to rent this house; perhaps he even owned it. (I didn't pay attention to adult details at that age!) Status was surely part of the reason for moving away from that neighborhood, but the discomfort of living next to the boss must have been a bigger factor.
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Much much later and less sympathetic memory: My mother did the same damn thing 20 years later. Parents lived on Broadway in Enid, with a major grocery store kitty-corner from the house. Mother preferred a more fashionable store on the other side of town, but when she needed a quick purchase, she walked to the garage, started the car, backed down the long narrow driveway, backed out across both lanes onto busy Broadway, drove 100 feet to the store's street parking, parked, and walked into the store. I never understood this strange requirement, and she never understood why I preferred to walk.