Yesterday was our return trip to Eldorado. Rather than not having been there for over twenty years…it had been less than a week since my last visit. Jonathon and MJ were with me this time. Our first stop was the Orpheum Theatre. Jonathon said that he has heard me speak of the Orpheum so often and write about it on a semi-frequent basis..that he was excited to see it. He recently discovered a set of DVDs that have many of the old horror classics on them. We are in the planning stages of him and Aaron and me watching them…as he pronounced, ‘These movies are some of the ones that you watched as a kid in the Orpheum!’ I vividly recall watching both Frankenstein and Dracula movies at the Theatre on the weekends. Many of them were the Hammer Studios Horror movies that were produced in the 1960s and others were the historic classics. I quaked in my seat and munched on my popcorn…and wondered what was around the next corner.
Grandma Askews’ house was the meeting place for our extended family. She lived in Beulah Heights in what I remembered as a large home with a giant porch with great stones supporting the infrastructure. In the days of my youth Grandmas and Aunt Guelda and Aunt, Vema would sit on the Massive Porch and watch the sunset and the electric street lights come on. Their terminology of the lighting of the lamps was…’Look…they are getting yellow!’…and this was a source of constant evening entertainment. Grandma did not own a television and came from a church that referred to them as ‘Hellavision’ which may seem odd today but was fairly common in the heyday of the Holiness Churches. Aunt Vema lived with Grandma for many years and when she moved out to marry Uncle Ed…Aunt Guelda came to live with her mom. Grandmas’ children were evenly split between two fathers…and Vema and Guelda were half-sisters. Guelda had an antique Pump Organ in her bedroom…along with a portable TV…and she played and sang… as she tickled the keyboard of the ancient instrument. My friend Debbie Richardson lived next door to Grandma and we got into many adventures. The name of the street that the old homes are on is Richardson Street in honor of Debbie’s father. Grandmas’ house was smaller than I had recalled and the porch seemed unremarkable…until I remembered the many fun and family moments that we had spent both in our Matriarchs’ Home and on…the Great Porch…
Hillcrest School was another important place in my childhood history to see. Much of the original School is gone and replaced with a newer model. I could see one section that was the original. I took MJ and Jonathon by the house that my Aunt Wanda and Uncle Bill lived in…as well as my cousins, Brenda and Billy. I remembered how close that it was to Hillcrest School, which is no longer named Hillcrest and has not been for many years, and the short walk home that I had when I stayed with Aunt Wanda and Uncle Bill for a short time.
One year I received a miniature pool table for Christmas. It became my goal to be another Minnesota Fats…who was a famous Pool Shark and actually lived in Dowell, Illinois which is just a few miles from my home. I so enjoyed playing pool on my half-pint pool table…that I gravitated to attending the local Pool Hall in Eldorado. Dennis and I would go often and I became pretty…pretty…pretty…good… I had always heard that pool halls lead to trouble…but I could not find any…as hard as I sought for it.
We have been making an annual trek to Eldorado for most of the last twenty years. Our Accountant is Edmistier Accounting…but it is on highway #45 and removed from the Town Square. Our new accountant is Tabitha…and I could see the significance of the lovely name…when magic followed us through the Town…
Great photos… and such a wonderful history!
Thank you, my friend.