Friday, May 17, 2013

Rooming House Memory

I have this in my vague memory. When I was in elementary school, I made friends with a girl whose family lived across the street from the school in a two story boarding house, which was also across the street from Long's Grocery, one of those pitiful horrid southern groceries in a converted house. Come to think there were several of those types in the neighborhood, groceries, not boarding houses. And for those of you just joining me, this is a black neighborhood in Florida in the mid to late 1980s.
Her family lived in a dark single room on the bottom floor, of the place. She lived with her mother, father, and I think a sibling or siblings. Thinking back to yesterday's post, that housing option would not be available. They didn't live in public housing, because on another side of the school campus were "the projects," garden style apartments like the Section 8 one my sister used to live in. Those existed but for some reason, this family did not live in them. They didn't live in a mobile home park, and the city had a bunch of those for a time (which would get wiped out by an act of nature with whatever hurricane ran through). Nor at the time did they live in some falling down shack like my parent's house (which is why I want to set the damned thing on fire), of which the black neighborhood of my hometown has tons of, still. They did eventually move, because we weren't friends no more. Did they move to a better option than a bunch of people crammed into a stuffy room? Hopefully, but if they existed today, they might be homeless, since hurricanes and the city eliminated most of the cheap living arrangements between on the streets and subsidized/public housing.
Looking at Google maps I see that Long's is still there, but the rooming house is no more.

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