Monday, October 10, 2011

Our House's Ghosts

1929.  The days of prohibition, Al Capone, jazz, the stock market crash, dance marathons.  The country was topsy-turvy and all abuzz with energetic chaos.  And here on my tiny plot of St. Louis land, a group of German immigrants got to work building a sturdy gingerbread house.

The house would stand through such major events as the Great Depression, WWII, and the assassination of JFK.  It lasted through ever-changing fads from bobby socks to bell bottoms to giant hair-sprayed bangs.  And it served as Home Sweet Home for an assortment of families throughout its decades.  We are the second family of Duncans to live in this house.  The previous Duncans lived here in the 50s and 60s.

So, you can only imagine the stories that live in these walls.  While we obviously never knew the many previous residents of the house on Rosa Ave., we do still hear from them in other ways.  You've just crossed over into...(cue theme music)....The Twilight Zone.

I promise, this is not as scary as you might think.  And it's probably not even close to what you might be thinking.  If you are the type of person who loves a good ghost story, I'm afraid I must disappoint you.  While we do not see any sheet-covered ghosts or simple orbs floating around our house, we have found messages from the past.  Allow me to share...

From our teenage 80s ghost.  Attic.
Probably my favorite.  From our 1940s or 50s little boy ghosts.  "Radio Parts Sold Here".  Attic.
Probably another from our teenage 80s ghost.  Attic.
Fingerprints from 1929...German carpenter ghost :)  Basement floorboards.
Math whiz ghost.  Bedroom door frame.
I cringe to think of all the other amazing messages that are buried under layers of paint.  Such a shame.  Some of the coolest stuff we found was during the bathroom renovation.  The floors and walls were stuffed with scraps of old newspapers from 1929.  Oddly enough, though, the papers were from Cleveland, Ohio, not St. Louis.  It was covered with gangster mug shots and the most flowery journalism you've ever heard.  But all this got me thinking...what messages can I leave behind?   Embarrassingly (or not), my first thought was to leave some Harry Potter reference inscribed in the walls of the attic (for example: Wingardium Leviosa, or D.A.)  Dork!  But I'll probably still do it.  So many options...

When my brother and I were growing up, we had to do some bedroom shuffling to accommodate for additional siblings.  My final destination was the home gym in the basement, remodeled to my very own bedroom/teenage hideout.  I definitely left some messages on the closet down there, the best of which is "I (heart) JTH" in purple fingernail polish.  Now every time my youngest brother Luke gets a shirt from his closet, he's reminded of his big sister's undying love for Jordan Taylor Hanson.  Sorry, brother.  Mmmbop.

Me and Taylor, on my sweatshirt.  True love, 1997-style.

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