Sunday, February 22, 2009

Historical Deja Vu

Augusta opened its first dog park a couple of weeks ago, and I wanted to take Bailey, so we loaded up and went in search of this elusive park last Sunday morning.

The dog park is located inside Historic Pendleton King Park, which I had never heard of, despite working in Augusta (although I live across the state line in Aiken, so maybe I can be forgiven for this.)

At any rate, Google AND the Park's Own Website gave the park's location as Wrightsboro and Troupe. I even looked up this corner on Google Maps, so I would have a vague notion of where we were headed. I knew that Troupe street was somewhere downtown, and I knew where Wrightsboro was, so I wasn't extremely concerned about getting there.

So then I proceeded to get lost THREE times trying to find this Park.

The first time was because I wanted to buy a soccer ball on my way to the park, because poor Bailey's soccer balls are in pitiful shape, so as I rounded a corner headed toward where I felt the park should be, I discovered I was right in front of the 15th street Kroger, so I ran in there hoping to find a soccer ball.

No soccer ball, and no balls of any sort ("those are seasonal items, Ma'am", according to the 3 Kroger employees clumped together in the toy aisle), so I asked decided to go ahead and ask these 3 folks for some directions to the park, and all 3 of them agreed that I was nowhere near the park (WRONG) and sent me off in a completely different direction.

So once I knew for sure I was way way way too far out of town to ever find the park, I started hunting for Wrightsboro, which I vaguely knew was off to my left somewhere - figuring that if I could find Wrightsboro, I could then take another left, heading back toward downtown, and I would eventually locate Troupe street, and voila - there would be the park.

So I finally found Wrightsboro, and turned left, and started looking for Troupe street.

About 8 miles later, I found it - and no park.

So I decided I had 2 options - turn right or left on Troupe, and hope for the best. I chose to turn right, and drove, and drove, and Troupe turned into Kissingbower, and I got concerned again.

At this point, a cyclist was approaching from the other direction, and I wildly waved my left arm out the window, and he stopped, and I asked where this mysterious park was, and he said it was right down the road - pointing in the direction I was already headed.

I rounded the curve, and sure enough, I was in fact so close to the park entrance that I was going too fast to make the Left turn into the entrance, and had to drive about 50 more feet, turn right onto Woodland, and turn around to go back to the park.

And this is when I had my big deja vu moment.

There was a cute little, extremely familiar looking, brick house on the corner of Woodland and Kissingbower.

Kissingbower is not exactly the kind of street name you forget -
and one of my great aunts and uncles had lived in a brick house on Kissingbower many years ago, and as I child my family had visited and stayed out their house many, many times.

But I didn't remember any park being across the street from the house - all I remembered was the brick house, and that it was on a corner, and that it had a brick wall on the corner of it, that we parked behind.

I was absolutely convinced that this house was, in fact, my great aunt and uncle's (Ola and Hodges Herndon) house - so of course, I parked the car inside the park, and dragged Bailey and the camera out of the park, and started stalkerishly photographing this house from all different angles - to send the pics to my parents for confirmation.

It took a week, but my folks finally confirmed that this was indeed my great aunt and uncle's house. My Mother said that back when we visited there, the front yard was huge, and filled with many large pine trees - and she suspects these were all lost for the sake of road-widening, because Kissingbower used to be quite the quiet little avenue. Which it certainly isn't anymore.

My Mom remembers that when she was growing up, and also when they took us there when I was a child, there was a huge plot of undeveloped land across the street from the house.

My Dad did a little research, and found this site which talks more about the Pendletons and the park. Seems the Park dedication sign is dated 1955, but development of the park didn't even begin 'til 1966 - so that is why none of us remember the park being there. I will not even begin to tell you how old I was when we last visited that house - but it was probably around 1966 or 1967.
That driveway at the bottom of this pic is the entrance to Pendleton King Park - literally right across the street from the house where I spent lots of happy time growing up.

Ola was my maternal grandmother's sister - and Hodges was her husband, but we all called him Unk. Lots of great memories of playing in that house!

Bailey talks about his visit to the doggie park here. He's looking for some friends, and he'd also love some votes in his poll. He evidently believes that if "Pizza" wins, things will drastically be changing around here, as far as his current diet is concerned.
Hmmmm. Or maybe they will - I enjoy a good pizza as much as the dog currently lying against my right side....
And I bought Bailey a brand new soccer ball last night, and we will be heading back to the park soon.


The Muddy Moose Bath Boutique said...

great blog, your are a very good story teller! Off to check out bailey! I am following you! Looking forward to more great posts!

Sweet Freedom said...

Thanks, Muddy - nice to meet you!