In a matter of minutes after spotting the wet footprint in the illuminated basement, and running from the light in the Angel with a Crown of Thorns House, we come across yet another abandoned house.
We are greeted by a partially collapsing porch, somehow still holding the weight of a giant rusted freezer and other appliances. As soon as I step up though, a soggy warped board snaps under my 190 pound frame. I catch myself with a little footwork and dance backwards into Ninja's arms, avoiding possible injury. We step back again. A symphony of crackling maple leaves accompanies our every step like a crispy Premier Gang Starr beat. Crackle crackle thump, crackle crackle thump. I photograph the front of the house, which is oddly void of windows.
Around back, we hope for any easier point of entry, which we encounter. Only to quickly discover that the kitchen floor has collapsed and further entry from this point is too hazardous.
Dinner is served
Eve r y thi n g F a l l s Apa r t
Another brick in the floor
Back out front, a pick-up truck flies by, and a man with a beard longer than mine waves at us as we step over the threshold, waving back at him. Cold war era appliances and empty 80s cola war cans first steal my attention.
Cola War Cans
Stove top nose drop
TIME OFF HOURS COOK
Ye olde hand crank
An envelope on the floor draws my fingers toward it as if magnetically, seeking out the needle in the chaos of clutter. It is addressed to Michael Howreluk. A shiver rises up my spine as i remove and unfold the page, which is dated February 16, 1982.
"...Who is Michael Howreluk?"
"I don't know but in 1982 he owed $646.70 to Texaco Canada..."
Several dated personal possessions are strewn about the floor of the entire house, everything from children's toys to women's shoes. Life seemingly stopped here in the 1980s. A teenage boy's Bauer hockey skate rests in peace atop a torn apart 30 cent copy of Mechanix Illustrated, dated September 1967. In a play room upstairs, a train set is dismantled and off track amongst boxes for race tracks and a Slavia 630 Standard air rifle. I spot and race toward an Etch A Sketch on the floor in the far corner, only to discover that it too seems to have died in the 80s. I continue to turn the poles that are missing their knobs, etching my invisible image, an abandoned house on the horizon, the place I am standing.
"...Howreluk, is that Czechoslovakian, this air rifle box says it is made in Czechoslovakia?"
"I'm not sure, but who the hell was Marilyn Bebee?"
This skate has been out almost as long as Crosby
Upstairs in the play room
Violence of the lambs
slavia 630 standard
Its in the bag
Medicine cabinet habit
Etch A Sketchy
Etch A Sketch 4S
"This school workbook, all of the assignments are dated 1939, Bunker Hill School, and signed by a Marilyn Bebee."
Assignments in math and English penciled onto lined paper 72 years before I'm standing here flipping the pages. Line after line of cursive writing, with gradual improvement in size, shape and style over the course of the year. William Blake's 'The Lamb' is etched in the innocent penciled print of a young girl. On the opposite page a very young Marilyn Bebee's letter writing exercise reads as follows.
Bunker Hill School,
January 16, 1939
We are learing about dairing in our Science lessons. We should like to visit your farm any day after school. Please let us know soon if we may come, and on what day.
Marilyn Bebee's 1939 Bunker Hill School workbook
Year 1939 - Flowers, Roots and Vegetables.
William Blake's THE LAMB
This post is dedicated to Marilyn Bebee & Michael Howreluk, however it may find them, in life or in memory.
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