I lived on Weaver Ave in a suburb of Columbus. It was typical of the 1950s post-war houses that were springing up on the outskirts of many metropolises in the United States, giving way to suburbanization. I was five years old when my mom bought the house. My mom, like so many of her neighbors, decided to move away from the city as the crime rates started to climb. My father had died two years earlier, and my mom no longer felt safe raising three children alone in the city. She moved us to the suburbs. Our “new” house was smaller, a little over 1100 square feet, on one-floor with three-bedrooms and one-bathroom.
We made new friends and played in the backyards and basements of our neighbors. During the warmer months we played outdoors from morning until night. Kick-the-can, tag, and hide-and-seek were some of my childhood favorites. It was safe. Parents didn’t worry because someone’s mom – yes, it was often times the mom – knew where we were playing. Within a couple of short blocks was an elementary school with a large playground that included a sliding board, merry-go-round, swings, and a baseball diamond. We spent days and weekends running and playing in backyards and the school playground. This was our new home.