What becomes of a house left in disrepair for almost 10 years? Is a house still a home when it is uninhabitable? What happens to history when structural and residential changes occur? Those questions came to mind as I realized that the 29 days of February 2016, were almost gone and March was near. Unlike the short month of February, histories expand years. Memories extend beyond specific places and time.
Recalling my childhood home at 3922 Buchanan Street reminded me that histories and place matters. The home left in disrepair by Hurricane Katrina, no longer inhabitable, now torn down, is indelibly imprinted in my memory. Three bedrooms, one bathroom, kitchen, living room, den, back porch, garage, and double sized back yards were spaces where deposits of love, lessons (sometimes unpleasant but often needed), and living were regularly made by my parents, Herbert Lawrence and Queen Victoria Christmas Green. Those spaces were where history was made, where plans for future histories were discussed, and where remnants of past histories were remembered.
Memories and experiences that are part of our histories do not remain confined in the buildings or houses in which they were formed. Residents leave those houses, become members of larger communities, and from their “inside home” experiences interact and sometimes influence others. People benefit and learn from, agree and disagree about history. Communities change and sometimes stay the same.
I dare not forget “the faith that the past has taught [me].” I will forever stand, true to my birth home, true to the memories of my ancestors and remember that because they were, I am, and others will be!
What happens to history when place matters?
See you next month, baby!