Well one night we needed something for cooking (I forget exactly what it was) and it was getting dark and rainy outside. So we both joked that we should go over the spooky house next door and ask if we could borrow what we needed. Well as the conversation went on we ended up daring each other to do it. My curiousity was getting the better of me so I decided I would do it. I walked slowly over there though the rain looking at the mannequins peering out of the upstairs windows. I didn't know what to expect when I knocked on the door. As I waited holding my breath I heard someone slowly approaching the door from the inside of the house.
The door slowly opened and there stood a fairly large man dressed in overalls, he somewhat reminded me of a farmer. I asked him if we could borrow something (I think think it was sugar) and he told me to wait there that he would be right back. I've watched a lot of horror movies in my time, and looking around I have to admit I had some thoughts about Psycho, Texas Chainsaw Massacre etc... there were various mannequins around the house some dressed some not. I was actually pretty fascinated by the scene as I stood there waiting for his return.
It turned out that Francis (his name( was actually a pretty interesting and cool guy even though he was a little quirky. (aren't we all) He lived alone and made his living collecting things and sometimes reselling them,I would see him driving his van around collecting cardboard from various businesses and a few times I helped him unload his van. The mannequins were part of his collecting and he would dress them up in womans clothing. It turned out that he liked to sometimes dress up in woman's clothing as every now and then I would see him walking around in his upstairs window dressed as a woman. I've always liked people who were a little quirky or odd, and I'm glad I ended up talking to and meeting Francis he was always friendly whenever I talked to him.
I am now living back in the area near the trail and close to where the house was I used to live in. I walked by there the other day and noticed that it was now just a vacant lot where Francis' house used to be. It really made me sad to see. Apparently he had passed away and someone else had bought the property and the house had been torn down. I still have good memories of the time I spent in that house.I was in my early 20's in college and met a lot of interesting people. I remember one night I was writing a paper and my girlfriend and a few of her friends stopped by and wanted me to go out with them.
When I got back late that night I had writers block and saw that all I had written was "It's about changes..." which can be used as a metaphor for how things change as we journey through life, for some reason I've always remembered those words I had written down years ago.
Sometime though, I think that "progress" isn't always a good thing and that it would be nice to be able to go back and revisit some of those memories places gone by. One of my favorite episodes of one of my favorite shows The Twilight Zone is the episode entitled "A Stop At Willoughby" you can read more about the episode here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Stop_at_
This episode was written by Rod Sterling and was apparently one of his favorite episodes. It speaks of wanting to leave the fast paced modern day ever changing world and wanting to go to a peaceful place in ones memories. Sometimes I think of this episode as I did the day I walked back down the trail from my past and saw how things had changed. I wish the house was still there but it's still a peaceful and comforting place near Memorial Park that I like to return too at times.