It’s February, and naturally our thoughts turn to love. Like all good love stories, the ones that grow with time are the best. In 1965, my husband, Bryant, bought our Dallas home and began his love affair with the house and the neighborhood.
He bought the home from its original owner, whose husband had been killed in World War II. It was a time when just about any house in the neighborhood could be had for between $7,000 and $8,500. It was also one of the few areas, as a young Dallas firefighter, he could afford to buy his first home.
When Bryant moved in, his son was three years old, and the only child on the block.
In that era, everyone did their own lawns, rear-entry drives were virtually non-existent, and a second floor was a rarity.
His relationship has been challenged through the years by the replacement of drafty windows, fixing foundation issues, central air and heat installation, kitchen and bath remodels, building a garage, replacing the driveway, and everything else that goes with living in a 100-year-old home. But he and the home worked through their differences, and he knows he’d never leave it for somewhere else.
Today, 55 years later, the romance is still going strong, but has grown with the times. Property values have of course changed, as have the number of rebuilds and second stories, lawn services and rear-entry garages.
He’s heartened that others continue to fall and stay in love with the neighborhood. Today, on our block, where his three-year-old had no little neighbors to play with, there are eight children experiencing life as friends and neighbors.
And, falling in love with their neighborhood.