Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Hollow


I lived the first eight years of my life at 609 E. Franklin St. in Delphi, Ind. (1 on this map) There was one more house to the east – a big brick double – and beyond that was a wooded ravine known locally as the Hollow.

My mother, who was extremely protective, warned me not to venture into the Hollow, which of course guaranteed that I did. I explored it thoroughly as did many of my friends.

The Hollow was bisected by Monroe Street and there were 20-30-foot high limestone cliffs on the east side of the north half of the Hollow, which is where Tom Goff and I practiced our mountaineering skills. Tom, who died a few years ago, lived in a big stone house on the west edge of the north half of the Hollow and was intimately familiar with its features. There was also an abandoned lime kiln in the north half that we explored.

We moved to 917 E. Columbia St. in April of 1954 (2 on the map), which meant my east end friends and I walked along Monroe Street through the Hollow every day to school (3 on the map). The original school building housed grades 1-12 and I spent my entire elementary, junior high and high school career there. It was razed in the 1980s and only the gym/cafeteria/band room structure remains.

The letter B represents a big buckeye tree that stood at the entrance to the City Park. Every fall for several years, my friends and I would spend an after-school hour or more throwing sticks into the tree to knock down buckeyes for our collections. I had a cigar box full of buckeyes that my mother eventually threw out.

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