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John Palcewski's Journal

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Half A Century Ago
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Youngstown, Ohio. The neighborhood where I grew up. The aerial view suggests a rather normal residential area, but up close it shows clear signs of decay and abandonment.

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Near the intersection of Superior and Delaware streets. My house was further down, to the left. The empty lots have been made level, unlike the ground in front of these two houses.

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Images 2. and 3. show where my house, and the house where Caroline and Mike Marino, my next-door neighbors, used to live.

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I would pass Jefferson Elementary School on my way to St. Casimr's Church and the school where the nuns always gave me nothing less than an A.

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50 Hampton Court, where my mother and her second husband, Bully, used to live.

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The site of the former Bo-K Tuxedo Rental, which my father built. He occupied the center of the three separate businesses, and collected rent from the other two.

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St. Casimir's Church. The elementary school was on the left of the structure.

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My neighborhood in April, 1950, when I was eight years old.

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This site has earlier aerial views.

The slow decline and gradual disappearance of once-thriving neighborhoods in so many old cities is depressing. Much of the suburban area of Los Angeles where I grew up has the opposite problem, becoming barely recognizable as the old is displaced by the new, but to me seeing that is often just as depressing.

I'm having some very mixed feelings about re-visiting where I grew up. There was virtually nothing positive about it, and I never regretting leaving when I was 17 to join the Air Force, and never returning. The up side is the fact that with Google Earth Pro I can quickly find ground-level shots of virtually any place I want. Saves me a lot of money for plane fare, motels, rental cars. As for the site with aerial views going back to the 1950s, I tried to get a shot of my neighborhood, but ran into a download problem. I've contacted the site admins to get help. Thanks for that link...

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