Where I spent my formative years.

Where I spent my formative years.

Beside the house where I grew up, there was an empty lot – a gap between our house and the next house to our East. The area was used as a pathway for pedestrians and bicycles; a shortcut between our street (McAllister) and the next street to the north (Berkley).

I had to mow the lawn in the quadrant abutting our yard, but that was small price to pay for having access to such a huge space – perfect for kids looking for a place to play any game you can imagine. Well…maybe not hide and seek… but certainly games like badminton, soccer, croquet, and lawn darts (I understand you can no longer even BUY that game for safety reasons!)

When I was quite young, they even installed four giant boulders in a row – halfway along and perpendicular to the path – to discourage cars from trying to hop the curb and take the shortcut. The boulders were ideal for climbing and I had hours of fun pretending they were mountains for my action figures to climb. I knew every nook and cranny of those boulders.

And yet, despite having spent much of my childhood on that land, I never knew what it was actually called! Oh, I THOUGHT I knew what it was called: the Right Away. It wasn’t until years later that I learned I had just misheard my parents saying Right of Way.

Kind of glad I didn’t know it was just some city ordinance terminology dreamt up by bureaucrats. By comparison, “right away” seems like a perfect name for a shortcut.


2 responses »

  1. jandjsmum says:

    Ah….those are memories for sure! Im sort of surprised the the “right of way” is still there. I figured some eager developer would have put 2 houses on it by now. I hope whoever lives in 400 McAllister now has kids to enjoy it like we did.

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