An Unconventional Sense of Nostalgia

Cleveland Memories 1950’s

Nostalgia is a remembrance of our treasured times , lost, silenced stories of neighbors and neighborhoods, extinct forms of technology, vanished jobs and the human emotions that we attached to those membranes are at the center of my nostalgia. Nostalgia is a valid, honorable, ancient human emotion that arises from a lost connection from our past. What stands out for me was the warmth of memories of my family, friends, and neighborhood. I was most impressed by the geographical and emotional closeness that gave me a seamless connection to my community. I lived in a neighborhood where walkability was an unheard of word. I walked, rode a bike, or grabbed a ride on the streetcar or bus to get to most anyplace of interest.
My nostalgia is not for something lost, or for something I never had to begin with, or that never existed at all. My nostalgia is rooted in a keepsake of memories that helped to create, mold, and guide my personal growth through adolescence. As I studied photographs from the past, in that moment, I am connected; it is like I placed a phone call directly into the past and heard an answering voice.
“Hello, Mrs. Moore, thank you for coming to open house. Your son, Reynolds, has a way about him. When he decides to do something, he becomes determined and gets it done,” voiced Mr. David Long, sixth grade teacher at Cleveland’s Case School. Ironically, I became a teacher, and sixteen years later during a training session, I was able to rekindle my relationship with my former teacher.
Revisiting the past through photographs brings a feeling that overcomes at times, especially if I can see a momentary restoration of beauty around a person, place, or thing. As you view these vintage photos from the 1950’s, it is my hope that as you make your phone call into the past, that you hear an answering voice.

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