I often think about how my family, maternal and paternal ended up in the town I was born in and where I spent my formative years, until I got the hell out of there. Both of my grandfathers moved to the town to work at the Steel Mill in the 1950s. From California, from Kansas - places that were worlds away from this place. The Steel Mill was such an ominous fixture in the town, that growing up with it you developed a fondness for it because it was part of you and your own childish identity, it was part of the skyline and it was a landmark for knowing where you were at all times - the smoke stacks being the tallest thing around. It was with a sentimental sadness that I noted some of the towers disappearing over the years. A few were taken down when I still lived there, almost fifteen years in the past. Now, when I go home to visit, there remain just a skeletal few to hold vigil on the horizon. It's not that I think the smokestacks are a lovely part of that place, in fact it's just part of the memory I do have of this place that I usually refer as a frozen reach of hell.
If these pictures do not recall inferno-like nightmares for you, I shudder to think of where you come from. It didn't look quite like these images when I lived there, but somehow these old postcards depict, perfectly, how I feel about that place. Except, now, it's just a ghost of itself, and that is even more sad than if it were still going full-steam into the farthest reaches of hell.

1 comment:

Hannah said...

Great old picks of pew town. I share your sense of it. Something close to beautiful, damaged, and most definitely ominous. I loved this post.