Hey! That’s my auntie in the Washington Post this week. What a wonderful piece of writing from Georgia Lewis. Here’s a sample. Read it all here.
The year I was 13 my family moved from decaying, downtown Buffalo to a brand-new house in the suburbs. It was barely beyond the city limits, but it was a world away from what I’d known: street games, front porches and sidewalks; crowded flats with immigrant families and their assorted relatives; pungent odors of ethnic cooking; people sitting outside at night, sharing stories and troubles, teaching one another how to crochet or can tomatoes or speak English.
Our new neighbors were American-born, middle-class, polite but distant. They drove cars and sat on their private backyard patios. No front porches, no sidewalks, no visiting with neighbors as you walked to the corner store. No foreign accents and noisy extended families. These were the things we left behind.
I understood that our move was part of the American dream. But it wasn’t my dream. I didn’t want to move up. I missed the communal life…
I wasn’t the only one lamenting our success. My grandmother wept quietly for months. My mother phoned our old neighbors daily. My sister went back to the dilapidated old high school for her senior year. My father must have been bewildered.