From Chicagoland to the outskirts of nowhere… how the family farm came to be
Back in the ’70s, my parents decided it was time to leave Euclid Avenue—a busy, tree-lined street in the Chicago suburbs that slowed to a crawl on Sundays during horse racing season with people on their way to the Arlington Race Track.
They were ready for a quieter setting. Somewhere we’d be less likely to get run over by a car, like the boy across the street who got caught on the wrong end of traffic and ended up with a broken leg.
My dad grew up in Chicago, my mom in the suburbs. And, throwing caution to the wind, they chose to pack up the family and move to Harvard, Illinois. Like Green Acres with kids and, well, sans glamorous Eva Gabor.
We left Arlington Heights toward the end of my fourth grade.
I had to say goodbye to the love of my life, Jason, who never reciprocated my feelings and later went on to become a Hollywood actor. Good-bye to my friend Susie who I met in kindergarten on the way to or from the birthday spanking machine.* Carol and Renee. The public pool and the dime store Kresge’s that were within bike-riding distance. (Ah, Kresge’s… where candy bars were a quarter. I’d load up on $100,000 bars, Sweet Tarts, Pixie Stix and devour ’em all when I returned home. Nothing left but hastily torn wrappers and a bit of Pixie dust.)
* A line-up of kids whose legs we had to crawl through on our shared November 2nd birthday while they attempted to spank us. Is this a Midwest thing?