This was a
walk run down memory lane; the majority of my childhood, I lived on 9th street in Rock Island. The route took me through my old neighborhood.
Starting off, I ran down 25th avenue, past Rocky High School: the entrance that I always used and the gym where I loathed participating. As I ran down Rocky hill, I took a few detours into the side streets to the south.
At mile marker 1, I turned north onto a small cul-de-sac that I never knew was there before. Back to 25th avenue, I continued west. As I approached 10th avenue, my grade school, Francis Willard was on my left. So many memories of fighting with girls, learning to paint and play the clarinet, and choose your own adventure books. At the northeast corner of 9th street and 25th avenue stands a white and red building that is Aunt Bea's Cafe; that building used to be the old candy store where my brothers and I would buy baseball cards and 40¢ candy bars. Continuing south on 9th street to turn east at 27th avenue, I remembered the time I fell off my bike, scraped up my leg pretty good and had to go to the hospital.
Just before the 2 mile mark, on 11th street, is Alphono's Pizza; it has been there for as long as I can remember. Then a funky cul-de-sac that looks like a driveway and leads to two houses. And another cul-de-sac, this one named Karlberg Ct. One of the homes butted up to our property when I was growing up; an older couple lived there and were friends with my parents. On Google maps, Just to the west of Karlburg Court is a second Karlburg Court; I wonder if it was supposed to be a horseshoe shaped street, or if it's just an artifact on Google maps?
Then back to the intersection where I skinned by leg to turn south. Now I was excited as I ran past the home where I lived for so long. So much has changed: the bushes are gone, the garage has been sided, and the house has shrunk. The memories of pool parties at the nextdoor neighbor and riding my bike up and down that sidewalk came back to me as I continued on to 29th avenue to turn east.
I ran past a community garden and then on to Chippiannock Cemetery on 12th street. As I turned north, there was the old building that once housed Coleman Florist. But that's not really what I remember it for. I remember that building because, in my early teens, I would purchase my calligraphy pens, ink and paper in the upstairs art supply store. Just beyond, in a suiting yellow brick building is the headquarters for Boetje's Mustard, a Quad City favorite and winner of the 2016 Grand Champion at a worldwide mustard competition.
A few blocks north brought me back to the foot of Rocky hill, which I diligently climbed and headed back to my car. This was a short run, but one I intend to do more as I train.