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Do you let the people who used to live in your house in your house?

 
 
Reply Mon 12 Sep, 2011 03:31 pm
I've revisited a couple of houses that I grew up in. I just knocked on the door and asked if I could come in. The people living there have always said yes.

Last night a guy was walking by my house and he told me that he used to live in it back in the early 60s so we brought him in and gave him a tour. He told us some cool stories about the house and the neighborhood and the school and what it was like 50 years ago.

My neighbor thought I'd lost my mind.

Have you ever revisited an old house or have you ever let anyone who once lived in your house back inside?

 
Green Witch
 
  2  
Reply Mon 12 Sep, 2011 03:46 pm
@boomerang,
I haven't personally done it, but my cousin brought her two daughters back to my grandparent's house where we spent a lot of time as children. She wanted to show her children an important part of her childhood. It was a sort of magical English Tudor built in the early 1920's with a turret, a paneled library, various gardens and just a short walk to the ocean. I was shocked when she told me she just decided to drive up and knock on the door one Saturday. The teenage boy of the current family let them in (she probably looked pretty harmless with her two little girls) and the mother came home a few minutes later and was very gracious. My cousin even showed them a secret panel to a laundry lift that they didn't know existed and the place all the cousins carved their initials and dates behind a beam in the furnace room that was still there. Not that I'm recommending this behavior, but a good time was had by all.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Sep, 2011 05:18 pm
@Green Witch,
Your cousin's experience was very similar to mine. I've been invited in and given the grand tour of my childhood homes. Everyone always wanted to know what it was like "back then".

Last night was a real flash-forward to me. He had lived in this house during the same years of his life that Mo has. He was saying that he remembered the day he could finally jump up and touch the archway on the front porch -- something I've seen Mo and his friends do hundreds of times.

The coolest thing was he remembered climbing the cherry tree in the backyard. The lowest branch on it is now about 35 feet off the ground. He took photos of it to send his mom. It made me think of what it might be like in 50 years for Mo to revisit this house.
mags314772
 
  2  
Reply Mon 12 Sep, 2011 06:00 pm
@boomerang,
Sort of the reverse. The people who live in the house I used to live in have invited me back. It's a house in a historic district that I restored. They want to see pics of how it looked when we bought it, what the neighborhood was like, etc,
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Sep, 2011 06:08 pm
@mags314772,
Ohhhhh fun. Was it cool to go back there?
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Mon 12 Sep, 2011 06:17 pm
@boomerang,
Back in 2006, when I went back to Evanston for the first time in five decades and accompanied by a childhood friend walked the neighborhood, we met the woman whose family owned the house we rented for four years, a place that still is in my dreams, heart of my childhood. She was quite curt, while pleasant, clearly an elder of that landlord's family back then. I didn't try to intrude.
0 Replies
 
jcboy
 
  2  
Reply Mon 12 Sep, 2011 06:17 pm
@boomerang,
That’s is so funny, since I moved to St. Pete I have met the two previous owners of this house I bought. One I’ve become friends with.

The only other place I lived besides my condo in Ca was my parent’s house. I could never go back there.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Mon 12 Sep, 2011 06:25 pm
I once drove by the house i was raised in. My grandmother kept a place which could have graced the cover of Better Homes and Gardens. There was a box hedge across the street front, and a terrace backed by a white picket fence between the house and the railroad yard. When we drove by, there was an old car up on blocks on the terrace, the picket fence had obviously never been paintedi n the tenure of the people living there then, and the box hedge at the front had not been trimmed, i suspected, in a couple of years--you could hardly see over it. The garage in back of the house was in very bad repair, and the roof falling in at one corner. I didn't stop, i didn't want to see any more.
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Mon 12 Sep, 2011 06:26 pm
I haven't - maybe because no one has ever asked. Our current home, we are the original owners so it would be really creepy if some one claimed they used to live here. And my parent's have lived in their house since I was a toddler so the opportunity hasn't really happened.

Although a friend of mine had a strange story about such a thing. She was renting a ground floor apartment. While she was sleeping she woke to see a man leaning over looking at her. She yelled what are you doing here. He said, oh I used to live here - she told him to get out. Fortunately he ran out. She called the police and the whole set up was apparantely a robbery - she doubted he ever lived there.
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boomerang
 
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Reply Mon 12 Sep, 2011 06:39 pm
Bummer, osso. I don't want ever to be that person -- the one who can't take a few minutes to let someone do some serious remembering.

jcboy -- I've probably met a dozen people who have lived in my house and probably fifty who have been inside it. My neighborhood is strangely incestuous. I know of two families that have three generations living within blocks of each other. It really is a great neighborhood but......
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ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Mon 12 Sep, 2011 06:49 pm
Our place in venice, original real estate ad for us was, 1906.

We fixed/repaired, mostly changed circulation. Kept it a beach cottage, as it was born.

After I sold it, it got architected, and then, after them, patina'd.

Plus my drought tolerant yard is now tropical, swears, around a concrete circle.

Don't get me going.

0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Sep, 2011 07:03 pm
Awww, Set. That sucks.

I think my success comes from my family always living in urban neighborhoods, those places built before white flight and to the suburbs and before re-gentrification. Squalid manors, I suppose, bought on the cheap.

Just last week Mr. B and I closed the sale on our previous home here -- a little ranch in the suburbs. That neighborhood has seriously crumbled just in the four years since we've moved. We were lucky that it sold; we'd kept it up and it was surrounded by foreclosures that had fallen into serious disrepair.
chai2
 
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Reply Mon 12 Sep, 2011 07:07 pm
@boomerang,
My house is on the ancient burial grounds of the Micmac Indians.

So no, I don't let anyone in who says they used to live here.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Sep, 2011 07:07 pm
Linkat -- that's plain old scary. That's probably what my neighbor was imagining as I toured the house with the previous tenant.

osso, that's the heart-breaking stuff. Maybe not as heart breaking as Set's story but still.... pang.....
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
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Reply Mon 12 Sep, 2011 07:07 pm
@chai2,
What!?
parados
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Sep, 2011 07:12 pm
@boomerang,
Every time I knock on the door of the house where I grew up, my brother lets me in.

My wife tells stories of she and her mom visiting a house they had lived in and being let in to look around.
0 Replies
 
wmwcjr
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Sep, 2011 11:21 pm
@chai2,
Hmm, I guess you don't ever bury dead pets in your yard. Wink
ossobuco
 
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Reply Mon 12 Sep, 2011 11:59 pm
@wmwcjr,
Of course we did.

I just can't do it here yet.

I still have Pacco's ashes, my problem being that I don't want to strew him in the sand of my and his relatively new frankly foreign yard. That would be sort of a mockery. Boy loved the Pacific Ocean, romping with the doberman.

I get it that this is all symbolic. Whatever.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Sep, 2011 04:23 am
@boomerang,
Don't be buying that bullshit, Chai lives along way from the Migma (once known as the Micmac)--who were in Maine, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
0 Replies
 
Region Philbis
 
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Reply Tue 13 Sep, 2011 04:49 am

i revisited the dirt road of a cottage we stayed in for a bunch of summer vacations when i was growing up -- but i didn't have
the nerve to knock on the door...
0 Replies
 
 

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