I did some looking about the town I grew up in to see what all has changed, and quite a bit of it has – mainly due to time. Now I know why older people look so melancholy when they visit the places they grew up. It’s because the place has changed so much since they were children.
Well, change is inevitable – it’s part of our world. Not everything changes over the years – some stays the same – but for the most part, something about a place or time lingers……but only in your mind. I noticed many such things about Laurel, Montana. Yeah……..grew up there. Nice, small railroad town. Just based on my Google Maps journey about the town, I can list off a few things that have changed.
The house I grew up in has radically changed. The huge lilac bush out front is gone, as it the one in the backyard. The garage that stood firm for a long time now has a busted up door and a hole in the roof (poor garage). The house has been painted colors that I would have never thought of. The grass patch near the back door is gone – all gravelled over. I bet the old sandbox is gone too *sigh*.
Looking down the streets, I see other things. The old Hurzler Hotel is no longer a hotel – not sure what it is now, but the sign has long since been removed from the old building.
The Community Hope center next to it is abandoned – have no idea if it was ever used since those days.
The Palace Bar & Lanes seems to be more closed than it’s open – used to be open every single day – even had a small arcade inside as well. Not sure what happened to the bar part – probably a restaurant of some type now.
Sonny O’ Day’s is closed up – windows all boarded up and doors locked. Poor Sonny passed some time ago. I still remember the days when we would wander past there and smell the odors of cigars and boxing ring sweat. He always had a stick of gum for us kids though – nice guy. He was one of a kind.
The Thriftway store in the middle of town is now a church. Ricci now has a gas station further up north in town, across from the post office, on the block that used to have the old North School on it (it was always an open field as far back as I remember though). The huge white apartment building that used to be behind it is long gone – just an empty lot now. I imagine that place fell into even more disrepair over the years until it got torn down.
The old J.C. Penney’s store has undergone a radical transformation, and is now the “Vue & Brew” theatre, which actually looks really cool. Went and saw a movie there once – pretty nice place, actually.
The white building across from the Owl Cafe on Main Street used to be a book/gaming store owned by my friend Jack. He sold D&D stuff, as well as dice, comics, and other fun merchandise.
The Board of Trade Bar is now “Lucky Louie’s” – on the same block, the Cheerio is closed, and the Moose Lodge is gone. The flower shop next to the old Board of Trade is now a hair salon.
These are just a few of the changes I’ve noticed. I plan on doing a video series about the places that used to be there, but this is just the tip of the iceberg of the memories that I have of this town.
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