Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The finest place you ever saw

I just finished Devils in the Sugar Shop by Timothy Schaffert. It's a fun read with worldly, quirky characters you might not imagine could find Omaha on a map, let alone live there. But they do and so did I. It's where I was born and raised up. The neighborhood the story is set in is The Old Market, the hip part of town. I took the following photos of The Old Market in April when I went to see my grandfather before he died.

They got a thing for decorating windows!

This is my high school, Central High. It's downtown. I loved this place. It was what home should have been - stable, dependable - but wasn't. We moved a lot, and I went to 7 different schools, most for a year at a time. But for 3 straight years I went to Central. Nuff said.

This is the my grandparents' neighborhood, the North side. The most colorful and the most broke down part of town. It's populated with little popsicle-colored clapboard houses on rolling green hills, as if it was built by Caribbean farmers.

My grandfather loved this city. One of the last things he told me was, "Omaha's the best place on Earth." And in a moment of rare humility that confirmed my suspicions that he was on his way out, he added, "For me."
For Papa:
Omaha, Omaha,
Finest place you ever saw
And at night while you are dreaming
Dream of Omaha


Diane said...

Hmmmmm. I like to think of Omaha as a nice place to visit, but I sure as heck wouldn't want to live there! But, I do; however, I am planning my escape!:-) The photos look nice.

Lisa said...

What a beautiful tribute to your grandfather.

Earth Angel said...

Beautiful family and personal history - loved the photos, esp. the little colorful houses. Glad you got to see your papa.