David Bomber

AGAINST THE SYSTEM: IN THE BEGINNING – Part 5 by David Bomber

Since leaving Roseville our life as a family unit seemed to fall into a recurring pattern. Every year we would find ourselves moving again when our lease expired.
From Monterey Drive we moved to Maycrest Street in the Round Hill neighborhood in northwest Roanoke. A year later we moved to Huntington Blvd., which is located fairly close to where Round Hill is. Less than a year later, we moved again into what would be a break in the house hopping adventure that we had been on.
The house that we moved into this time was also located in northwest Roanoke. The difference this time was that there wasn’t a lease associated with the house. My grandfather, Herman Bartolo, had passed away and left my mother some money in his will. My parents used that to purchase a three and half bedroom ranch with a partially finished basement on Hazelridge Road.
Living in this house was unlike anything I had been accustomed to so far in my life. Before, I had my own bedroom and a bed. Now I slept on the couch in the family room in the basement. Bobby slept down there as well, but he at least had the partially built bedroom down there. As far as Stephanie went, she had her own bedroom whereas Dawn and Michelle continued to share a bedroom as they always have.
It was this new area and living arrangements that probably triggered what would be the beginning of me truly coming into my own.

The neighborhood that we moved into is situated in a corner behind Williamson Road and off to the side of Hershberger Road, which happens to be the two main arteries in northwest Roanoke. It is fair to say that it isn’t a very big neighborhood at all. Living there or traveling through gives you the impression that the neighborhood was built as a buffer to fill in the gap between the busier street ways and the county.
The centerline to the neighborhood is Hildebrand Road, a street that runs from from Williamson to Hershberger Road. As you turn onto that road from Williamson, you’ll find to the left what could reasonably be called a street way behind the Williamson Road Plaza that leads to the right side of Happy’s Flea Market. Continuing on Hildebrand, you’ll find on your left a parking lot, a daycare, a private investigator’s office, a small apartment building, and some houses. On the right side of the street is an animal hospital, an equipment leasing place, the Thunderbird Club, a church, and some houses.
Right where the houses begin on Hildebrand is where Curtis Street is, which intersects and crisscrosses the neighborhood. To the left it goes down a small hill behind Happy’s and tees into the road that I had lived on. If you follow Curtis to the right it leads to another church that is located smack dab in the middle of the road where the road stops. The street does pick back up on the other side of the church where it leads out to Williamson Road.
The street behind the house where I lived has houses that run along the left side of Happy’s. Why anyone would move into a house where their back yard faced a flea market is beyond me, but I suppose that is their preoperative. However, on that same street at the end is a cul de sac, which only two houses there have backyards that faced Curtis Street.

Just like all the other roads in the neighborhood, most of them either connected to Williamson or Hershberger Road. Hazelridge wasn’t an exception. On the right end, it connects to Hershberger. On the left, it goes into a dead-end where it stopped at a home that housed severally challenged adults who needed special care. Since it didn’t have an official name, us kids in the neighborhood called it “The Home.”
Oftentimes, the staff there took these individuals out for walks in the neighborhood, or we’d see them out in front of The Home when we’d cut through the field surrounding their house. Even as a kids your heart would go out to these folks knowing that they couldn’t help being born that way. The thing about that it wasn’t cool among any of us kids living in the neighborhood to make fun of them or harass them in any kind of way.

Next in the series – Against the System: In the beginning – Part 6

Contact the author at:

David Bomber #1130793
Nottoway Correction Center
P.O. Box 488
Burkeville, Va. 23922

email me @ http://www.jpay.com by submitting my name or Virginia State ID number: 1130793.

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Categories: David Bomber

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