Griffing Avenue

From left to right: my mom, Grandpa Bori, me, and Grandma Bori, around 1961.

Some things are ingrained in your memory forever.

12702 Griffing Avenue is up there, the two flat that my grandparents owned when I was growing up. I visited it often. It had a spacious porch in the front with a glider on it. There was a small porch on the back. The second floor was a total copy of the first. They lived on the first floor, tenants on the upper floor. There was a huge, old basement without a sump pump (I didn’t know what one even was until I came to the Chicago area).

The kitchen was a good size with several windows facing the driveway. Off of it was a bathroom with a clawfoot tub and a small bedroom, where my grandfather slept.

The living room was not huge and it was between the kitchen and the front porch. Off of it, separated by several wooden pillars, was another room, maybe originally a parlor, which my grandmother used as her bedroom. It had a nice closet and a window.

My grandfather was a great gardener, taking great care of his concord grapes that hung and grew on a wooden trellis structure that was somewhat like a pergola. You would walk under it as you went to the far back yard. Grass was well taken care of and it was always creeping bent, short and very green. My grandfather never comprehended that there were other types of grass as all of them were cut extremely short like his grass on Griffing.

The driveway was made of fine, white gravel.

Despite my grandfather’s basic talents with anything that grew, he had an annoying habit of pulling out many plants that were not weeds. I think he picked up that habit to annoy my grandmother. He maintained that habit forever, sometimes driving my mom crazy when he pulled out a favorite plant when working at our house.

Despite the small size of the house, we had many a Sunday family dinner and holidays there and somehow, we all fit in and frankly ate like kings.

The home was in the Hungarian, Buckeye Road, area of Cleveland and a very short distance from Shaker Square.

The photo is of me, my mom, and my mother’s parents, people who despite their faults, were very good to me and equally dear. I think of them all the time.

About Richard Koerner

Sixty something, father, papi, educator, organizer, Francophile, traveler, amateur photographer, gardener, cyclist, kayaker, calligrapher, cinephile, reader, and overall renaissance type human being.
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