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The importance of curbs
By Voda Beth Gradine
As I was riding down N. Broadway the other day, without thinking, I glanced over to Ave. I where my grandmother’s house stands. As I reached 13th St., there was a car parked in the front yard this time which was unusual. It immediately sent my mind back to when I was a little girl and my family parked at the corner of the house in the yard. But this car was facing the wrong direction. Then it dawned on me, there is a curb at the corner now. N. Ave. I is important enough to have a curb.
When I was growing up, if you had a curb around your yard, you were important. While I always thought my grandmother was important being one of the first pioneers in this part of the country, her house was on a corner of two dirt roads, so it didn’t have a curb. I called that part of town the pioneer section.
I lived on Main St., which at the time people called “Silk Stocking.” It was the widest street in town and some important people lived on that street. Nevertheless, my house didn’t have a curb, making us the unimportant ones on the street. And being the only house on the street without a curb, I was so embarrassed.
My parents always explained that when the street was being paved and the curbs were going in, I was facing a major surgery. However, we did own two lots, about a block or two down the street, that were curbed. If you owned lots on the street front that you were not living on, they had to be curbed. My dad said our curb in front of the house would come later, after the surgery.
Dad was right, the curb did eventually come. However, it wasn’t added until I was married and living there. When we moved in, my husband Ronnie asked what I wanted to do to improve the property. The first thing I suggested was to add a curb on the front and side of the yard. Honestly, I didn’t feel any more important after the curb was added.
So, here’s my question to you. How important is a curb in your life?
Ronnie and I lived on Main St. for 16 years before moving out to the countryside where there are no curbs. I guess in the seventy-plus years of my life, only 16 were deemed important. If I think about I, I began my married life, and my two girls were born during those 16 years. It was also during the time frame that I was elected County Treasurer.
Maybe that curb was significant. Who would have thought a little strip of concrete would be that important in someone’s life?