One of the things I love about Eastwood is the ease with which I can actually see my neighbors. They’re not virtual, we don’t “friend” each other on Facebook. They stop by, on purpose or by happenstance, and I see them while out gardening or while sitting on our open porch.
Yesterday morning, Margaret McVicker stopped by to show me her new book, Did You Know? More History And Memories of Eastwood. I asked to read it, thinking it would take me a couple weeks. Oh no. I simply could not put it down. So I finished it this morning.
Margaret writes with an engaging, down-to-earth style that is a perfect reflection of the community she loves. She covers a good number of topics, such as fires, home deliveries, trains and unusual houses, to name a few.
One of my favorite sections is the “How Times Have Changed” chapter toward the end of the book. While there are plenty of Eastwood residents who remember watching coal shoot the chute into the basement, there are many more who have no idea what life was like on a daily basis. This section makes me grateful for the good new days, despite the fact that technology has brought social isolation along with not having to mind a wringer washer.
I have often harped on the importance of maintaining our built history – buildings such as the Wittigs Ice Cream (former Steak & Sundae) building that give us a sense that we are here, in Eastwood, and not just anywhere.
But far more interesting is the remembered history in books like this one, comments on this blog (see “You haven’t lived in Eastwood if you…“) and, perhaps more importantly, the older people in our midst who won’t tell you if you don’t ask questions like…
- Do you miss the trains?
- Did you ever play in the mucks?
- Where’s the smallest house in Eastwood?
- What were ice boxes like?
- How did the Paine Library catch fire?
You can buy this book from Margaret by contacting her directly.
I can’t think of a nicer gift you can give someone who lives in or has lived in Eastwood. Even if that’s you!