Category Archives: House

Time and Memory

I read a quote recently from Thomas Wolfe who that is reminiscent of a recent event of some note that happened in Boone, Iowa. An event that, while it escaped the pages of the “Boone News Repbulican”, will no doubt echo through the pages of time. The quote went something like this:

“You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood … back home to a young man’s dreams of glory and of fame … back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time – back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.”

The event was that the boyhood home of Christopher D. Bennett was demolished. It was going to be the future site of the Christopher D. Bennett Museum, but now I suppose future generations will have to find a new location to venerate me.

I had two boyhood homes. One on West 15th Street where I lived until the 2nd Grade. It was torn down a long time ago. The only thing that remains of it is a garage that once held the Bennett Antique Store.

Between 1st Grade and 2nd Grade we moved to 415 Greene Street. This was important because it was after this move, I would meet most of the people that would matter in the shape (what there is of it) and direction (which there is even less of) of my life.

Life is far from linear, but in the story that is Christopher D. Bennett, moving to that house sent a million different things into motion. I wouldn’t be sitting where I am right now, typing what I am right now, if it wasn’t for that move.

Whether that is good or bad, you can debate behind my back ad nauseam.

I can remember having a sinking suspicion when my Mom moved out of that house that it would fall into a further state of disrepair. The house was not in bad shape, but it certainly was in need of a little love and elbow grease here and there.

I was worried that the house would fall into the possession of some notorious area slum lords, but it didn’t. It ended up being worse than that. The people who bought that were hoarders and they took a house that needed a few touches and ran it straight into the ground.

In less than a score of years, the house was condemned. Beyond reclamation. Slated for history’s ash heap.

Last Tuesday, the house was euthanized. Put out of its final misery. It was no longer a home. No longer a place of hopes and dreams. It was just a house. A collection of brick, beams, wood, pipes. It was time for it to go.

I got stuck at the computer mine a little late last Monday. I was a little behind schedule on my way home when Carla called me with the news.

I wasn’t sad to hear the news. It was actually relief. I have avoided driving down that street for years because it filled me with anger to see the state the old girl was in. After years, that rage had turned into sadness. Now it was over. I can drive down that street again.

Here are a few pictures of the house when it was a home to be remembered:



Here are pictures from the destruction of the house on 415 Greene Street:


The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

I honestly thinking the house being torn down hurt my friends more than it hurt me or my sisters and Mom. It shows what it meant to so many people.

2009-06-23

The pictures in the folder are mostly from a Little League game I attended that was coached by Jesse and Lowell. It doesn’t appear that I ever published those pictures before.

There are a couple of pictures of the Garden of Eden that is my backyard. Grapes, raspberries, garlic, and currants are all proudly on display!


Backyard Garden

Backyard Garden

Backyard Garden

Backyard Garden

Backyard Garden

Backyard Garden

T-Shirt Softball - 2009

T-Shirt Softball - 2009

T-Shirt Softball - 2009

T-Shirt Softball - 2009

T-Shirt Softball - 2009

T-Shirt Softball - 2009

T-Shirt Softball - 2009

T-Shirt Softball - 2009

T-Shirt Softball - 2009

I eventually tore out the currant bush because I couldn’t find anybody that wanted them. Dawn took some and made me a currant cheesecake, but that was about it. I kind of wish I still had the bush now, but I also wish that I took better care of my raspberry bush.

By adding these pictures to the Photography 139 Gallery, I was able to restore the following historic “An Artist’s Notebook” entry to its original glory:

What the Hades?

Next week’s walk down memory land will involve flowers!

2009-05-29

There are a wide variety of pictures in the folder 2009-05-29. They range from pictures of socks that Shannon made to Ernie trimming trees to baby worst birds to invites to my housewarming party to pictures Sara took at my housewarming party.


Baby Grackles

Baby Grackles

Shannon Socks

Shannon Socks

Cherries

Lift

Lift

Lift

Lift

Lift

Lift

Lift

2009 Birthday/Housewarming Party Invitation

2009 Birthday/Housewarming Party Invitation

2009 Birthday/Housewarming Party Invitation

2009 Birthday/Housewarming Party Invitation

2009 Birthday/Housewarming Party Invitation

2009 Birthday/Housewarming Party Invitation

2009 Birthday/Housewarming Party Invitation

2009 Birthday/Housewarming Party Invitation

The guy in the picture with me and Jesse was my neighbor across the street from me. He would sometimes drop by at all hours of the night. He was a good guy, but his struggles overcame him and he passed away a couple years after this picture was taken.

However, looking at these pictures, it does inspire me to bring back the birthday party in 2020. I’m about 95% sure that I will.

By adding these pictures to the Photography 139 Gallery, I was able to restore the following historic “An Artist’s Notebook” entries to their original glory:

The Fruit of the Mystery Trees
Mr. Bunyan
Memorial Day Backyard
Shindy
Housewarming Invites

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve flowers.

2009-04-28 & 2009-05-01

There are only 3 days left to vote for what pictures I enter in the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest.

If you don’t think you have the time or energy to vote in all 6 polls right now, you can vote for one of the Nature polls right now!

Nature Set 2

Poll will Start on August 7
Nature Category - Nature - Choose 1 (2019)
Butterfly
Butterfly
Bird
Insects
Bee
Grasshopper
Pelicans
Bird
Waterfall
Butterfly

If you are ready to vote in all 6 polls, click on the link below:

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest

Thanks for voting!

+++++++

The pictures in the folders 2009-05-01 & 2009-04-28 are from my backyard when I was still trying to figure out what I had in my backyard.

Except one picture is of a text message I got from James on the day he was given one of the most basic human rights. Hard to believe that it was only 10 years ago. It is hard to believe that such a basic human right was “given” 10 years ago.

It is a reminder that we have come some ways in the civil rights in this country. Even though we have had a major regression in the last couple of years.


2009-04-28

2009-04-28

2009-04-28

2009-04-28

2009-04-28

2009-04-28

2009-04-28

2009-04-28

2009-04-28

2009-04-28

2009-05-01

2009-05-01

2009-05-01

2009-05-01

2009-05-01

By adding these pictures to The Photography 139 Gallery I was able to restore the following historic “An Artist’s Notebook” entries to their original glory:

The Land Awakens
Cardinalidae
Don Lockwood
State of Enlightenment

Next week’s walk down memory lane will feature Shannon, very well dressed.

2009-04-07

The pictures in the folder 2009-04-07 are mostly of the paint, light fixtures, and fans I put in my house when I bought it.


New House

New House

New House

New House

New House

New House

New House

New House

New House

New House

New House

New House

New House

New House

New House

New House

By adding these pictures to the Photography 139 Gallery, I was able to restore the following historical “An Artist’s Notebook” entries to their original glory:

The Kitchen
The Great Room
The Master Bedroom
My Favorite President
October Leaves

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve the Junck electric car.

2009-01-02 & 2009-01-03

The pictures from the folders 2009-01-02 and 2009-01-03 involved a trip to ACTORS theater in Ames. Plus a trip to Ottumwa to work on the house that Jen inherited. Plus there are some pictures of when I had winnowed down what house I would purchase down to two similar ranch style houses.

The house that I would ultimately purchase was the lucky winner mainly because it had the better yard. It had the better yard times a million. The intention was always to get a golden retriever when I was back up on my own feet and living on my own again.

As I look at the pictures of the runner-up, I assure you Naima would not have been happy with that yard. I also wouldn’t have been happy with such a small yard too. I mean, if you’re going to care about my happiness.

Here are the pictures:


ACTORS

ACTORS

ACTORS

ACTORS

ACTORS

ACTORS

ACTORS

ACTORS

ACTORS

ACTORS

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

I do confess though, I could have has some pretty great parties with that carpeted bar.

By adding these images to the Photography 139 Gallery, I was able to restore the following “An Artist’s Notebook” entries to their original glory:

Blitz

Intermission

The Ballad of House Buying: Part 2: Initial Look

The Ballad of House Buying: Part 4 – A Closer Examination

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve saying goodbye to an old cinematic friend and a winter storm.

Who’s Afraid of Thomas Wolfe?

My Mom moved out of my boyhood home 20 years ago. I loved that house and to some degree it will always be home to me.

While one can debate whether or not the 20 years that have passed have been kind to me, there is no doubt that it has not been kind to that boyhood home. If that house were an animal, the owners would be prosecuted for neglect.

There was a time when I would even avoid driving down the street where that house sits. Just the look of it falling deeper and deeper into a decrepit state would cause waves of anger to come crashing to the surface.

Then a couple years back, I heard through the grapevine that the house had been condemned. Anger turned to sadness. While I still avoid that street, it is a different emotion that cause the boycott.

The grapevine wasn’t 100% accurate though. While the house feels like it is a good blast of wind away from falling over, it isn’t exactly condemned. It isn’t fit for living, but it isn’t condemned either. In fact, it recently was put back on the market with an asking price of $15,000.

I recently toured the house with my Aunt Linda and took a few pictures of what it has become:


Boyhood Home
The upstairs bathroom.

Boyhood Home
My old bedroom.

Boyhood Home
I would still gladly take this tub off their hands.

Boyhood Home
Carla’s old bedroom.

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home
The den.

Boyhood Home
The living room.

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home
The old darkroom.

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home
Basement shower.

Boyhood Home
My model railroad track used to sit there.

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home
Living room.

Boyhood Home
I believe Grandpa Bennett put up that thermometer.

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home
Garage is cleaner than the inside of the house.

Boyhood Home
No window though.

Boyhood Home
That poor owl thermometer.

Boyhood Home
I wish I could say that my old hoop was about to fall over because of my numerous thundering dunks.

Boyhood Home

Carla, Teresa, and Mom had all toured the old stomping grounds at some point, but this was my first time in the place. I was shocked to see that all the carpet and paint was the same as when Mom moved out. Okay, shocked might be overstating it.

I’m glad that the old place isn’t being torn down, but at the same time, I won’t be driving down that street anytime soon.

11-01-08

The images from the folder 11-1-08 are all over the place. They include pictures of Jesse and I exploring the disc golf course in McHose Park to pictures of Shannon before she made a donation to Locks of Love to pictures of my Hoosier before it got fixed up to pictures Halloween in 2008.

I’m not a frolfer, but I do think that McHose Park has a badass disc golf course. The first 9 holes are nothing special, but the back 9 is a man’s golf course. When I say man’s golf course, what I really mean is that it isn’t for the faint of heart. It is for people that aren’t afraid to get lost in the woods and never heard from again.

The Hoosier pictures were taken from before Shannon’s dad came to pick it up. It was in storage and he did a wonderful job making it presentable again and he did it in plenty of time before I found a house to call home. Which was quite the feat, even though I did take my own sweet time with my house hunt.

The pictures of Shannon before she cut off her hair were taken in Brookside Park. This was Shannon’s 3rd donation to Locks of Love. In that collection of pictures is one of my favorite pictures of Shannon and I believe it is safe to say that I have taken lots of pictures of Shannon.

Finally, the 2008 Halloween pictures includes a picture of Willy in what was definitely the best Halloween costume he has ever had.

Have a look:


Halloween - 2008

Halloween - 2008

Halloween - 2008

Halloween - 2008

Halloween - 2008

Halloween - 2008

The Hoosier

The Hoosier

The Hoosier

The Hoosier

Shannon Before Locks of Love

Shannon Before Locks of Love

Shannon Before Locks of Love

Shannon Before Locks of Love

Shannon Before Locks of Love

Shannon Before Locks of Love

Shannon Before Locks of Love

Shannon Before Locks of Love

Shannon Before Locks of Love

Disc Golf

Disc Golf

Disc Golf

Disc Golf

Disc Golf

Disc Golf

Disc Golf

Disc Golf

Disc Golf

Disc Golf

Disc Golf

Disc Golf

Disc Golf

The stick figure pumpkin is the best pumpkin I have ever carved. Jay hated it. I’m not bitter about that, otherwise I wouldn’t be bringing it up over 10 years later.

By adding these pictures to the Photography 139 Gallery, I was able to restore the following historic “An Artist’s Notebook” entries to their original glory:

McHose Park Mystery

All Hallow’s Eve

Before

Another Before

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve another trip to Ottumwa and what Shannon looked like after she cut off her 12 or so inches of hair.

10-28-08 & 10-30-08

I’m going to publish the pictures from 2 old timey folder today because they are both pretty small.

The pictures in the folder 10-28-08 are from a trip I took to Ottumwa with Sara. Jen inherited a house when her Uncle John passed away in Ottumwa. It was nice house as far as houses in Ottumwa go, but it needed lots of attention before it could go on the market.

Sara and I went there, I think to help, but on this trip to Ottumwa I’m not sure we did much helping.

The pictures from folder 10-30-08 were from the beginnings of my house hunt. It took me 3 months of looking at over 60 houses to find the house that is the current home of the Photography 139 Studio. The way I found my current house is both extremely nerdy and a bit of a God Moment, but that is a story for another journal entry on another day.

These house were the 2nd set of houses I looked at. I looked at 2 other houses on a different night, but those aren’t part of what I would consider my official “House Hunt” because I was mostly just tagging along with Teresa’s friend Rob on his house hunt.

Here are some pictures to look at:


Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

Fun Fact:

The tie that is in my hand in the mullet wig picture I wore in my Computer Mine Holiday Card photo because I felt it was very punk rock.

By adding these pictures to the Photography 139 Gallery, I was able to restore the following historic “An Artist’s Notebook” entries to their original glory:

Ottumwa

House Search

The Ottumwa entry has a story about the time Derrick betrayed me… over a potato.

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve disc golf and long hair Shannon. But not at the same time.

Won’t Take that Credit; I know Where We Get It; Them Blessings Be Comin’ from God Above

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Rather than my standard picture of an inflatable turkey, thought (with apologies to Lecrae, I’d give thanks for some of the many blessings in my life.

Count it up, count it up, count it up.
Line ’em up, line ’em up, line ’em up.


Bennett 2017 Family Photo
Blessed with a tremendous biological family. Blessed to share DNA and a life with these people.


Blessed to be a part of Olivia’s family. Blessed to learn a new definition of the word “family” from Shorty and Doris.

Mission Trip  - Day 0
Blessed to be a part of an incredible church family. From Youth Group to Methodist Men to the people I see in the pews on Sundays.

Thanksgiving - 2017
Blessed to have a job and double blessed to have a great work family. 7 AM comes pretty early, but so many of the people I work with make the struggle worth the effort.


Blessed to share a life with this band of brothers. Not one of us has any fashion sense, but I’d still take a bullet for any of them.


Blessed to fit in with this band of sisters as well.

Movie Club
Blessed to be able to share my love of weird cinema with like minded individuals once a month.

October 28, 2017
Blessed to be a Cyclone and double blessed to have somebody to share so many trips to Jack Trice (a spiritual place for me) with.


Blessed to have a roof over my head that belongs to me. Blessed that I can extend that roof over friends and family when their life needs it. Blessed that when I say, “Want to help paint by house?” 20+ people show up.


Blessed that friends from past jobs are still important pillars of my current life.

The Howard Children
Blessed that people that aren’t related to me consider me an uncle to them.

August 15, 2017
Blessed to have a car that I can drive out of town and not worry about the tire falling off.


Blessed to have so many people in my life that when I say, “I’m coming to your city”, they say, “You’re staying with us right?”

Tenderloining at Nick's
Blessed to have so many people in my life that fill gaps.

Selfie Project - March 5
Blessed that even though I’m aged, I still healthy enough to still ball. Although pretty poorly these days.

Selfie Project - January 27
Blessed that even though I’m aged, I still have people in my life that keep me young.

Selfie Project - January 21
Blessed to have people in my life that want to change the world for the better, when I get cynical.

Selfie Project -January 14
Blessed to have art in my life.

May 25, 2017
Blessed to have a beautiful beard. Even if the old guys at my church hate it.


Blessed to have people who will help with projects like this, no questions asked.

Photo of the Day 0003 - May 5, 2014
Blessed to share a life and a domicile with this crazy beast. Teaches me about selfless love every single day.

June 28, 2017
Blessed to have a chance to spread my blessings to others, sometimes, with some of my favorite people.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of my blessings. But I don’t want it to start to sound like I’m bragging.