Ghetto Porches

I was reluctant to attend my college reunion.  It’s a busy time, a busy summer, and it was another weekend away from home.  But, after emailing and connecting on Facebook with a wide variety of old friends who were going, I made the 6-hour drive to University of Dayton for my reunion. And what an incredibly fun time I had!

How many memories could we cram in one weekend? How many people to see again, to meet, to wander, to toast, to reminisce, to remember, to wonder, to dream of the past-the future-and truly embrace the present?

We all agreed the campus looked incredible, more upscale than when we were students, more green, the city truly welcoming it.  How fun it was to explore the old haunts, the bars, the infamous student area known as “the Ghetto” since before I was born, blocks of student housing where we lived, studied, partied, became adults, ate, burned couches after seemingly-ultra-important sports victories.  The university has along wanted to abolish the students calling it “the Ghetto” but the name lives on by both alumni and current student, the university wishes trampled upon some paper.

All the houses have  the ubiquitous porches where we congregated, celebrated; they were what made the Ghetto a community. Even houses have been destroyed and re-built by the university, sport the porches of the past, to share a thought, a drink, a “hello”, a smile.

A Typical UD Porch

Mis-matched chairs, a table, a stolen sign, forgotten beer bottles, holiday lights, even the half-hanging mailbox.  Perhaps sad-looking taken out of context, but too many memories for us.  Even this weekend, sharing a beer on a porch next to this one, people walking by waved, stopped to talk, joined us in a toast.

UD created such a positive sense of belonging and community while I was there, and that feeling lives on.  The friendliness of the people was one of the main reasons I chose to attend school there.  And some 20 years later, people were still friendly, still sharing.  So proud to be part of this Flyer family. So many memories flooding back even as I write this.

We did wonder–where did all those burning couches come from?  C

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