Life was good on Byron Street. My father could walk to work every morning from our house to his store located on the corner at Plank Road. My grandmother lived down the street behind my Pa-pa’s store, which was connected to my father’s store. The local fruit stand was next to them.
I could walk to my elementary school which was located in the next block in the opposite direction. The local park was on the far side of my school and my church was a few blocks farther. The Winn Dixie and Delmont Village Shopping Center where we traded were two blocks up Plank Road.
My street was teeming with kids to play with, and there were plenty of older residents around to keep an eye on us. We would play until the street lights came on or until my mother called us home for supper with her police whistle. I rode my bike with my sister to places many blocks away and did not think twice about my safety. Nearly everything that was important to me was located in this small north Baton Rouge community of North Highlands. In the 1960’s and ’70’s it was a fun, safe, and pleasant place in which to grow up.
Today, many of the places I remember on Byron Street and in that community are gone or rundown. It is sad, but I would like to create a montage of my best memories of that area in an upcoming series of posts that will give you a glimpse as to why I enjoyed living there so much. I will also share vignettes that my Mom shared with me from when she lived there in the ’40’s and ’50’s. I know that one can never go back to the way it was, but I will do my best to capture those memories in future posts! For a visual glimpse of the way it was, here is a video montage of my family on Byron Street in the early ’60’s.