Member Rara Avis
Your timing, Karilea, is as impeccable as your skill with words.
I was born and raised in Battle Creek and, strangely enough, even though I rarely go there these days, my sister and I were talking about it no more than a week ago. I went to Junior High at Southeastern, across the street from Kellogg's, to High School at Central in the downtown area, and lived in Post Edition, so close to the Post factory that my old house is now part of a parking lot for their employees. Not the best areas of town thirty-five years ago, and much less so today. But I still think of them as home.
As a teen on foot, with an insatiable thirst for exploration, I covered every square foot of Battle Creek and the surrounding townships of Lakeview, Springfield, Urbandale, and even distant Pennfield. Back then, walking or running twenty miles a day was nothing. From Goguac Lake (my summer home!), to the old Mill Pond where we dove from a twenty-foot bridge into a sludgy river rife with currents, to the Sears water tower where you could climb a rickety ladder 400 feet closer to heaven, to the dark labyrinth of tunnels and water ways wending beneath the entire downtown area, to the woods and fields and quarries surrounding the town, I spent every summer and most of the school year discovering new secrets, new thrills.
Which is all to say, Karilea, that if you ever do return to Cereal City, you should let me give you a guided tour. It won't always be as beautiful as you've painted it with your delightful images, but I guarantee you won't be bored.