Friday, November 16, 2007

Baseline Housing


I lived in Denver from 1989-93. It was my escape from Texas. Just what the Coloradoans really wanted, another damn Texan in there midst.
I graduated from college, loaded up the 1983 VW Rabbit GTI, kissed Ma goodbye and headed out. After a week living in the car looking for work, I rented the house pictured above. It was a pit. I think it was servants quarters or as we ended up calling a "slave shack". No bedroom, a miniscule kitchen, a bathroom that only one person could stand in, cold in winter, hot in summer, leaky, sloping floors. But it had a big yard for the dogs, we could sit with the windows open and hear the screams of the people riding the roller coaster at the nearby Elitch Gardens Amusement Park. It was like living outside of Hell. Kinda fun. I think I paid $280 a month. It was perfect for a single guy.
I had met Tracy soon after arriving. She was in school. Then she graduated for school with her PhD. They told her that she'd topped out and couldn't hang out there anymore. No more student loans and sitting around reading books. Suddenly and somehow surprising to her, Tracy didn't have money for her rent. So she arrived at my shack and told me "it will be great if I moved with you". I think that is the definition of a hippie marriage proposal. Anyhow that is our baseline for abodes. Any worse and we aren't doing well. That is why we think our piece o crap owner built Alaskan home is a mansion; we have a frame of reference. I feel sorry for the kids who think they need or are entitled luxury right out of high school.
Whenever we are in Denver, we end up having to drive by 3914 Zenobia just to re-establish that baseline. The first time we showed the house to Aidan, he kind of cried. He thought we were going to have to live there. This last summer when we were there, you could tell he was repulsed. So there is hope for the boy. He will have some nice apartment in some big international city and make a lot of money. I hope he let us visit.

2 comments:

Salt said...

Oh, this is funny. We too lived within earshot of that roller coaster, only on Stuart St. I recall it as a much nicer neighborhood than yours was and the house was definitely larger: a one-bedroom with a big basement, although a bit quirky in that to get to the bathroom you had to walk through the kitchen. That's the house where, when we moved in, our cat Melibee spent three days under the broiler pan of the stove, pushing it up and down with his feet (not a cat overendowed with brain power, I'm afraid). Still, it was deteriorating under an owner who had inherited it and didn't really want it, and I wonder if that house had gone the way of the one you had, by the time you lived in that area.

Freshwrestler said...

It was a nice neighborhood, but I/we had the crappyist house in a 2 mile radius. Even more so now, it is really gentrifying, but the slave shack remains. And Elitch Gardens moved away. Now you have to drive to get to hear the souls in hell scream.