A recent visit to see Mother in my home town of Oil City, Pennsylvania gave me a sought after opportunity to take this photo of the hillside where I grew up and St. Joseph Church, the focal point of my youth.
St. Joseph ChurchOil City, PA
Cradled in the foothills of the Allegheny mountains, Oil City is defined by hills and atop one is St. Joseph Church. Really this is only halfway up the hill, but time did not allow more picture taking.
My childhood home, 62 Pearl Avenue, is just down the street from the church and the grade school was around the corner. At one time I knew everyone who lived on our block, all 50+ kids, most of whom went to the same church and school. In fact I don't think I knew the name of anyone who did not go to St. Joe's, as it was affectionately called.
Small town traditions, hard work, faith and family shaped the first eighteen years of our lives. After graduation I left to attend college as did my siblings and my close friends, but my mother still lives there. Although the neighborhood has changed over the years due to sickness or death, a few of the old homesteads are still occupied by her contemporaries.
Call it nostalgia, but in recent months I have felt driven to document various aspects of my early history each time I visit my mother. E-mail & Facebook are great tools to share my treasures with friends & family.