April 9, 2019 By Renee McKnight

Going Back

I lived in Brooklyn throughout my elementary school years and first year of high school. We lived in a lovely new two-story brick house where I could walk to school every day and make good friends. Then my parents and I moved to California after the war, and a new life began for all of us.

Years later, my husband Ed and I planned a trip around the United States and it included a stop in Brooklyn, specifically for me to visit my old house and neighborhood. Nothing could have excited me more! We located the neighborhood with no trouble and found the house still in the same place. The tree had grown so tall and everything looked wonderful. We parked the car across the street, so we could get a clear view and I started to cry as the memories came flooding back.

We got out of the car and walked across the street and stood there just looking up at the front brick staircase where I had played stoop ball and jacks with my friends. We stood there, not paying attention to a woman who came up beside me and asked if she could help. She was carrying a large brown, common paper grocery bag just like my mother used to carry from the local grocery store many years ago.

She looked at me closely and asked if I was Renee Perlmutter? I was stunned, as I didn’t quite remember her. I said “yes” but that I had a different last name now and introduced my husband. She smiled and said she was the woman who had purchased our house. She recalled my parents and me very well and remembered our eagerness to move to California. She invited us upstairs to meet her husband and have some lemonade. It was a wonderful visit for us all and quite impossible to believe. To be remembered all these years later, and to renew old memories gave closure to that part of my life.


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