Saturday, August 22, 2009

Haunted by memories today of my years in the Westward Ho

This is a building fraught with history, built in 1928, a HUD complex for only 30 years after its glory years faded and old age set in. I have always liked to live in old hotels because the atmosphere is thick with ghosts and the good times of a building that may once have had a glorious heyday before it became the run down place I could afford.
I am thinking with Jack in the hospital again with a prognosis that is not good for continued residence in the Westward, how many people I have known who ended their struggle for life right here in their last home on earth, as I expect it to be mine.
I have been here 13 years, coming to live here in August, the year my grandson Jamal turned 6. He is 19 now, just going off to college, some miles away from home. It has been a good home for me, interesting in many ways. I have seen a downtown that was all but dead become transformed in the last few years so that people who have not seen it would hardly believe their eyes, the result mostly of ASU, a mighty University, establishing a campus here. All the growth is exciting.
I feel I have successfully changed my relationship to Doc now. He has accepted my need to see him less so that the drinking he chooses to do does not constantly irritate me. He is leaving me alone, respecting my wishes to talk to new people, become independent once again. He wanted me to tear up the check he gave me to buy him out, and promised he would cooperate fully in sharing the camera. He felt too lonely all at once with the prospect of not seeing me at all. If the camera breaks he promised to have it fixed and I know he will.
An ex wife finally tracked him down, called and left a message for him to call her. A voice out of the past after 15 years! Strange.
He will have been here 6 years, Jack 10.
The photo above was taken when the Westward Ho was in its heyday. It is my favorite photo of the Westward Ho. I hope I will have a few more years here, time to swim in the renovated pool, time to play pool over to the Silvercrest, time to ride the bus and new fast transit and go to thrift stores and to buy groceries.
My sister Linda has come to swim with me, and I really enjoyed her visit. I spent some time this afternoon listening to Charles Bukowski read his poems on Youtube. I saw him read one about her and cry. I saw him kick the other Linda, the one he married, right off the couch. He would not have dared kick my sister Linda, she would have gone insane and attacked him like a tiger. She means it when she says in her poem she is a warrior. When they first were going together he kept showing people the place on his arm where she bit him! His wife Linda said she learned not to take his abuse anymore she would just go upstairs and let him rant downstairs. My sister Linda threw his typewriter in the street and broke his windows and once tried to run over him in her jeep. He had to jump into a hedge. She tried to tear the robe off the woman she had caught him coming to see. I supposed that is why people still talk about her. I have had my fights with Linda, the worst ones I ever had with anyone in my life. Hours of fighting, but she would not hit me, although she did try to throw me out of a house we shared. She could walk up and down stairs on her hands. She was stronger than some men. No you did not want to get in a fight with my sister Linda.


Paula said...

When you talk about or show pictures of the Westward Ho I am always interested. Who owns the building now? It looks like quite a lot to take care of or to try to take care of. Being a small time landlady in the past I think of all the plumbing problems that could occur.

Ann LRD said...

You really have a gift for writing!
A word smith is the term I believe.

I do enjoy your blog!
When I relax from other adventures and spend an evening reading for a change.:)


Connie said...

That ,too,I admire of you..your way with words....draws one into your minds eye....

salemslot9 said...

cool entry

Rhapsody B. said...

Good read, nice to see your have made progress with doc.

Thanks for the read, i enjoyed it. Have a splendid week


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