This beautiful, historic home on the northeast corner of Cascade and Willamette has great personal significance for me: it was the first place I ever lived on my own, away from my family and with no annoying roommates. Finally, freedom! Just me, by myself, happy as a clam. I could be as loud or quiet or messy or neat as I wanted to be. The only person I was responsible for was myself. It's probably the happiest I've ever been -- just out of college, too old to be called a kid but not quite old enough to be called an adult. It was that lovely in-between age when you're living day by day and enjoying every moment. A little poor, maybe, but having the time of your life! My apartment was on the third floor. My door was at the back of the house at ground level, and there were 36 steps straight up to my little attic abode. After a few weeks of living there, I certainly had a good pair of legs and lungs! It was a great little apartment, with a 1940s kitchen, formica countertops, an ancient fridge and an equally ancient stove, and certainly no modern amenities like a dishwasher! The tiny clawfooted tub was positioned under the eaves, so you had to watch your head when bathing. The old porcelain bathroom sink had separate faucets for hot and cold water. Certainly it wasn't convenient living there, but I adored every minute of it. My friend Angie lived in the apartment before me, and when she moved out I snatched it up. When I moved on after a couple of years (having met Mr. Wrong and embarked on a rather disastrous path that ended in divorce five years later), my friend Susan moved in, and after her, another friend, Tracy, occupied it. It was a special place.
The house is for sale at the moment. At $875K for it and the house next door, I would never in a million years be able to afford it. (This makes me incredibly sad.) It wasn't until relatively recently that I learned what year the house was built, 1888, and that it's called the Hazlehurst Double Residence. It was one of the first residences in town meant for two households. In other words, it was a duplex! There's a fellow in town named John Hazlehurst. He's a bit of a mover and shaker in Colorado Springs, having served on our city council, run for mayor, and written for some if not all of our various newspapers. It's not that common of a name. This house must be part of his family's history. It's certainly a very happy part of my personal history.
Those windows up top were in my living room and bedroom. Directly below my apartment lived a woman named Nina. Or was it Gina? I can't remember! I do remember that she was a great neighbor. I miss this place!