East Kibby

It’s been too long since I’ve answered the proverbial siren call of an abandoned building. Nowadays I wouldn’t dare enter such a building uninvited, and it is in the nature of a derelict building that no one is going to issue such an invitation. When I was on the verge of my teenage years, I’d just open the door and walk around inside. The inside of such places would smell like mice and old magazines, and there would often be a dusty upright piano in residence.

This reflection on abandoned buildings brings my mother to mind. Years after the fact, I mentioned my solitary habit of going inside such buildings, and she told me that she did the same thing when she was around the same age! This led to a tangential discussion of haunted places, and she said something that revealed how bold her mind could be, “Who’s to say that only the dead can haunt people? We may have left impressions of ourselves in places where we used to live. For all we know, images of how we were in the past could be haunting people who now live in those places.”

Back to today’s abandoned building, it looks like it hosted both a barbershop and a church. The church sign is much older than I’d have guessed. I looked up the pastor listed, and I found his obituary from 2007, and he was living several states away from Lima at that time.

There are still plenty of barbershops and churches in Lima, but this building in particular makes me wish that it were a portal to the past. To have heard some of the sermons delivered would have been a privilege indeed. Also, my husband said that he had his hair cut at that very barbershop about 50 years ago. I’d love to have witnessed a moment like that from his past. I didn’t meet him until he was 50, so I can only imagine his young self clad in flared pants and a long-collared shirt as he walked into Allen’s Barbershop.

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