Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saving Bricks From the Old Basements

In the summer of 1964, after the four houses were removed from Faculty Lane, only the basesments remained. The basement walls were made of brick, and the process of moving the homes had loosed many of these bricks from the basement walls.

I decided to save some of these bricks. I loosened the mortar and dirt off the bricks, and started to pile them up on the ground near the basement. Then I got the idea that I might be able to make a lot of money by selling these bricks. I was only 12 years old and wanted to earn some money, and I had a lot of time, since it was summer vacation. I obtained some hammers and a crowbar and began to systematically remove, clean and pile up all the bricks I could.

All that time, I fantasized about all the money I eventually would earn by selling these bricks. I worked on this project several hours a day for a few weeks. Some friends helped me occasionally, and I promised to share some of my future wealth with them.

During that summer, our family lived in an empty dormitory across the street from the Marxhausens' home. I could ride my bike quickly over to Faculty Lane and work on my brick-saving project. Late in the summer, though, we moved into our house in its new location out in the country. After we moved, I was busy with settling in, and so I did not work on my brick project every day.

One day I returned to Faculty Lane and I discovered to my horror that much of the debris in and around the basements had been picked up and hauled away. Practically all my bricks had disappeared! I had cleaned and piled up several hundred bricks, and only a couple dozen remained.

I told my Dad and hoped he could do something about it, but of course he could do nothing. He did, however, put all the remaining bricks into the back of our station wagon and transport them to our new location. There he eventually used my bricks to make a patio behind our house. I vaguely recall that Dad paid me something for my bricks, something like $10.

Dan Schwich remembers: "Here's one of my weirdest memories of Faculty lane. In the summer of 1964 when we moved back to Seward from southern California., they had just moved the four white houses to make way for the Music Bldg. All that was left of the four houses were the basements. But we could go down into the basement of our house (what our family has always called the Roselle house) and see Lavonne Reimer's carpentrywork. And it was amazing how small the basements seems for what had seems like enormous houses."

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