Sometimes looking back makes me happy. I love to remember my mom and my dad, my brothers when they still lived at home with us, my high school years, holding my kids when they were babies, visiting my grandmother and plunking away on her piano, Christmas, Easter, and summer vacations. But looking back isn't always pretty. Sometimes it's littered with trash, it has crumbling walls and broken windows, and it's hard to imagine the glory days.
Very, very sad.
This isn't just any old abandoned building in Detroit. It was originally a modern, successful, baking company owned by my grandparents who contracted with an architect to build this particular section of the building so they could expand their operation. The older section of the facility has been gone (decay? fire? vandalism?) for many years. This is all that's left standing. And I suspect it won't be standing much longer.
I have photos of the baking company in its hey day. And I have a sketch of what it was to become back when my grandfather planned to expand it even more. They were grand plans! This was once a wonderful place full of the smells of freshly baked bread, cinnamon rolls, and pastries. It was all lit up in the wee hours of the morning as my grandfather and his staff prepared their baked goods fresh every day. Even on the coldest of winter nights the ovens kept the place toasty-warm. It was a happy place, a meticulously clean place, a place where neighbors would meet and catch up with each other's lives as they stood in line to buy their bread and baked goods. It provided the most amazing cakes for all the First Holy Communion parties, weddings, birthdays, and graduation parties in the neighborhood. It provided rich desserts, babkas, sweet breads, and paczki, for every holiday dinner table. And when times got tough, during the Great Depression, it provided sustenance to those who could afford nothing more than day-old bread for their dinner table.
But I'll save those photos and stories for another time when I'm not feeling so melancholy. I just couldn't do them justice this day.