Saturday, February 4, 2012

Center of the Universe

In 1973, my family moved to Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.  I was in first grade.  I lived there until I went off to college in 1985.  It was a pretty idyllic childhood, with a fantastic family in a safe suburban community. Kids, in general, were considered a lot more competent than they are today, and so we had a great deal of freedom and independence.  

Here's my Jill Berry-inspired map of the key features of my town.
 (according to my childhood self)
I used a variety of my own paste papers as backgrounds. 
Each of those little squares is actually a door.
(oooh! flappy!)
If you've got really good eyesight (and the inclination) you could read what I wrote under each flap.
But if you don't have good eyesight, here's a key:
  1. House: I lived here from 1973 to 1985 and for as long as my parents continue to live here it will be home.
  2. State Route 140:  Be careful of the curve. (Yes, mom)
  3. Spring Street School, Grades 1-6: The first person I met in this building, in 1973, is still my good friend today. (She calls me Bitch every time I talk to her.)
  4. Mountain View Cemetery:  We smoked our cigarettes here. (see Pizzeria)
  5. Hale's Drug Store:  This would have been a better place to buy candy if the lady wasn't so mean.
  6. Shrewsbury Public Library: my first job was shelving books here for $3.12 an hour.  I secretly wish I still worked here.
  7. Shrewsbury Pizzeria: They had a cigarette vending machine.  In 6th grade we pooled our change and made Christine go in and buy some. (see cemetery)
  8. Center Dairy Bar:  best place to buy candy and chips. (green apple flavored Bubs Daddy bubble gum!)
  9. Maple Ave Sidewalk: Got asked out by a boy for the first time ever.  He carried my books.  We broke up 20 minutes later.
  10. Shrewsbury Jr. High:  7th and 8th grade.  Enough said.


P.S.  Even though I've since lived in New Hampshire, Western Mass, Seattle and Greater Boston, the lure of "home" was too strong to resist.  I moved back to Shrewsbury in 2004 and live 3 miles from my parents.  Max is having an idyllic childhood, though I hope to god his map doesn't include cigarettes in the cemetery.  

P.P.S. I both started and ended my smoking career in 6th grade.

P.P.P.S.  good old spell check has informed me that ONCE AGAIN, I have spelled cemetery wrong, as well as pizzeria.  I could go fix the map, and rescan it, and repost it here, but instead we'll pretend I did it on purpose for the sake of childhood authenticity

P.P.P.P.S.  Does this count as one thing or ten things?


  1. great map, i have been inspired by her maps, i listened to her webiner and got even more inspired, havent got the book yet

  2. Oh this is such a cool idea and so fun taking the peek into your childhood.Looks alot like mine,lol!

  3. Nice. That book looks interesting. I may need to read it. During the same exact time frame, I lived in 7 different houses/apartments, in 3 different countries, and in 3 different states. I might need to see how my map would look and share it with you when I do.

  4. Love the map -- very interesting personal geography. You are inspiring me to make one....

  5. I looooove your little map and I have sooo enjoyed to look at and read your little doors... see me smiling here :-))))))

  6. - I secretly wish you still worked there too.
    - This makes you seem more into cigarettes than you are.
    - I wouldn't have broken up with you.

  7. Living next to the folks is the best....I miss it now that I'm 35 miles away....

    What a great map. Such a fun way to document tidbits of your life :)