Although I no longer live in New Haven, or Fort Wayne, or Indiana for that matter, there’s always something I feel when coming back “home.” Well first, that New Haven is no longer my “home” but that it will always be my hometown; there’s a difference. Secondly, I’ve realized this time that growing up in New Haven means a whole lot more than just growing up in New Haven.
It means you’re always late due to a train. It means that even though your high school football team is notorious for never winning, and that even if you spell the city name backwards, you nevah wen, you still show up with the rest of the city to every sporting event. It means knowing there’s another city in Connecticut with the same name. It means knowing that Canal Days is a bit grungy, yes, but still looking forward to it regardless. It means driving down Werling Road and knowing you’ll see someone from your high school – or better yet, going to Kroger and for sure seeing someone you know. It means that every Spring Break, you’ll see your New Haven neighbors down in Florida. It means feeling actively involved in city affairs – the continuation of the Canal Days parade, the consolidation of local public schools, or whether Jury Pool should renovate.
No matter how much New Haven continues to improve its already-high quality of living, when you grow up in such a small town centered around one highway, there are just some memories that will forever be imprinted in your brain.
#1: First sign of spring
#2: Where you spend your lunch break
#3: Where your grandparents always take you for lunch
#4: Your birthday was on this
#5: This will forever be Video Stop or Hollywood Video
#7: Restaurants here never seemed to do so well
#8: You had at least one friend who worked here…or you worked here
#9: When New Haven had two grocery stores, and this wasn’t RediMed
#10: You’ve never been inside of this castle, but have always wanted to
#11: You’ve eaten here
#12: Where you end up after every Friday night football game
#13: Where you spent your childhood
#15: Knowing your town is tiny, but still always looking forward to get back home to New Haven, Indiana