Broken Glass


The house was built in 1904. For the longest time it was the only building in a large flat field in the southern outskirts of Columbus Ohio. The house was an island in the midst of a sea of waist high grass that gently swayed in the summer breeze. It was modest and sturdy. It had a rugged integrity that reflected the strong work ethic of its builders. It wasn’t big, or plush. Its lines were simple, straight and true. Each stud, floor joist, and each piece of clapboard that covered its walls and framed its long narrow windows were destined to thrive not just survive. The windows were a distinguishing characteristic of the house.

Sixty years later in the summer of 1964, I was a 14-year-old boy growing-up on the Southside of Columbus trying desperately to fall asleep in the second floor front bedroom of this same old house. I am stripped to my white BVD underwear, trying to stay cool in the heat and humidity of the summer night. I didn’t know the meaning of the word insomnia but I knew the experience.