Sunday, August 17, 2008

Growing Up On Cedar Crest Circle - The Significance of Scott's Court

Picture of Scott's Court
4700 block of Cedar Crest Circle
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46809

Date Taken: May 25, 2008
Credit: Me

What was there to do on Cedar Crest Circle?

This was before VG (Video Games). Another big thing - the residents of this neighborhood were folks with limited incomes. For the most part (if they were employed) - they were blue collar workers (i.e. factories and construction) or worked in retail. And I say 'if' because the 70's were riddled with unemployment challenges in Fort Wayne.

The "outdoors" was our entertainment.

It didn't matter how old of a kid you were - you spent a great deal of time outdoors. Yes, even if it was colder than crap and hotter than hell.

There were certain activities that became engrained in our neighborhood culture. Scott's Court (and if anyone can ever figure out for me why it's called that and who really owns this piece of land, I would be forever indebted to you) was a grassy area where we played red rover, tag, picked cherries from the cherry tree, and most importantly, it was the entry to the best ditch in the neighborhood.

I kid you not. Let me back track a little bit.

If you were a kid with a ditch next to your house - you were high up in the neighborhood pecking order. Oh yes. Now this particular ditch wasn't next to my house - it was across the street and down three houses. Still, very close in proximity and what made it even more special is that the folks who lived on either side of it had NO kids so you know...possession is like 9/10's of the law.

This was my ditch.

In the 70's, the City of Fort Wayne (or maybe it was the county - who knows...) came out and re-did all of the ditches in our neighborhood. Those silvery shells created quite the opening. Inside, you could find all sorts of treasures. Rocks that looked like gemstones. Tadpoles. Lots of 'em.

In this picture, the ditch-area is grown over with grass, but in my day, it was more rocks and water than anything else.

Side note: I came thisclose to crawling inside of this just to get a picture of what it looks like now but thought that perhaps someone might see me and then how would I explain why a middle-aged chick was crawling into the ditch? Well officer, I have this blog and....

This ditch was also the place where I had my first fist fight. You see, I was in sixth grade, and Rhonda and Rene Swanigan had moved into our neighborhood. Although they lived on Pinecrest (which was the straight street that separated each side of Cedar Crest Circle), they felt the need to assert (or try to) their authority in the neighborhood. I hated them. They were the same ages as me (Rhonda) and my sister (Rene).

I know it can be really tough moving into an 'established' neighboorhood. We didn't take too kindly to outsiders. We even were known for singing Help Me Rhonda whenever we talked about Rhonda. Hey - that's just the way it was. Everyone had a nickname or a song that was sung about them - new kid or otherwise.

One day while riding bikes, we (a handful of miscellaneous kids) paused at Scott's Court. Rhonda and Rene decided to stop and taunt my sister Patty.

Why? What was said? Couldn't tell you. All I know is that when I told her to take it back and leave Patty alone, she got off of her banana-seated bike and asked me what I was gonna do about it.

So I pushed her. She pushed back. I hated her. And it felt good to pull her blonde roots out.

And the fists started flying. We ended up rolling around on Scott's Court and then fell into the ditch where we continued to punch the crap out of each other.

Kathy Boice (an older chick in the neighborhood) must have been alerted to the fight by her sister Jackie. She came over with her boyfriend Tom, and broke it up.

I didn't cry until I got home. I wasn't crying because I was hurt. I had just had my brackets put on by Dr. Ingleman that morning and I knew my parents would be ticked if any of them had fallen off...

Lucky me...all were intact.

But Rhonda and Rene - well - we never were able to bond with them. Not that we tried or anything...


Scott Spaulding said...

From looking at a nearby tax record it looks like it was probably called Scott's Court because of the legal name of the subdivision, "Scotsville Addition".

The GIS map also lists the ditch as "Trentman Drain"