The Zoo; Steelton, Pennsylvania


the Zoo, Swatara Street, Steelton

The Zoo is the block in Steelton where my oldest son Tim grew up. He lived across the street from my mother. Mom’s house appears in the top center of this picture. She had the third house down from the empty lot.

The street in front of my mom’s house is Swatara Street. You might not be able to tell from this photo, but Swatara Street is actually two streets. Further up the block, the street forks and runs for two blocks along the side of a hill. At the end of the block pictured above, there is a difference in elevation between upper and lower Swatara Street of about twenty to twenty-five feet; this upper part is the Zoo.

Here is another, better angle of the same street that shows the fork. In the shot below, my mom’s house appears in the lower right.

Swatara Street fork

Tim lived with his mother and stepdad in the Zoo. My mother’s street address and my son’s street address were sequential. One time Tim’s stepdad told me he was going to get three sheets of plywood and cut out the letters Z-O-O and attach them to the roof of his front porch. I laughed. He was just kidding around.

Tim used to complain that the postman would see his last name on any mail that I sent him and drop it off at my mother’s house by mistake. One time when Tim was in elementary school, I sent him a package and jotted a little note on the outside: “Dear Mr. Postman, please deliver this package across the street to my son in the Zoo. Thank you!” When I called to see if Tim liked what I sent, he was upset. He told that I was never, ever, under any circumstances, to write a note to the postman on the outside of any of his packages again.

Ah, well. You never know.

If you want to have a relationship with a boy from a distance of some 200 miles away, you have to be willing to make a few mistakes. Things are going to get messy.

But you can never tell how things will turn out if you don’t get in there and give it a try.