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Visiting Some Old Ghost

A trip back home

By Joe PattersonPublished about a month ago Updated about a month ago 4 min read
Chapel Hill

In the story It by Stephen King there is a part where the character Ben Hanscomb returns to the area where he first encountered the antagonist of the story as a child and when his cab driver makes note of this visit he says he was just “visiting some old ghost”. Just over a week ago I had my own visit with some old ghost when I went back to the city of Chapel Hill, which is where I used to live as a kid.

During the week of the Good Friday holiday my supervisors where I worked informed us that we would have the day off and being that I never have fridays off I just had a thought to wanna go visit some of my childhood best friends in Chapel Hill and do some catching up being that I hadn’t seen them in person for awhile. One of my best friends in Chapel Hill, Carlo Fearrington, called me up and when I pitched him the idea he was all in and so it was official that I would be there.

I got up that Friday to a beautiful clear sky and a sunny day. I got dressed, hopped in my car and hit the highway and made my way to Chapel Hill. On the way there I made a conscious effort to play all the music that my mother played when we lived in Chapel Hill. It was a funny moment of nostalgia seeing all those sites we used to go by when she would bring me and my sisters to my dad and grandma’s house on the weekends in Greensboro. It was also funny to me that I was now driving there. As a kid I was used to sitting in the backseat while my mom did all the navigating to Greensboro and Chapel Hill.

When I finally reached the city limits of Chapel Hill a rush of old history finally hit me. It was beautifully overwhelming. I couldn’t believe I was back. I hadn’t physically been there in years and yet I remembered everything about the city and I still remembered my way around to every place I ever lived or visited in the city. It was funny to me that I knew my way around to all of these places in a car because of how I used to walk to all of them on foot when I was a preteen. The first place I went to was the first neighborhood I ever lived in during my earliest years in Chapel Hill, South Estes aka Ridgefield.

When I was a kid South Estes was the projects, our own little slice of a healthy ghetto where I was free as a kid. I parked my car in the back of the neighborhood and went walking around my old stomping ground. Not surprisingly Ridgefield is still the projects, but I noticed it was considerably more diverse than when I used to live there. I went to the park I used to hang out at in the neighborhood and even went by my old house. It all really made me laugh so much. I have so many great memories of that place. I then went back to my car and left for Erwin Village

After Ridgefield, Erwin Village was the place I lived the second longest during my life in Chapel Hill. First thing I noticed when I got there was how smaller the neighborhood seemed to look. I guess that was attributed to how much bigger I have gotten over the course of the past two decades. I literally parked in front of my old house when I got there and made note of how different the area was since my childhood. This area used to be surrounded by so much trees and woods, but most of that wilderness had been gutted and they had turned the trees and woods into housing complexes. It was almost as if the wilderness I knew was never there. It really made me laugh because it brought back so many memories of a world that a child living there today would never know existed.

When I left Erwin Village I made my way to Carlo’s house so I could pick him up. I hadn’t seen Carlo in person in over 15 years. As soon as he cann my e outside we greeted each other with the biggest brotherly hug and laughed at how much we had changed over the years. As we rode around in my car we visited a few old spots and a couple new ones. I drove past our old middle school which was Phillips Middle School and I just laughed thinking about all the trouble me and Carlo used to get into there. We both talked about how much the city had changed and how there were new places there that hadn’t been there back in my day. It really was like it was a new place.

Eventually we went to get some lunch around noon and that where we really started catch up. We talked about how much our personal lives and family lives had changed, how we both lost our mothers over the years and this really reconnected us. We also talked about our goals for the future which Carlo expressed that he felt I definitely needed to stick to mine and we both were proud of how far we had come in life. This visit concluded with me dropping Carlo off at a tattoo shop so he could get a new tattoo. After we gave hugs and made plans to hang again soon I made my way back to Greensboro. I really had a great time visiting those old ghost and I really appreciate the memories I have of how they molded my childhood.

Chapel Hill


About the Creator

Joe Patterson

Hi I'm Joe Patterson. I am a writer at heart who is a big geek for film, music, and literature, which have all inspired me to be a writer. I rap, write stories both short and long, and I'm also aspiring to be an author and a filmmaker.

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  • Andrea Corwin about a month ago

    It never is the same, thus that old saying of "you can never go home." Anything left standing is never as big as you saw it when little. Glad you got to visit and see your friend!

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