For about five years there in the late '80s, my family lived in an apartment at a complex called Stratford Park. Back then it wasn't a bad place to live. I'm not sure how the neighborhood fares these days.
We had a patio on the other side of the sliding glass door that was surrounded, for the most part, by brick walls. It had a very enclosed feeling. The living room had an ancient upright piano that was supposed to inspire me and April to practice on a daily basis. Really didn't work.
Over the years we had some interesting neighbors. Directly upstairs, I remember there being a couple with a very destructive relationship. The man was very abusive. There were a number of times when we could hear him yelling at the woman through the ceilings. If I remember correctly, my parents called the police a few times and even endured threats from the man for not minding their own business. Eventually they split up and she moved safely to Chatanooga where she had family.
Toward the end of our stay there, we had neighbors across the hall with two young daughters. Finally, someone for April to play with. The older of the two had a crush on me. She showed this by being very, very annoying. What made it worse was that we went to the same school. Of course we went to the same school, we lived in the same building. So very annoying.
The apartment complex also had a swimming pool. And though I never learned how to properly swim, it was a nice way to break up those boring summer days with no school.
The hallway outside our apartment had an odd smell. To this day I can still remember it, but I can't describe it. I can't say it was like mildew or stale air or anything like that. All I can say is that it was unique. I've never smelled anything like it since. But I remember pushing that door open to enter the building and being hit in the face with it, no matter what time of year it was.
We lived there until October of 1990, when we moved into the only house my parents ever owned. I never missed that old apartment. I never will.