By Kevin Williams
My aging, midwestern Rust Belt hometown is honeycombed with alleyways in the downtown section. The tiny lanes snake between buildings and are tucked between rows of houses. A city official told me years ago that the alleyways were created so that heating supplies like coal and oil could be more easily delivered to homes during winter and for garbage collection. I think even today you'll see lumbering garbage trucks rumbling through the alleyways although the coal deliveries have mostly long stopped.
I rarely go down these alleys. Occasionally I'll use one as a short-cut or to correct an errant turn. I did one such short cut recently and found, to my surprise, a sign that said "Historic Inglehart Street String Factory Apartments." I've lived here my whole life and never heard of a "string factory" that was once in my town. Strings for what? Violins? Kites? And I didn't know the alley had a name. Most in my town don't. Yet here was this one with an almost regal sounding name like Inglehart.
A cursory Google search yielded nothing. But now this discovery has me eager to cruise the other alleyways in my city, eager for what I might find....