Beloved Hixson neighborhood holds reunion


From left, Audrey Hudson, Maria Marshall and Shirely Jackson relax on Hudson’s front porch swing. Both Hudson and Jackson have lived on Meadowood Drive for 40-plus years.

Maria Marshall remembers so much about growing up on Meadowood Drive. The now 38-year-old can recall summertime kickball games and flashlight tag after dark. Then there were the snowball fights and all the major and minor bicycle crashes in the road.

Her sister Melanie Grubb still has the scars, she said.

A drive down Meadowood might reveal a neighborhood like any other, except for those who have called it home.

Meadowood Drive is one of those places where the whole neighborhood is a family, Marshall said. It’s why she, along with childhood friend Shannon Tucker, recently orchestrated a reunion in the Hixson neighborhood.

They invited neighbors past and present to stop by Marshall and Grubb’s childhood home to reminisce over grilled hot dogs and chili. Marshall’s mother Audrey Hudson still lives in the house, complete with a big front porch and a comfy swinging bench, and has lived there for 40-plus years.

“This house was here before the neighborhood was here,” said Grubb. “Everybody migrated here [when we were growing up].”

All of the neighborhood kids would take to the streets to play while the adults gathered and gossiped until late hours of the night, Grubb said.

“Being grounded to your house was absolutely the worst,” laughed Marshall, explaining that there was always so much going on outside that staying in was the ultimate punishment. “There was never a time you didn’t see kids out playing everywhere. Everybody all the way up the street knew each other.”

Marshall explained the feeling of safety she had while growing up on Meadowood Drive, and it’s a feeling echoed in a poem written by Tucker to express his favorite memories of his childhood home.

Forty-plus-year resident Millis Jackson sums it up by saying, “If you find a place you like, why keep changing?”

Do you have your own Meadowood Drive in the North Hamilton area? Tell us about it at facebook.com/northhamilton.