People Stick Around for a Long Time in Clarendon Hills

People Stick Around for a Long Time in Clarendon Hills

  • Mike McCurry
  • 10/28/10
Nice story about how residence love the town and want to live here until the die. Whoa!

Town Column: Different structures at same address spell home for family

If you can forget about housing styles and the omnipresent Halloween decorations and in your mind’s eye fill village sidewalks with trolls, goblins, witches and ghosts, then the time could just as easily be the late ’60s or early ’70s as the first decade of the new millennium as far as Steven Garnett is concerned.
Garnett, Clarendon Hills native and current resident, used to be one of those costumed kids, candy bag in hand, going door to door in search of treats. When he was a kid, there were a couple of houses that would have “gone to the extremes” in terms of decorating, he said, but as for the actual holiday — the trick-or-treating — “When I grew up in Clarendon Hills, the excitement and volume of kids was the same then as it is today,” he said. He would know. Back then, he would bring his Halloween haul home to the family’s single level ranch house at 241 Holmes Ave. Today as the dad offering treats to the candy-craving crowds, the door he opens is once again at 241 Holmes Ave., only this home is a 2-year-old craftsman-style structure.
Garnett, his mom and dad and three sisters moved into the ranch house at 241 Holmes Ave., in 1966 when he was 4. As a child he would walk to Walker School and later he attended Hinsdale Junior High School — before the days of Clarendon Hills Middle School where his youngest, Spencer, is in seventh grade — and still later he was a student at Hinsdale Central where today his daughter Alexis is a sophomore and his son J.D. is a freshman. During the years between graduating from Central and then moving back to Clarendon Hills, he went to college and lived in various places.
In 1998, though, at the same time he and wife, Chris, were living in a three-bedroom house in Downers Grove wanting a four-bedroom home, Garnett’s parents were thinking about selling their house. Garnett and his wife jumped at the chance to make 241 Holmes Ave. their own. One of the Garnett boys slept in Garnett’s old bedroom and the other children slept in their aunt’s bedrooms. When Garnett and his wife decided to take down the basement paneling and install drywall, they discovered a mural Garnett and his sisters had painted as kids and the newer generation added to it. When you live in your childhood home, one of the cool things is that you are intimately familiar with all the broken parts of the home, too, Garnett said.
In 2006. when the time had come to raze the ranch and replace it with something more up-to-date, Garnett didn’t spend a lot of time being sentimental. His mother was okay with the tearing down, and one of his sisters, he said, wondered why they had waited so long though another sister wept. But, according to Garnett, the only thing really being knocked down was wood and nails. The memories remain in their hearts and minds, and the land where pets are buried and trees were planted remains the same.
He and Chris are so content at 241 Holmes, that his wife Chris jokes she and Steven will go out in body bags, and, according to Garnett, “As a matter of fact, my youngest son Spencer has already put dibs on my house and my job.” Garnett is the fourth generation to work at a family manufacturing company based in Hodgkins. It is a real possibility that someday Spencer will be the dad and pass out the candy from 241 Holmes Ave., the very place he would return toting his treats. Hopefully as many kids will still be eagerly plying the streets in search of candy, though the outdoor and decor may be quite different then.
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Mike believes that people are at the heart of every real estate transaction. That’s why his approach to buying and selling always starts with developing a real relationship with his clients.

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