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Memories of the Covington area and changes that have occurred as recalled by a native of the area for over forty years.

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From the Forbidden Zone to Kohl’s – A Change in Perspective in Just Forty Years

November 24th, 2013 at Sun, 24th, 2013 at 9:12 pm by Rick Bergum

I was walking through Kohl’s today and got to thinking about what things were like forty years ago where that building now stands.

Across the street (169th PL SE), there’s a new medical building.  I had a friend who lived in a house where that new building is now located.  I remember when I was around ten years old playing at his house and standing in the front yard looking across a field filled with Scotch Broom, weeds, grass and dirt roads; really more like dirt trails that were used by motorbikes and four-wheeler’s as well as a gravel road used by BPA to access the power lines overhead.  There were no buildings, no parking lot, no apartments.  Just a scrubby landscape of intrigue.

Occasionally we would venture into that void to play, but it was always more like a forbidden zone of potential trouble and fear lurking around every bush.  My fear was increased due to the fact that the area was used by bikers and four-wheeler’s to race around on their machines expending energy and most likely having a good time.  Being a ten-year old however, I had this fear of creepy, uncouth individuals trying to chase me down, kidnap me or take my life in their own hands like putty and do horrible things like making me disappear forever in this ethereal realm.  So, when we’d be playing in that field and would hear the tell-tale sounds of bikes and trucks racing down the trails and roads that had been cut through the brush, it was my time to hightail it back to civilization a few hundred feet away.  Once back on safe ground in front of my friends house, I could safely watch from a distance as these crazed teenagers and young adults went about their day creating dust devils and scaring the neighborhood children with their adrenaline-filled antics.

The gravel road  they raced up and down and that was transected by dirt trails was accessed from a two-lane Kent-Kangley and wove its way under the power lines toward Highway 18. At that time, a large hill where the current apartments stand was present and this was used for vehicular climbing, racing and jumping.  Driving over the top one would encounter a two-lane Highway 18 that was able to be crossed by driving through a deep ditch and then up and over the highway ending up in Suncrest on the other side.  This was a favorite weekend racing area and summertime stop for the youth and I’m sure some older ones as well.

Looking back in time, I realize there probably wasn’t much to fear, but the feelings still haunt me.  Today, one sees only apartments, parking lots, businesses and Kohl’s.  But my memories bring back vivid feelings of fear and curiosity.  A few decades of time can certainly change one’s perspective on life and how they view and feel about the same scene that lies in front of them.


I've lived in Covington for over 50 years. I've seen a lot of changes in Covington during that time and hope to share a few of these periodically. I enjoy writing and also write a blog for those in the custodial field. (The link is included on this blog page.) You can also find information on Facebook under the name Custodial Soupçon.

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