By Riley Robinson
Diane Carroll, 66, has lived in the same house on Calumet Street since age 10.
“You walked out of your house, and it took a village,” she said. “Everyone watched everyone else’s kid. The minute the lights went on, you had to be inside for supper. When the streetlights came on, you had to get in that house or you were in trouble.”
Carroll and her husband bought a sage-green duplex in 1978 and now live on the top floor. Her daughter and son-in-law live downstairs while they save for their own home. Carroll said both of her daughters have returned to live with her after getting married to save money.
Carroll is a retired human resources executive for the American Cancer Society. She said it’s the college students who have changed the neighborhood most in recent years. She’s concerned about them sometimes, especially when she hears them late on Friday and Saturday nights.
“You hear the screaming and you worry, I mean, not just as a neighbor but as a parent,” she said. “‘My God,’ I think, ‘Is she alright?’ I spend many a night worrying about kids that aren’t even my own.”
Carroll also worries about the neighborhood’s historic houses. They’re “chopped up” into student-ready housing to turn a profit, at a detriment to inhabitants’ safety.
“I mean, the [one] down there,” she said, pointing down the street to her aunt’s former house. “I went to the open house with my daughter ‘cause I had wanted to see what they’d done with my aunt’s house… I said, ‘I’m probably gonna cry when I see what they did.’
“As I was going through the house, there were cubby holes and places where my aunt used to store her Christmas decorations, and they had slid extra mattresses in there. You’ve got too many kids living in an apartment. What if there was a fire?”