Since age 50, I’ve lived in some nice houses. But houses don’t matter much. It’s what goes on inside.
When I was a junior in college, I lived in the Broom ’n Spoon. Built years before as a cheap office for used-car salesmen, the structure sat in the middle of a parking lot. It was tiny, deserted and ready to blow away in the next windstorm. My roommates and I saw it as the perfect party house – cheap, with plenty of free parking.
Our house became famous in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, for any college student who wanted to unwind on a Saturday night. The sounds of our parties reverberated for blocks. The police parked on a side street, waiting to be called into action.
On the flip side, the Broom ’n Spoon was a place where I grew up (the other six days of the week). On Sunday mornings, I toted bags of Saturday-night debris to trash bins behind the Park Hotel. A thorough cleaning turned our party house into a study space for the rest of the week.
Today, I love my home in Washoe Valley. But late at night, I have brilliant memories of a time long ago at the Broom ’n Spoon.