Initially when driving down the long River Road, it can be completely overwhelming with how many business and homes line this street. It was not until the third trip to the area, and a suggestion by a local that drew us to the Countryside Pizza and Grill. We were able to speak with the owner, who was a sassy and energetic woman. After arranging to interview her, unfortunately, she had to cancel the day of the interview leaving me somewhat high and dry and without a candidate to profile.
Extremely panicked, I called my grandmother who lives in the area. She referred me to her neighbor across the street for the sole reason that according to the neighborhood, they are the “Two Mrs. Johnson’s of Marvin Drive.” Turns out this woman has more of a connection to River Road then I had imaged.
Marian has been a resident of the area for over 50 years, and she could tell you for days about what these memories mean to her. She has raised her entire family here and is proud to say, that this will be her home until she dies.
Her daughter was also in town for her monthly visit, so I was extremely fortunate to speak to her about what River Road was like to grow up on. She proudly says that it was a fantastic neighborhood to grow up in and unfortunately, she says that it doesn’t look to be like that anymore.
My original plan was quickly aborted after my hope of profiling the owner of the restaurant had to change and I instead got to take a trip to the years of River Road past. While this was definitely not the route I had planned to go when writing about River Road, it turned out to be more of a history lesson, not only with the people that have lived here, but also the way that family lives have changed.