Alton Square Blank

There’s a pivotal scene in the movie Grosse Pointe Blank in which the lead character, Martin Blank, attempts to visit his childhood home unseen since graduating high school. When he pulls up, he discovers that his house has been replaced by a convenience store. The moment focuses on his consternation and bewilderment.

The actor John Cusak plays the role perfectly, though you might be forgiven if you think that the scene is implausible. I certainly did until something similar happened to me.

A few days ago I had some time to kill before a session. The location was adjacent to the mall in the town where I grew up. In its heyday, the mall was jam-packed and a hotbed of activity. There was a place inside of the mall that was the magnet for boys of my era. It was the pinball arcade called Tilt and it was always busy.

As I walked into the mall for the first time in 25 years, I noticed something odd. All the stores on the second level were gone. Not just boarded up, but erased. What was once a promenade of commerce was now just a series of wide corridors with very nice carpeting and modern lighting.

This picture of a blank wall covered by semi-historical posters is where the arcade once was.

My opinion on the believability of someone coming home to find their touchstone missing has changed.

About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer with more than 2500 completed sessions in all 50 US states.