We took Founder and CEO of Askinosie Chocolate Shawn Askinosie back to his childhood home in the Brentwood area of Springfield. We wanted to speak with him about why he’s chosen to stay in Springfield, despite being able to live anywhere in the world and what home means to him. Check out the full interview right here!
The houses we grew up in are more than just places we used to live. They’re a part of who we are. They’re the backdrop to our fondest memories and reminders of where we’ve been. For Shawn Askinosie, his childhood home is a beacon pointing him to something larger than any one residence can be. It’s a relic of a time that formed who he is today and it’s a direction to where he’ll go in the future.
We reached out to Shawn about returning to his childhood home a few months ago. We’ve been filming these interviews for a while now to see why long time Springfield residents have decided to stay in Springfield, rather than choosing a new home, different from where they grew up. Shawn told us he hadn’t been back to the home since his family moved from the residence in the 1970s. So, when he walked in the front door and saw that many of the appointments and details remained unchanged, it was a shock to the system. “It’s like going back in time,” he said. The current owner of the home bought it because he enjoyed the historic feel so much. He hasn’t changed many things about the home since buying it four years ago.
“It’s like going back in time”
Askinosie immediately started recalling memories of getting into trouble with his brothers. He remembered climbing up on the counter to get cereal and chips. He remembered his listening to records on the floor in the living room. He remembered playing with model airplanes in his room with a string he tied at an angle to mimic flight. The memories flooded in.
After harkening back to summer nights on bicycles and climbing trees that are far too tall to climb now, Shawn told us about his father. His dad was diagnosed with cancer after the family moved from the house, marking the beginning of a very difficult time in his family’s history. As he was looking back, Shawn realized that the last time his family was all together was in the house he hadn’t returned to in nearly forty years. He was back at the place where in many ways, his childhood ended.
“The key is to recognize that I’m being pointed home and what I’m doing to create new memories today”
Shawn told us that he had been thinking a lot about the meaning of what home really is leading up to the interview. He said that it isn’t really about the bricks and mortar that make up a home, it’s the experiences and the memories we share with the ones we love that truly create home inside ourselves. It’s the time we spend with our families that point us to the home of our true selves.
And whatever comes after it.
Thank you so much to Shawn Askinosie for allowing us to experience this with him and to the current owner of the home, Stephen Koch for welcoming us.