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03/04/2009

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That was pretty good, Charlie. I can shed more light. The original house was quite small. Your room was the original kitchen, complete with black and white tile floor and a side door that went outside. I can remember being in that room the day Mom came home with Christy. Granny was fixing hot chocolate on the stove. We were both inside briefly to thaw out. Prior to that we were both outside so thick with clothes that we could hold stand there and look at each other. Motion was impossible. In any event, I could see the car coming on Peoples Ave and ran to the door to greet Mom, whom I hadn't seen in 5 days. In she walks with the bundle of blankets. it was Feb so it was cold. When I saw what was in that blanket I was totally dismayed. Why did we need another baby? Whose bright idea was that? I made sure to rub the soft spot on her head that Mom said not to touch. Welcome home, Christy!

OK, so our bedroom was the dining room. The house ended there. Charlie and I slept there together until the addition was made and Christy was old enough to move in with me. At that point war was declared, which will be the subject of another posting. The "string" appeared often after that: being drawn across the room to mark boundaries. My side had the door. Christy's side her her bed. She couldn't cross over and therefore couldn't leave the room, go to the bathroom, etc. All this was under threat of death if she even tried. What Mom didn't know didn't hurt us!

I believe what ended up being the girl's room was where Mom and Dad slept. That was the room with the scary bush. I can remember many a night watching the shadows dance on the wall and hearing that scratching and being terrified. I had two choices: lay frozen in bed or roll gently out of bed and slither on my belly to Mom and Dad's room to get help (which I was sure I needed due to the monster shadow's on the wall). If I was afraid of the snakes under the bed, I'd lie there frozen and terrified until I fell asleep from pure exhaustion. If there were no snakes under the bed, I'd take the slither option and not return to my room unless accompanied by an adult who was going to save me without question.

That awful 2 foot snake was wrapped around the coke bottle I took from the wooden crate in the garage. Thank goodness Mr. Russel heard me scream for my life. Everyone else was inside with that danged window unit AC going. Couldn't hear yourself think much less someone being attached by anaconda in the garage. Yep, Mr. Russel came over in a flash with rake in hand ready to kill the dastardly fiend who was attacking me. Actually, he thought I was being raped. But he settled for the snake when he found that not to be the case.

Don't forget the swing set in the back yard. The one that had the hornets build a nest inside the top bar every year. Then Dad would do the annual purge in the Spring. What would it take for him to learn that if you stuck a lit torch in one end, the angry bees would swarm out the other end and sting the ____ out of him? Oh, well, some lessons come harder than others.

And then turn around and torch the pecan tree to fry the worms that were growing there. It rained fried worms for hours. You could hear them sizzle and get crispy. Fond memories.

And the clothes line in the back yard. Nothing like collecting up Mom's sheets and blankets and throwing them over the clothes line to make tents. Hours of fun there.

And emptying out the garage of any ladders, wheelbarrows and other movable objects to the front yard and building barricades for pea-shooting wars. More hours of fun which included Teddy and Buddy.

Then there was that little stretch of sidewalk in front of the house. Who knows what that was for. It didn't connect up to anything and was just in front of our house. But it was good to ride up and down or skate up and down. That's when Mom would toss us out when skating in the kitchen. Wow, where's that key I used to hang around my neck all summer on a dirty string. I'd tighten those skates so tight it would make my eyes hurt. But the skates weren't meant to be used with Keds. But I made it work!

OK enough for tonight. Love these trips down memory lane.

And, Christy, I have grown to love you despite the strained start to our relationship ;-D

The part about touching Christy's soft spot explains a lot! This was a great post for me because I remember almost none of this. I do recall filling huge tubs with water and soaking the summer away in the back yard, and the dog that ate the parrot. And the bb-gun wars, and on and on. Fun.

Well, I hadn't thought of that. I was just a curious child who was deeply concerned about the new addition to the family. Yes, those summers in the metal tubs were the best. And running through the sprinklers. Wow! What fun. I remember going barefoot all summer. I always had a thin black coat of tar under my feet. Didn't need shoes ;-D And do you remember the Happy Harmony Man with the ice cream truck? Pavlov had nothing over that one. That music triggered every kid in the neighborhood to act and act now. Kids came out of the wall and trees and under house, etc. You could hear the cries up and down the street: Mom, can I have one, can I, huh, huh? Yep those red popsicles. What a treat. I can remember the first time Mom let me buy a Nuttie Buddy. It was one or two cents more than a popsicle. Whoa! And snoballs. Remember our nightly ride to the snoball stand after Dad was through teaching (if he got done early)? How many times did I go to the snoball stand in my pj's? Too many to count.

And, Charlie, do you remember the little grocery store down the street? Mom used to put us in the back seat of the car and drive down there for bread and mild. She'd leave us in the car while she ran in. One day we got into an argument and I pulled out the ashtray and flung it at you and hit you in the head. Mom came out to find you crying with blood running down your face. Off to ... what was the name of that drug store on Drew Ave.? The guy who ran that store did more medical handlings on us than a doctor. Oh, Mr. Hemstreet, I guess at Hemstreet's Drug Store.

And Granny coming up the street with those bags of groceries every Wed and Fri to cook for us. What was in those bags: comic books. Charlie would get 2 and Christy and I would get 1 each. I caught on once I accused Granny of having favorites and getting Charlie more than me. Big ado!

And Aunt Ruth taking us to Woolworth's once a week with a dollar. You and Christy had that dollar spent in seconds. I took so long that both Mom and Aunt Ruth would get annoyed. You and Christy were already in the car and I was still fondling every item in the store to get the best deal. A nightmare for all concerned.

And our yearly trip to Pontchatrain Beach. Whoa! We each had about $50 in quarters and could spend it however we wanted. A true yearly nightmare for Dad. Plus she'd take us to Bali Hai where we could eat whatever we wanted. No attention to cost. A double feature nightmare for Dad.

Such fond memories. I could go on for a long time but gotta run ;-D

Reading all of this has opened the memory floodgates! I am going to enjoy seeing what else wakes up in my head after reading your posts. Hope Chris jumps in soon.

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Who Are They - Album 2

  • 6 Pics
    Nine pictures with no names. Could one of them have been Granny as a child?

Who Are They - Album 1

  • Colwell
    The first of several albums whose occupants are sometimes known, but most times not.

Adele and Charles Paddock 16 Ottobre 1946

  • Page 41
    This was Mom and Dad's first photo album together. The book was a gift, and it is clear that others took many of the photos.