Tuesday, January 17, 2012

92 year old house

I recently checked to see if the house that I grew up in was for sale.   I wanted to see how much it was worth.   When I did an internet search, the house was not for sale but I did find a house that I had lived in for a couple of years when I was young that was up for sale.  When I lived there around 1948 there was a large grape vineyard behind the house.   That deck on the side of the house wasn't present.   
When Mary and I went to visit my hometown about five years ago I had driven past this house and gotten a couple of pictures.
Look near the top of the chimney.   Looks like fresh mortar.   It appears that the chimney has been recently repaired.  Judging by the color of the mortar they probably did the chimney repair at the same time as they closed up the window to the right of the chimney.   What a shame to lose a window.   Makes the room darker.   I think that the natural outside light is always preferable.   Notice the curve arch of the brickwork over the door and windows.   I bet that the original door had a beautiful arch to the top of the door.   Now it has been replaced with a rectangular door.   An arched door would have looked so much nicer.   The same is true of the windows.   I see a window A/C unit in the dormer window as well in a window in the picture below.    No central air.    But then when I was a child we didn't have any A/C at all.   We just suffered through the hot summer doldrums.
Yeah, it is built on a hillside.  Look at the reflection of the beautiful large tree in the reflection of the outside mirror on the car.   Now here is the house as it was 64 years ago.   Still looks pretty much the same.   The house was built in 1920 and so I think that it is pretty good for a house that is 92 years old.
That is me with my mickey mouse shirt on.   Even as a child I loved Disney, and I still do.  Disney World is such a magical place to visit.   Everything is fun and everyone is happy.   The woman standing is my aunt Pearl who was my father's sister and the woman seated was my father's mother.   They were visiting from Schenectady where they lived.
This is my dad, my mom, and my brother.   So many homes in this area was built on hillsides.
I like this picture because it has my great grandfather in it.   Remember him from a previous blog?   The marigold man who got me interested in marigolds and which remains my favorite flower.   My brother is all dressed up in his boy scout uniform as he gets ready to go to camp.  And look at me wearing my brother's hand-me-downs.   This was common then, the younger children got the older child's clothing to wear.  People were thrifty back then.   And this particular doorway has a story to it.   On the other side of the door is the kitchen.   One night I was upset about something.   I think that it was because my mom was making the milk from powdered milk and I didn't like the taste of it.   I wanted whole milk.   Distraught, I told my mother that I was going to run away from home.   My mom was calm and said okay and she made me a sandwich and set it on a handkerchief along with some cookies and then brought the four corners up around a stick and knotted them.   Then she gave me the stick with the little bundle tied to the end of it.   It was just like you see the hobos carry in the movies.   I got to the door and opened it.   It was pitch black outside.    There was a grape vineyard behind the house and sometimes in the mornings we would see the footprints of the foxes who had come to eat the grapes.   My brother said "Watch out for the foxes Louie."   With that, in fear, I broke out crying and ran to my mom.    There was no more complaining about the powdered milk.   But to placate me my mom would buy whole milk and mix it half and half with the powdered milk.    And what about that two car garage?
Just look at that car with a running board.  You don't see running boards anymore.   I remember them also from the gangster movies whereby a ganster would be standing on the running board, holding onto the window framwe with one hand, and blazing away with a machine gun held in the other arm.   They were very exciting movies.  My mom is in the middle in this picture and my aunt Pearl is to the left.  And look at the external headlights on the fender.  But in retrospect, how did I manage to get into all of the pictures?   Amazing.   It was nice to see the house as it is today and compare the pictures to those from yesteryear.   I also find it a lot of fun to bring up my hometown on Google maps and then explore around to see how much it has changed.   Of course those of my childhood friends who never moved away probably don't do that because they are still there and only have to walk out the front door to see the current conditions.   I don't know, maybe I remember my home town through a child's eyes but it seemed so much nicer way back when than it is now.   Old photographs are nice and help refresh the old wonderful memories of childhood.   I guess that I am just nostalgic.   Pleasant times are pleasant to remember.   I hope that everyone out there have pleasant memories to look back onto and a photograph album chuck full of old pictures to look back on.    Lew

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