My Old Neighborhood…

 Actually, I had more than one neighborhood while growing up.  My family lived in at least six different neighborhoods during my childhood!  The final house we lived in was my favorite, and I’ve always considered it my childhood home.  We moved there when I was eleven, and my parents lived there for about eight years.

Before we moved to my final childhood neighborhood, my uncle and his family were living in the house that we eventually ended up moving into.  My family and I lived one street over, so I was a frequent visitor to my cousins’ house!  My uncle had two daughters just a couple of years older than me, and we had some fun times playing at their house.  The house was already like a “second home” to me by the time we moved there. 

mama during one of those fun times...Christmas 1970!

The house was located beside the main strip of Highway 301 which runs through our town.  In those days, the teenagers rode up and down the strip of Highway 301, between Reese’s 301 Drive-In and The Dairy Queen–because there wasn’t anything else to do!  (there still isn’t!)  Teenagers weren’t supposed to loiter, so they had to keep riding!  I could see the “main drag” from my bedroom window, and it was always fun to see who was riding up and down the strip!  Teenagers love to ride, you know!  Sometimes all that riding caused excitement!

this car belonged to a friend...he actually drove his "convertible" around town!

Late one night, my future hubby and I were sitting in his car, parked in front of my house.  We did that a lot at the end of our dates.  I had to be home by 11:30, but Ed could stay later if he wanted, so we frequently sat and talked a while.  Ed’s car was  facing away from the main strip of highway.  Suddenly, we heard a very loud crash down by the highway!  It turns out that a couple, out on a date, were going way too fast, lost control of the car, and hit the light pole at the end of the road in front of my house!  Not only that, but somehow the car flipped!  The couple had some minor injuries, but no fatalities, thank goodness!

There was a small vacant lot beside our house, and a larger vacant lot across highway 301.  Eventually, someone decided that the larger vacant lot across the highway would be a great place to host the yearly carnival!  So for a week each October, the carnival was held across the street from our house!  Lights, noise, action–until 1 o’clock in the morning–for six days!  Oh, and that vacant lot beside our house?  It became the parking lot for the carnival! 

me and a friend...the small vacant lot is behind us, then Hwy 301, then the larger vacant lot where the carnival was held

The house next-door to ours was a rental house.  At one point, a mother and her teenaged daughter moved into the rental house.  The daughter was a couple of years younger than me, and looked like Cher. From that moment on, things got a lot more exciting in our neighborhood!  Before long,  the house next-door became very lively, with a never-ending stream of visitors–both male and female.  The females were young, shapely, and wore revealing clothing.  We don’t know for sure what went on in that house, but we were pretty sure a lot of  it had to do with sex and drugs.  The girl who looked like Cher?  She is now a resident in a nursing home, a victim of her lifestyle choices.

The little house across the street was a hub of excitement, as well. It was the home of a middle-aged divorced woman who led an active social life, too.  Her little house can be seen in the background of the “convertible photo”.  Between the house next-door, the house across the street, and the “main strip”, there was always plenty of activity in our neighborhood!  My parents spent a lot of time peeking out of the windows!

my parents, relaxing in the backyard...daddy's garden is in the background

I married and moved away in 1972.  I left all of the neighborhood excitement behind.  My parents bought a house in a quieter neighborhood,  a couple of streets over, in 1973.  Somehow, their new house never felt like home to me. 

I used to ride by the old house and remember…I have lots of good memories of living in that house.  Some fun family Christmases in the living room, playing with my Barbies in the floor for hours,  getting my first kiss from Ed while standing on the front porch!  Spending fun times with friends in my bedroom–while watching the cars going by on “the strip”.  Gathering vegetables from daddy’s garden or sprawling out in a lawn chair in the backyard to get a suntan.  Good times, gone but not forgotten!


Published in: on July 15, 2011 at 10:44 am  Comments (6)  
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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Great memories of a wonderful childhood. It sounds like it could be a series on TV.

    Thanks so much for sharing!!

  2. Hi Kathy! Thanks for stopping by my blog today and leaving the comment. Congrats on your 3 grands — we are so excited about our little Valentine. I’ve signed up for your email subscription — hope you stop by my blog again Have a blessed weekend!

  3. Whenever I’m going down Highway 144 and pass the drive-way to my old house, I always have to smile, but sometimes the memories are bittersweet. I sometimes wish I still lived there and then again, I know that as your other blog stated today…life goes on. Thankfully we have good friends to help us through any of the hard times. Thanks for such an interesting post today. 🙂

  4. Wow, you grew up in an exciting place! I would have been peeking out the windows too!

  5. I love your walks down memory lane.

  6. I cannot imagine as an adult, all the carnival noise and commotion that close to your house. But, as I teen, I would have been loving all the action. I remember coming home from dates, sitting my driveway “talking” too.

    My father still lives in the house we moved into when I was 11. Our street was just far enough into the country that the guys would use it as a drag strip. My sister could tell who was in the car by their tail lights. She was that good. We loved that excitement too. Thanks for sharing. I always enjoy your memories.

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