Once Upon a Time I Visited the House Where I Grew Up
With Dad at Our Old Home
The morning after dad's 94th birthday party, we had breakfast with him at one of his favorite Valley Stream diners.
Driving home afterward, we passed our old house and stopped to get a picture.
Our house was the hub of activity for all the neighborhood children when I was growing up there.
"I picked out the house in 1946, while the twins were still in the hospital. We bought it a few weeks later. [It was just after the war and] there was not much available. The previous owner moved upstairs. She later swapped with "Grand Ma Killcullen" who had been living in a small house next door that she owned. She died a few years later and her son moved out. I think I sold it in1968. I kept the heavy wooden storm windows and and wooden screens [that came with it]. It had a number of rooms and it was convenient to stories and LIRR.. In the beginning it had a coal burning boiler."
The previous owner was a Mrs Kelly, a bossy spy type. She also owned a small house next door which was later taken over by the church. At that time her tenants were Grand Ma Killcullen and a son. After a very few months we all agreed to the swap. "Grand Ma" became a built in baby sitter.
About Annette's room, After Dorie died, for several years, Annette was a constant guest on Saturday and Sunday -- a working guest.
Aunt Annette’s room was a tiny room just to the left of the top of the stairs. It had one window and an old day-bed couch under the window. There was also a closet that had been built by framing a wall along the side of the stairs. Maybe two people could stand in this room at any one time. (Between you and me, I sometimes slept there if, for any reason, my sister annoyed me enough.) The room was called “Aunt Annette’s room” because that is where she slept when she visited. It was our guest room for all visitors.
I remember the entire house-even when we only lived on the main floor and rented the top floor as an apartment. We had an annual birthday party each February and invited all the neighborhood kids. Uncle Robbie would rent movies for us (“Little Grey Neck”) and we would have a great time.
We had dinner with grandma Easson and Uncle Robbie every Sunday at 1:00pm and we almost always played canasta with grandma after dinner. Sometimes Grandma and Grandpa Van would come and then both grandmas would play canasta. Each grandma played a slightly different game, so we had to establish the rules before we began play. I remember helping mom prepare the vegetables for Sunday dinner and I remember helping her put the wet wash on the line outside in the backyard.
We had many happy times: Incredible Christmas mornings sponsored by Uncle Robbie and we welcomed home John from Vietnam in that house in February, 1968. I learned of mom’s death when I was awakened by dad in my bedroom one September 49 years ago and we had a raucous and emotional farewell to Mrs. G. and the house at the house, in March 1968."
That’s it for now. If you want more memories I can give you some when I have more time.
I do have many memories of the Valley Stream Blvd house .... where my mom spent many afternoons sitting and gabbing with
Aunt Dori. I can remember playing marathon games of Monopoly on the big porch and of cooking up "great" meals in the basement in the play
kitchen with the "Easy Bake Oven". Jean and I fed lots of pretend food to John .... (hmmm may be what made his tongue turn blue).
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