Gowing up inWchita Kansas Part 1

Once again I spent two days going through photos for this post. I was taking a shot wide enough to crop it to downsize it for the web. Then my dumb ass did a search on downsizing with windows 8 and I went to the photo gallery and there it was all the time one button to downsize for the web I used a couple more features. So now the mystery is solved and I can move on.
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This is the house I was born and raised in. My parents bought it new in 1949 the year they were married. It was a two bedroom with a large living room and a kitchen-dinning area with a utility room. This is the first time in probably 20 or so years I have been back in this neighborhood and a lot has changed. The front porch and roof over head, sliding doors and siding were added. We had one floor furnace in the corner of the living room close to the bedrooms. My earliest memory was my parents would turn the heat down at night, in the mornings my brothers and I would squat barefoot on this hot ass metal furnace to get warm and it would leave little square marks on our feet from the way it was made. Most of my memories of the times in this home were found ones. When I was 7 or 8 I think my sister was born, prior to that the three boys lived in the one bedroom on a set of bunk beds. My youngest brother Don, who is now gone had a bed that rolled out under the bottom bunk bed. My middle brother and I would always jump out of our beds on to his and use it as a trampoline with Him in it. He was the youngest of the boys and we would pick on Him all of the time. Kids can be cruel without realizing it. When my sister was born my Dad and Grandfather built the extension to the right side of the house that used to be the garage. The three boys moved into there and my sister got our old room. I still recall very well when my sister was born all of the boys were waiting and watching out the window. We didn’t have a clue what a baby girl looked liked.
When I started grade school I had to walk the four blocks to get there. For a 5-year-old starting school that was a lot of steps. The first year my Mom made me walk to school with the neighbor girls who were a couple of years older. I recall this was embarrassing because I thought I was to big for that. Through the 5th grade I got all A’s and B’s. Recess was always my favorite part of the day we would have one in the morning and another in the afternoon. The boys went to their area and the girls to theirs. My favorite game was dodge ball. Back then you could throw that ball at a kids head and knock him off His feet and get nothing but praise. If you went home without a few bruises or scrapes you weren’t playing hard enough.
When I started 6th grade I had my first male teacher, Mr. Russel. That’s the year my grades fell and my life started to change. My Mom always said it was because of the teacher. I think it was because that was the year I realized girls were good for more than pulling their pigtail !! I tried to take a photo of my grade school but it is no longer there. I forgot to mention the grade school I went to was an all white school. In the 50’s all the African-Americans lived north of Douglas and the small Hispanic group lived north and west of Broadway. There was no busing everybody walked to school rain or shine.
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I took this because it used to be a full service gas station about a block and a half from where I lived. My mom used to send me up there with a note to buy cigarettes for her at 25 cents per pack. After a while Frank didn’t even want to see the notes, something that allowed me to buy my cigarettes at the ripe old age of 13. A filthy habit I wished I had never started.
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It’s hard to read the sign but I was surprised to see this laundromat was still there. I used to spend endless hours in they’re playing the old pinball machines. Five balls for a nickel. There was only one machine in here and a lot of kids that weren’t my friends wanting to play. This is where my friends and I learned to hustle, I would play most of the day for free and walk home with a pocket of nickles. An art that would later serve me well in the pool hall that is no longer there


13 thoughts on “Gowing up inWchita Kansas Part 1

  1. Thanks for sharing your memories. I love the picture of your little blue house.

  2. excellent trip down memory lane! : ) It is funny that the school isn’t there anymore but the laundromat is!

  3. It’s neat that you were able to take a visit down memory lane and take pictures of your old stomping grounds — it’s kind of fun, especially if it’s been a long time since being there! That’s a nice house, and I’m glad it brings back fond memories for you! You mentioned that your younger brother is gone — does that mean he has moved away or that he has passed away?

    • My younger Brother passed away a few yeas back He had some sort of rare Kidney cancer. I took care of Him when He went into Hospice as well as my Mother.

      • Now that you’ve said this I kind of remember you mentioning this in a previous post, maybe the one where you were talking about your getaway house out in a rural area. Your brother and mother were so fortunate you were there to care for them — I see so many people in nursing homes who have absolutely nobody, except a staff of strangers, to take care of them in their last days or years. Even though you thought you were kind of hard on your brother growing up, you were there for him the times it really counted.

  4. That’s a nice trip down memory lane. I had 3 older brothers.. they picked on me and my younger sisters.. it made us tough. I enjoyed reading your story.

  5. That’s such a pretty house! I love the blue!

  6. Interesting mention of the racial segregation, my how things have come along. I hope you have since left smoking behind. If not, have you tried the e-cigarette? I don’t know if its trending the midwest yet, but its starting to take off here in California.

    • I am still a filthy smoker, I have tried the e cigarette several times over the last couple of years and use it occasionally but when it comes to smoking I am a weak person.

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