Saturday, January 22, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Home

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

Week #4 – Home

Week 4: Home. Describe the house in which you grew up. Was it big or small? What made it unique? Is it still there today?

This challenge runs from Saturday, January 22, 2011 through Friday, January 28, 2011.

(Although this is a 52 week challenge I did not participate in weeks 1-3 because of computer problems.  Hopefully I can get through this weeks challenge with no problems)

My first home was at 744 W. 118th Street in Los Angeles, California.  We moved there when I was about 3-4 years old. (probably about 1947-48).  We had lived in Long Beach, Ca prior to this, in military housing, but I do not remember any of that).  Ours was a fairly small home (3 bedroom/1 bath) centered in a tract neighborhood between Hoover and Vermont.  Many young families lived in the neighborhood and there were always plenty of other children to play with.  My memories of the 10 years we lived there are very 'sketchy'....although I do remember a few things.

The house was oblong shaped - as you would look at it from in front, there was a bedroom on the left, behind the bedroom off the hall was a bath, a 2nd bedroom was directly behind that bath.  Across the hall from the bath and next to the 2nd bedroom was a 3rd could walk through it from the hall to the kitchen - behind the kitchen was a laundry room (do I remember a wringer washer?  Seems like I do, but I know there was a regular washer there at another time), there was a door from the laundry room to the back yard.  The kitchen I see as big (but not too big) and the sink looked out over the driveway. A table was in the kitchen, and we kept our bird cage above the table I think. In front of the kitchen was a dining area and a living room was across the front in front of the 3rd bedroom.  A porch was out the front door but not a big enough one to put chairs on, just a small stoop and some steps (I think).

I remember the first snow in the late 40's.  I was in kindergarten and we were given a 'snow day' with no school for the day...the kids in the neighborhood were out with sleighs and tubes playing.  It couldn't have been a lot of snow as this was in 'sunny California'....but it was a novelty for most.

I remember walking with my brothers and sisters (there were 5 of us) to school everyday...wearing uniforms and carrying lunches and books.   I remember mom's flower garden along the kitchen/driveway side of the house, the back yard swing, the detached garage.  I remember a wood fence that mom use to talk to the neighbor behind us over (while hanging clothes), finding a doll in a flower bed, and a patio that was added on a few years after buying the house. My little sister used to make mud pies and line them up on the patio's edge and then go back and start eating them (yuck)....we still tease her about that.

This is a stupid memory and since my memory is so bad I'm surprised I remember it - but when I was 10 or 11 I remember the real estate agents coming to our door and telling my parents that we MUST put our house up for sale because the 'undesireable colored people' were starting to move into the area!  This makes me sick just thinking about it...and is probably one of the reasons I sold real estate for some 20 years - I wanted to make sure some professionalism was in the industry.  My parents weren't happy about it either and said they didn't give a 'darn' that we were going to stay put.  (I could even tell you the name of the agent who told them this)....funny memory. 

This house was still there when hubs and I drove by sometime in the late 70's and was in great condition.  I lived in the house since before kindergarten through 6th grade.
When I was 12 we moved to Pomona, California.  Mainly because my mom's dad and her sister and her family lived there. We lived within a couple blocks of my cousins, and not much further from my grandfather.  My great-aunt also lived close by.  After purchasing the home we discovered that our next door neighbors were our 2nd cousins. 

Our house in Pomona was also 3 bedrooms/1 bath but had an attached 2 car garage that my grandfather helped convert....making a 'playroom' and an extra bath plus laundry area.  We were in 'hog heaven' with all this space. My parents lived in the house for 31 of the 48 years they were married.  They both died in the house, 6 months apart, in 1987.  My cousin's daughter and her young family bought the house from us and lived there for several years.  The house is still there (drove by it about 5-6 years ago) - and if you look close while wizzing down the I-10 you might be able to see it!

Pomona is where I lived between 7th and 12th grades....where I eventually moved away from to get a job, met my husband, and marry.

Mary Post Warren
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  1. I LOVE your blog, and learn so much...
    I sometimes think I would like to participate, but.... for some reason, feel a wee nervous to try. Love family history and genealogy
    Keep up the great work !!

  2. Wow! My dad and his parents lived at 744 West 117th in the mid 1940's too! My grandfather owned South Vermont Feed & Seed. I have several photos of this house and the land before it was all built up.

    In the late 1940's they moved to Pomona and ran a chicken ranch. Then in 1950 or so, they moved to Columbia Ave. in Pomona.

    Small world!

  3. I enjoyed your post. The house I grew up in is no longer there but it is still fun to go back and look around at all the changes.