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The House that Built Me

 
 
Reply Sun 12 Jan, 2014 09:55 am
https://scontent-a-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/t1/p417x417/1521814_10201855949057613_2004052728_n.jpg
I hope this will be fun. What I'd like everyone to do is go onto Google Maps and find the house where you did the most growing up. Or houses, it doesn't matter. (One of my friends was an Army brat who says she lived in twenty houses before she was twenty, half of them that looked exactly alike.)

Then, just tell us a little bit about what is was like to live there and why that particular place influenced for good or bad the most.

~~
Here it is, looking a lot more disheveled than when my Mom and Dad owned it.
Pop planted that tree in the front yard about 1961. The first Winter, we kids nearly killed it by using the thin little sapling as a part of a snow fort. You can see where he widened the driveway so Mom wouldn't get her nurse's shoes dirty getting in or out of our '52 Dodge or, later, the beautifully sleek, white Mercury four door ('61 or '59?).
That's the porch where we kids got our pictures taken~ first days of school, the proms, the graduations, singing Christmas carols and where we hung out on hot summer days to play Monopoly or Sorry with all the neighbor kids.
Those were the windows that every December had a candle lit in each of them, upstairs too, and on the porchwall would be the plastic Choir Boys Light. It was a good thing to see when you were coming home, near frozen, in the dark from skating on the pond or sliding down the hills in the nearby woods.
I'm glad Pop (or worse, Mom) can't see what's happened to the front grass and sidewalks. One of us boys had to push the mower up, down and across that space every week to keep the lawn in good order. We made sure not to miss a spot so we didn't have to drag that machine back up through the hatchway to 'finish the job again''.
We rented out the other half to some great families over the years and some, not many, not so great. Mom loved sitting on the porch with Mrs. Marsh at night after dinner, both of them smoking, both of them talking and waving to whoever was walking by.
It was a great place, a great house, a great home; when they tear it down somebody may find the cigarbox my brother and I hid when Grampy and Pop replaced the floorboards. There's Indian Head pennies, some marbles, a list of the names of the people who were living in the house at the time and a letter from us saying "Hello, how's the future?".

More later. I know I haven't answered my own question yet, but I'd like to see some of your stories.... Thanks.

Joe(Let's see where you came from)Nation

~~
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Type: Question • Score: 14 • Views: 2,880 • Replies: 37

 
jcboy
 
  2  
Reply Sun 12 Jan, 2014 09:58 am
@Joe Nation,
I love it, neat old house! I found the house I grew up on by using google maps.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Sun 12 Jan, 2014 10:01 am
@Joe Nation,
Terrific idea. I'd have to do some of mine with old photos since the land is covered with apartment buildings now. Later..
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Jan, 2014 10:25 am
Ah'll be beck!
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  4  
Reply Sun 12 Jan, 2014 12:33 pm
Wonderful idea. I cannot find a picture over streetview and I do not know how to put in a picture, but I can tell the story of a cabin where five generations have enjoyed summers.
Just by the ocean - is a low hillside and there my parents buildt a small summercabin. At that time there were no roads going to the property as there were only about 10 families spread over a rather large area. So they carried down all the materiall and put up walls and roof.
No water, no outhouse.
As time passed by and more famiies came we got water on the next door property and even an outhouse.
All relatives and friends liked to visit. They came often for several weeks and helped in and around the house. I do not know how we all had space in the small cabin which over the years grew to be two room cabin and a bigger house. I know I slept on the floor or in a small room with cousins or friends.
The house got more and more modernized over the decades,but the atmosphere from the "good old days" is still there.
There is a basement under the terrace.. I still do not like to go down without company. For me it is very scary place. On the property used to be quarry and the stone-masons had a basement where they could have their lunch next to an open fireplace and opposite they kept the dynamite. Nothing happened so they must have known how to handle things.
During the war the military buildt on the property and nobody was allowed to come there without a pass bill or special allowance.
The water was crystal clear and we spent hours on the grass beach, but there were lots of stones and cliffs before reaching the water. Snakes loved the stones as they were warm. We always stamped our feet very loud with our clocks to scare them away.
Of course we were smoking secretly hiding in the forrest until my father caught us. He told us never ever to sit in the forrest we might start forrest fire. When sit by the water!!!
Thanks for reading to this point.
http://designqvist.at/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Halmstad-Prins-Bertil-stigen_1.jpg
Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Jan, 2014 01:00 pm
@saab,
Great Stories, Saab! Thank you.

What I did was to find it, press Printscreen. That will put the whole page onto your computer. Find it and use Paint or some other Photo program to edit out the extraneous stuff. (I use Picasa.) Then post the cropped picture on either a photo saving site or, do what I did, I put it on Facebook.
Then, you open the picture online, right click it and click Save Photo URL.

Come back to this site and use IMG button at the top [img][/img] put your picture between those two like this [img]X[/img]. Voila.

Wow. A grass beach!

Joe(and snakes!)Nation
saab
 
  2  
Reply Sun 12 Jan, 2014 01:44 pm
@Joe Nation,
On the East coas of Sweden towards the Baltic sea it is not so unusual wih grass beaches.
On the West coast towards kattegatt you will hardly find a grass beach.
A small corner of the long strech of beach one little corner below our house is facing east - so we have grass.
Part of an endless beach
http://www.travelblissful.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Prins-Bertils-stig.jpg
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  4  
Reply Sun 12 Jan, 2014 01:45 pm

I grew up in a house, which looks (from the outside, since it's a listed monument) today the same as it looked 110 years ago.

http://i1334.photobucket.com/albums/w641/Walter_Hinteler/a_zpsa9467035.jpg

That's my great-uncle with his new car ... and since it was one of the first motorcars in town, they made a postcard from this photo

http://i1334.photobucket.com/albums/w641/Walter_Hinteler/b_zps9d4b233b.jpg

I don't have a recent picture, and my native town isn't on streetview, but this is a "bird-eye's view"

http://i1334.photobucket.com/albums/w641/Walter_Hinteler/a_zps88ec834d.jpg

I've marked the garden as well, because that's where we played as children, had to do garden work in the vegetable garden and later mowing the lawn.

On March 31, 1945, US-troops come to my native town, and the house was the HQ for several units of 8th Armd Division for quite a few days.

My father became a POW. My maternal grandparents, my grand-aunt, my aunt and my mother then lived alone in the house ... with 28 refugees from the (former) east of Germany.

My father returned in 1948, nine months later, my life in that house started. (I left it in 1969 - but stayed there later quite often, sometimes even for months. And it was my official second home until it was sold a few years ago.)

http://i1334.photobucket.com/albums/w641/Walter_Hinteler/b_zps4b43d632.jpg
The above photo is from mid-1949, in the garden.


In that house, I've learnt to live with history - it was normality for me.
But it took until now that I understand how deep this house has influenced me and my life.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Jan, 2014 01:54 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Due to the refugees, we only had two rooms (sleeping room for my aprents and adjunct living roo, which was the my sleeping room as well)and a kitchen, which was used be others, too, and was also a storage room.

As soon as the first refugee families left, we 'occupied' more space - the last family left around 1960.
And in this century, just my mother and my aunt lived there - until both went in a care home and the house was sold after may mother's death.
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Sun 12 Jan, 2014 02:01 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
The only bathroom until ... well, around 1960 ... was adjunct to my grandparent's sleeping room. With a coal fired warm water heater.
However, when I was small, my sister and I were bathed in the above mentioned 'kitchen' in a zince bathtub - which was otherwise used for washing - and the water was heated on the oven.

Having so many people in the house, was quite good ... I always got different lunches and dinners ... when something was on table, I didn't like Wink
Joe Nation
 
  2  
Reply Sun 12 Jan, 2014 02:10 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
There is something about having lots of people in a house or coming to a house that seems to benefit children.
There were five of us kids (two sisters, three brothers. My older brother was the middle child, I was the middle boy.)

Walter said:
Quote:
In that house, I've learnt to live with history - it was normality for me.
But it took until now that I understand how deep this house has influenced me and my life.


We don't realize such things until we give ourselves a chance to think about them.

I am so glad your father was able to return to your family. What a time.

Joe(Our house was always full of people coming and going)Nation
Walter Hinteler
 
  4  
Reply Sun 12 Jan, 2014 02:18 pm
@Joe Nation,
Joe Nation wrote:
I am so glad your father was able to return to your family. What a time.
Coincidentally, I'm writing in these days an essay about those days: during the war and POW my father wrote hundreds of letters to my mother (more than 500 as POW). All these (and some photos, documents etc) will go to a French archive. And so I'm writing a bit about that for a local/regional history society.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Sun 12 Jan, 2014 02:25 pm
@Joe Nation,
Joe Nation wrote:
We don't realize such things until we give ourselves a chance to think about them.
Too true.

I went to the navy (as a conscript, but we got a kind of choice) because I wanted to leave that house.
But only later I realised that my granduncle, who had built that house, had a been naval surgeon ... Wink

My main interest, when studying history, was the period of the German Kaisers - the house was built in 1904.

I've never had had any difficulties with "outlandish" cultures - I grew up (in the house) with people from East Prussia, Russia, Silesia, Romani and later the children in our neighbourhood were Italians, Spanish, Portuguese ...
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 12 Jan, 2014 05:16 pm
We who lived as semi nomads don't have a childhood home worthy of the name.
Foofie
 
  3  
Reply Sun 12 Jan, 2014 07:42 pm
@Joe Nation,
In my opinion, that house looks like a house that central casting would have chosen for a movie version of some Jean Shepherd story. Or, inside is the Christmas dinner that was depicted in the Norman Rockwell painting. Why didn't you continue that world into the next generation? By the way, it is my opinion, that maudlin nostalgia is an abyss.
ossobuco
 
  3  
Reply Sun 12 Jan, 2014 08:06 pm
I've a lot of photos and stories, one or three on a2k already, but I'd rather speak consecutively. In short, but how short?, I was a middle class kid and then sort of privileged kid and then a child with a father who could not find work - more long stories - so we moved across country, only to see the company he was announced as vice president of closed about two months later, him going into major despond, and mother into alzheimers somewhat after.

I'm not any kind of pessimist, but I have a certain kind of training.


Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Jan, 2014 12:37 am
@Foofie,
You've got that right, Foofie, the part about Jean Shepherd. If you've ever watched A Christmas Story (hysterically funny) the boy's house is the single family version of our duplex.

Of course, maudlin nostalgia is an abyss, yet you ask why I didn't drag that past into the present? That's because there's many forms of looking-back that bring focus and even revelation to those looking back.

Where was your house, Foofie? Come on, let down that mask for just a bit and reveal some of your humanity.

Joe(I'd love to see it)Nation
Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Jan, 2014 12:40 am
@ossobuco,
Osso: It's a theory of mine (that I'm making up on the spot and not thinking about) that the place we live in, the structure, is as important as the people who inhabit that place with us.

Sometimes we focus so much on those people that we forget what the walls looked like.

It's not IF the walls could speak, they do speak.

Joe(You have to tell us what they are saying)Nation
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Jan, 2014 01:07 am
@Joe Nation,
I have dreamed about that house in Evanston, many times, none of the dream making sense, but there.
That was where we had the Secret Pine Tree Club.

And that is a place I can tell about.

It was a rental. I even have a later photo..

ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Jan, 2014 01:11 am
@ossobuco,
but that was at our best, so I don't just want to start there.

I will though, as it makes me happy
0 Replies
 
 

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