It just goes to show that sometimes you can be too close to something to actually see it.
I believe this article about my parents came out in the Toledo Blade sometime late in 1958. Reporters for the the Blade were always passing through Van Wert, Ohio and, for some inexplicable reason, often found our family newsworthy.
I still have the bracelet and earrings that match the necklace Mom is wearing. Oh, what I wouldn’t give! Even as a child, I loved playing with her jewelry. But that’s another story!
When I reread this article, I just noticed for the first time that there is a misprint. Guess it got past the reporter, editor, typesetter, etc.! See what happens when one of your jobs has been as a proof reader? I’d better not say too much, though. I’m sure I would run across my own misprints if I were to review my entries.
It’s a beautiful mornin’ ahhh
I think I’ll go outside a while
An jus’ smile
Just take in some clean fresh air boy
Ain’t no sense in stayin’ inside
If the weather’s fine an’ you got the time
It’s your chance to wake up and plan another brand new day
It’s a beautiful mornin’
It truly is a beautiful morning. The sun is streaming through my window, the air is crisp with a very slight breeze and the temperature is 63 degrees F. I’m just kicking back listening to the chirping of the birds in the neighborhood. It sounds so sweet. It smells so clean. It’s the perfect combination that’s making childhood feelings and memories spring to life. I’m transported to another place and time. Has it really been so long since I noticed? Just listen to those birds. And the squirrels chattering. It’s not just chirping, it’s music. Ah, early morning. Time to get up and go out to play!
Here I am with Happy, my best friend and faithful companion of ten years in the backyard of my childhood home. Great memories of that backyard. That’s where my mother would sunbathe on her quilt while teaching me the alphabet and to count to 100. My mother kept a beautiful flower and rose garden. She had every color rose and I can still smell that beautiful strong rose scent. I don’t know all the different kinds of flowers she had. But I remember the beauty. I’m just sad that I have no pictures of her garden.
Dad had a big strawberry patch. I remember he built a frame with chicken wire to set over the patch. He said it was it was to keep the birds from eating the strawberries and to keep a little girls hands out of the patch. Hmmm. I suppose he meant me but it didn’t work! It’s amazing what tiny little fingers can reach through. I can remember a time I was in the kitchen with my Mom. She was standing at the sink cleaning and preparing fresh-picked strawberries for dinner. She had me seated on the kitchen counter next to her. As she cleaned each strawberry and I ate it, I told her, “Mom, you’re the best cook!” I guess she liked that because I can still hear her laughter after all these years.
I’m sure my Dad and my brother would have different memories of the back yard. Since it backed up to the wall of the Upper Arlington High School football stadium, they were always having to clean up the back yard and the garage roof following every activity held in the stadium!
The only picture I have of my childhood home was taken in the winter. I’m posting it here even though it doesn’t fit with my spring theme! What an influence this house has had on me and my taste. I adore English Tudor. If I could have this house in a warm climate, I’d jump in a heartbeat!!
Back in the early 50’s my parents used to vacation annually in Florida. I was browsing through an old suitcase filled with photos. I ran across a picture taken outside St. Augustine’s oldest surviving Spanish colonial dwelling. A little history lesson. This house is one of the best-documented and most studied houses. The site of the oldest house has been continuously occupied since the early 1600’s. The first house was a crude building of logs and boards. This was replaced by a building made of coquina stone, which is a native shell stone. This is found across the bay on Anastasia Island. The original walls of the ancient house now form part of today’s “Oldest House”. Gonzalez y Hernandez, an artilleryman from the fort, lived in the house. Church records show that one of his children died in the house in 1727. Later, when St Augustine was taken by the British, Major Peavett lived in the house until he died and then his wife (who remarried) stayed on in the house. Her second husband was a gambler and because of his debts the house had to be sold in 1790. It was bought by a Spaniard Alvarez and he and his family lived in it for almost 100 years. From 1882 the house had several owners before it was bought for the St Augustine Historical Society in 1918. Since 1893 visitors have toured the house to see evidence of the Spanish, British and American occupations of St. Augustine and to learn how the residents lived. In 1970 the U.S. Department of the Interior designated the house a National Historic Landmark.
St. Augustine isn’t that far from where I live. Last week, my hubby and I drove up there for an afternoon. I wish we would have had more time and money. There’s a load of fun things to do there. After all, it’s touted as the Nation’s Oldest City! There are so many quaint shops in the old downtown district. There are museums galore and tours of the old buildings and architecture. There are ghosts and gravestones. There’s the Castillo de San Marcos Fort to visit. There’s a lighthouse. Not to mention the beaches. My goodness, it’s a tourist’s mecca! It’s definitely a place I will be returning to.
Now, to the point! My main purpose in driving up to St. Augustine last week was so hubby could take a picture of me standing in front of the Oldest House in the same spot as Mom. On the left is an early 1950’s photo featuring my Mom. On the right, is the picture of me standing in the same exact location where my mother stood SIXTY YEARS before! You can see the difference in the house in the photos. I couldn’t stand against the wall where she was standing because of the tourist signs they put in front. If you look closely at the house in the old photo, you can see that there was a second floor addition which extended over the arch (look at the “Oldest House” sign and you can see). The lady at the museum told me that when it was renovated in the mid-1950’s, they removed that section to put it back to the way it was in Colonial times. Apparently, at one point (she didn’t give the time period), the lady that lived there had the very first automobile in St. Augustine. They enclosed the area and the arch was the doorway to the garage. The second story was her husband’s office. Personally, I liked it better in the 1950’s photo.
We finished up our excursion and had a late lunch at the Café Alcazar in the basement of the Lightner Museum. The Café used to be a huge indoor swimming pool in the basement of the old Alcazar Hotel. Click here for interesting pictures and history of the Museum. The Café’s hours are short – 11:00 am to 3:00 pm – but the service is excellent, the food is superb and the cost is very reasonable. You can see the pool in the old photo. What a time that must have been. The Café entrance we used was on the side of the Museum building and went directly into the Café. The color photo is the one I took showing the Café when we were there. There are little antique shops around the sides of the Café. It’s all very quaint.