Chapter 9 (Our House)A Chapter by Allen Smuckler
....is a very, very, very fine house...Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (Our House)
I remember way back then when everything was true and when
we would have such a very good time such a fine time
such a happy time
And I remember how we’d play simply waste the day away
Then we’d say nothing would come between us two dreamers
Our house, was our castle and our keep
Our house, in the middle of the street
Our house, that was where we used to sleep
Our house, in the middle of our street
Our house, in the middle of our street
written by McPherson, Grahm/Barson,
Both my father and mother worked full time. Back in the fifties that was not only unusual, it was rare. My mother was a secretary and eventually worked her way to the position of executive secretary to the Treasurer of the Bridgeport Gas Company. This was pretty impressive for a shy, reserved girl with a high school diploma who married shortly after graduating and conceiving my oldest sister, Sandy, not much later. She had Sandy at the age of seventeen, Arlene 'The middle child', when she was twenty, and the baby of the family, me, at twenty-three...And still worked full time.
The goal of most families in 1957 was to work hard, save money and purchase a home they could call their own. After World War II (you know, the war after, the war to end all wars) husbands returned from overseas, wives held down the forts and began to multiply (again with the math) and the future of America and the American family looked bright and promising. The American dream began in earnest and owning your own house was at the forefront. My family was no different, and in 1957, my mother and father bought a piece of property in a suburban development and began building their dream home.
They didn't literally ‘build’ the house, but every weekend, I remember going to the site and watching the house rise from the ground. It was amazing to watch the work go into this little ranch house. There was my father, sandpapering the walls of the basement, when that was all there was to the house. And there I was, standing at the edge of the foundation, looking down at my father. I suppose he wanted those walls to be as smooth as possible. Little did I know then, that those walls would surround and protect me for much of my childhood. My first make out party, pool table, play area, weight room, fort, flood.... all took place in that basement. Lots of experiences and memories I was far too young to appreciate at that time. Who knew? How does anyone know what lies ahead. I just stood there for the longest time wondering why my father was sandpapering cement.
The house began to take shape. First the walls, then the roof, windows, shingles, and siding were added. The detached garage was built before the house was completed. It was so small; I thought it was a playhouse for us. What did I know? The most amazing thing though, was the size of the yard. It was half of an acre of lawn with a little bit of woods in the very back. A path ran in the middle of the woods separating the back of our house on Toll House Lane from the rear of the property on Stevenson Road. A hundred yards from the edge of our backyard was a playing field, where I would soon be honing my football and baseball skills with the rest of the neighborhood. It was all too empty and undeveloped at the time. We were after-all, the eighth house being built in a development that would soon contain eighty-one. Not a lot of variety, ranches and capes...but the builder spaced them in a two-one-two sequence, so eventually the development took on a look of distinction and character.
It was an exciting time to say the least. Everything was so beautiful and peaceful. The Mill River snaked its way through the backyards of the homes across the street, no more than a hundred yards from our front door. And yet, I was anxious, or at lest as anxious as one could be at the age of seven. I was nervous for this new life I was about to embark on. No one asked us if we wanted to move. It was simply decided. I think we were all happy, but if we weren’t, no one said anything. It was to be and there wasn’t anything anyone could do to change our circumstances… Not yet, anyway.
© 2012 Allen Smuckler
Added on February 5, 2012
Last Updated on February 5, 2012
My Life (A Child's View)
AboutI'm a poet, a singer, a peaceful gunslinger.. looking to share my poetry..and a little bit of me...if I dare I 've been writing since I was 18.... am slightly older now, and still trying to fin.. more..
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