Sketch of our house on 19th Street in Oakland.

Early Memories

Dad bought the place from a Mrs. Wilson who had just lost her husband and she wanted to return to Oregon. I was between 6 and 13 years old and this sketch shows what I remember about the place.

I remember:

All of the different trees that we had around the place. I had no idea then that I would eventually become a Landscape Architect for the State of California and spend many years of my life working with trees.

The time Rich and I found a mole on one of our many hikes and put it under the kitchen stove to keep it warm. Needless to say, it died.

Dad's ever-present enema bag.

Bill's parrot and Richard's Hamsters in the basement (Ma always had to feed them).

The green aquarium in the basement where we kept the large slimy frogs we caught at the creek near Fruitvale Avenue (it was the drainage from Dimond Park).

Memories of Our Place at 2253 East 19th Street in Oakland, California
I was attending Garfield Elementary and Junior High. For a sketch of Garfield as I remember it, click here.

Other Memories:

The dog kennels where Ma raised and bred Scotties. Beauty was one of them, Prince La Budha was another. Ma got started in this through Mrs. Barman who owned and/or operated the Foothill Blvd. pet shop.

Amateur Hour at the Fruitvale Theatre and my proposal to participate by singing a song. I practiced for Dad for a whole week and then chickened out.

The Saturday night we went to the show and came back to find our dog had puppies and they were nestled under the kitchen stove.

We kids used to have "sales" to get Dad to buy stuff from us - a kind of "self-motivated" kid-allowance.

The Saturday night when we returned from our weekly movie to find our front fence knocked down. We later found out the Ornellas boy did it.

Dad and Bill siphoning gas out of the car and storing it in the garage for our vacation trip to Long Beach. Dad had a B-Ration Book because he took our whole family to work and school.

The night Dad almost had a fight with Hank when he caught him with Eleanor on the sofa.

Bill working part-time at the main Oakland Post Office just before WW II and the time he teased me into a "chicken-chest" fight under the kitchen table. I wouldn't give up and he couldn't let me go until I did. Bill was yelling at Ma to make me stop so he could go to work.

Ma's favorite Soap Operas were: Ma Perkins (by Oxydol), Hilltop House, The Guiding Light, and Mert-and-Marge.

Listening to the old time radio programs and the Saturday morning football games on the "floor-model" front room family radio.

The family and I also enjoyed:

Also, listening to the family phonograph, especially:

Playing music rolls on our piano.

Doing my homework while sitting over the floor furnace in the Dining Room on cold winter mornings - especially reviewing my reading for Greek Mythology while attending class Roosevelt. Also, the Victorian chandelier over our Dining Room table.

Sitting in the leather Morris chair while recuperating with my broken arm - broken by Lloyd Millsap at the Friday night scout meeting at Garfield. Sleeping in Dot's Bedroom in Pat’s old bed after she left home - I was waiting for my arm to heal with a large metal brace on it. Ma and Rich used to joke about my using the bed pan while I was bedridden.

Dad and Bill sleeping together and their closet filled with boxes of apples from the 6th Street Market. Ma and Rich sleeping at the head of the bed with me sleeping at Ma's feet. The stove in the kitchen where Dad used to build a kindling fire on cold winter mornings.

Bill’s Army souvenir room under the back porch. Our old basement and Ma's wash room where she used a washboard and a crank ringer to wash the family’s clothes.

The Nectarine Tree where I buried Eleanor's perfume that I stole to give to my puppy love – I always lost the nerve at the last minute.

The fishpond where I took Tom on his first day back from the Hospital in 1942 – Ma just about had a fit.

Details of My Clubhouse (highlighted above)

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