Just a block from our houses we could walk down this street to the 5 and dime store (Sprouse Ritz); to the El Rey movie theater where we went most Saturdays to see a double bill, cartoons, and news reels for 25 cents. Leo's liquor store sold us bubble gum for five cents or was it pennies? On this same block was Lodena Edgecombs School of the dance where at age five I took ballet lessons and at age ten Patty and I took drama lessons. "Some day somebody is going to sprinkle ant poison on you!" was a line I spoke from a play called Junior Miss. I took ballroom dancing lessons there in Jr High School when I went steady with Billy Elliot, who went to Saint Vincents. He started dating someone else and I threw his class ring at him across that dance floor. I really loved dancing with Delbert Cheesebrow who had bad breath and bad acne, but danced I thought like Fred Astaire! I can still remember what it was like when he "dipped me". I was Ginger Rodgers!!!
We could walk from our houses to the Vallejo Plunge where we went swimming in the summer..our bathing suits rolled up in a bath towel. I can still smell the chlorine when I think about it. We had to walk through a tub of it before we could enter the pool.
As teenagers we went to football games at Corbus Field next door to the high school. This facade is new.
The only thing that even looked familiar at the high school was this grove of trees!
Just one block from our houses is what used to be a Spanish Style Vallejo Junior High School, now called a middle school with a whole new look. We sat on that front lawn at noontime and talked about boys and stuff.
Patty's house across the street from ours used to be white with brown shutters on the windows...That small concrete wall in front by the side walk seemed much higher in my childhood. Patty's bedroom is the window that now has a blue trim! We skated down that slope of a driveway or they did, I was probably too chicken to try it.
Joann's house to the left of Patty's house used to have a rock wall in front and a fish pond, both now gone. The house itself was quite hidden from the street. Joann had a closet full of toys we loved to go play with (especially the red cash register) and a huge airplane in the backyard we could climb in that her dad made.
Marion lived on the other side of Patty's. The big tree we climbed in and played on that was in front is gone. The paint was peeling off this old house and looked so sad. (Both Marion and Joann are now deceased).
The only thing familiar on my old front porch was the brick wall. I used to sit on the stairs there looking down toward Tennessee Street but seeing New York and my unknown future.
We moved into this house new in 1941, I was six months old. It was white, not muddy brown.
We played in this neighborhood (kick the can, hide and seek, outside until dusk and our parents whistled for us to come in) for eighteen years until we graduated high school and all went our separate ways.
I was amazed to see some of my mother's rose bushes still surviving in the side yard. But this ugly black fence had not been there before...There used to be a low box hedge we could jump over. And we rode our tricycles around the four squares of roses in that garden.
My dad build this barbecue fireplace in the back yard and we could still see the top of it over the fence. The fence is new. Our fence used to be covered in roses and honey suckle vines.
That's my old bedroom window over the garage door. Then my brother's old room down stairs, and then the living room window!