A Place to Live
The picture above is where I lived when I graduated from Lee High School. It was a duplex and we had the left side. My room was the one with the window to the right of the front door. The address was 904-C Webster Drive and it was located in Lincoln Park. You may have never noticed, but in almost all the stories I recall about my days in Huntsville, whenever I talk about my house, it is usually the one I lived in long before I started the 9th grade at Lee Junior High School. Almost always I take about my house on East Clinton. I lived there from the time I started the second grade at East Clinton Elementary School until the summer after I finished the eighth grade at Huntsville Junior High. That would be something like 1953 to 1959 if my math serves me well. I sometimes hesitate to give the street number, because while I was living there the address changed from 505 East Clinton Street to 510 Clinton Avenue East. I can't recall the exact year that happened, but the city leaders redrew the map and some Huntsville city "streets" changed to "avenues" and houses were renumbered.
The above photo is of me and my friend Buddy Crabtree, during one of our annual Easter photo opps. I lived in the house on the right side of the photo. My family did not own the house on East Clinton, but rented it for $65 a month. At the time we moved in the family consisted of my mother and father, my brother Don, and my maternal grandmother. Two years later my parents were divorced and my dad moved away. This was during the period of the population explosion at Redstone, so we took advantage of the need for housing and rented out the two bedrooms upstairs. We had three "roomers" for several of the years we lived there. The front room was rented as a single room and brought in $15 a week. The other room was a double with each roomer paying $10 a week. All three shared a bathroom upstairs and ate all their meals out. It was not a boarding house, just a room to let. The front door was never locked.
For some reason I can't recall, the summer of 1960 we moved to a place over in West Huntsville on Hart Drive, but only stayed there a couple of months before we moved once more, that time to McCullough Avenue - next door to Ray Walker and across the street from the house where my paternal grandmother rented the upstairs apartment from the Morgans. This was handy for me, because at the time I was dating the Morgan's niece, Ginger. It was handy to have her visit there often and we spent many evenings sitting out on the porch - but that's all a whole different story for another time perhaps.
When school started Don went to Huntsville High, and though I had an option of continuing at Huntsville Junior High, I elected to go to Lee instead. My primary reason was because of all the girls I had met at Carter's Skateland and the fact most of them were Lee girls. When school finally started I began a routine where I would walk over to Ray's house and catch the bus as it made its final circuit through the neighborhood and dropped us off at Lee. Each afternoon we would drive through Darwin Downs and drop off the kids who lived there before turning on McCullough and letting us off.
Even though it was father away from downtown than the Clinton house, I would often still walk to the movies and shopping there on Saturday mornings. Sometimes I rode the bus, if I had a dime to spare. We were also handy to Five Points and Zesto's, not to mention Mullin's. I shared a bedroom with Don still, and there was only one bath in the house. It was heated by natural gas fireplaces, which was nice. Thinking back to the Clinton house, when we first moved in there it was still heated with coal, and we had a coal shed out back and had to haul in the coal and take out the ashes. Damn, that make me sound old doesn't it. Oh yeah, I did walk to school every morning when we lived there, and it was actually uphill.
I don't remember what the rent was for the McCullough house, but it was more than we could afford. I did not fully understand what my mother and grandmother were working on, but before the next school year started, they had secured us the place on Webster Drive. I had no concept of "the projects" but knew we were moving into a government subsidized house. The one thing I did know, it was the newest house I had ever lived in and I was not ashamed of living there at all.
Next week I will continue on some stories about housing, unless some of you send me something better to print.
Memphis, TN - I am through with my Beach Boys diatribe and only forgot one thing I was going to write about in the stories. We had a Beach Boy tribute band on one of our cruises and they were really good. Something about being on a cruise ship and listening to surf music that just seems right.
For lack of anything else to cover, I have decided to reflect on some of the houses and neighborhoods I lived in when I was growing up. Perhaps they will spark some interest and some memories from some of you as well.
My brother Don (back), my mother, and me and our TV on East Clinton Street.
The Vintage Television
Crusader Rabbit is the first animated series produced specifically for television. The concept was test marketed in 1948, while the initial episode—Crusader vs. the State of Texas—aired on KNBH (now KNBC) in Los Angeles on August 1, 1949. WNBC-TV in New York continued to show the original Crusader Rabbit episodes from 1950 through 1967, and some stations used the program as late as the 1970s. Crusader Rabbit was syndicated from 1950 to 1952, totaling 195 episodes (divided into ten "crusades"), and then re-aired for many years. It featured Crusader Rabbit, his companion Ragland T. Tiger (Rags), and their occasional nemesis – Dudley Nightshade (called Ill-regard Beauregard in a few episodes), and his sidekick Bilious Green. Some episodes featured Crusader & Rags's friends Garfield the Groundhog and/or Arson & Sterno (a two-headed dragon).
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Subject: Roy Rogers
Roy Rogers died at the age of 86 just a few weeks before I arrived in his hometown of Apple Valley, CA. I was there with FEMA to support the recovery from flooding cause by the El Nino rains, 17" over a weekend. Beyond his public photos a local picture show him looking 86. His roadside museum was located adjacent to I-15 at the adjoining town of Victorville. He was a pack rat having all the watches he had ever owned on display along with all his boots. Having killed an elephant on safari to Africa, the head was mounted for display along with stools made from the feet and legs. And a family picture of them on a parade float was shown with the caption...do we have to sing Happy Trails...again!