This week's topic for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (hosted by Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings) is remembering where we lived as children and who our neighbors were. He invited us to tell a story about one or more of our neighbors.
During all of my youth I lived at 16 Furnace Street (later 1433) in Mineral Ridge, a small village on the southern border of Trumbull County, Ohio. Furnace Street runs east from Main Street/Route 46. Our house was the first on the north side of the street.
The Youngs (I think their last name was Young) lived in the house on Main Street at the corner of Main and Furnace Streets. Their back yard abutted our side yard. They were an older couple without children, but they kept a dog in their yard with a doghouse for protection. A few times they asked me to take care of their dog when they needed to be away from home for a few days or a week. One morning I went out to feed the dog and give him fresh water and found him just lying there. It was alarming. He had died during the night. I was not responsible for his death -- I had given him the care required -- but I felt terrible. The Youngs were very kind when they returned and assured me that the dog was old.
They also had a rock that to my childhood eyes seemed huge. It was in the shape of a triangle with the point at the top. We kids loved climbing up on the rock and jumping to the ground, arms extended, yelling "Geronimo!" as we jumped.
The Youngs had Rose of Sharon trees in their year. I never liked Rose of Sharon trees. I don't know why except that it wasn't from any particular association with the Youngs.
The Stephens (or Stevens) lived beside the parsonage and across from our house. There were the parents and two boys, both older than me by a few years. The Stephens operated the Isaly Dairy shop on Main Street where they sold ice cream, popsicles, candy bars, penny candy, pop, and sandwiches. A single scoop of ice cream in a pointed cone cost 5 cents; a double scoop in a flat-bottomed cone cost 7 cents (until it went up to 10 cents). How they ever kept their patience with us indecisive little kids buying penny candy I don't know. Their yard was a haven for violets which they gave me permission to pick.
When I was very young our family's water supply was not public water but was purchased and hauled by the truckload and poured into a cistern near our house. Mom was more than careful about water usage -- there was little waste in our home. One day one of the Stephens boys told my sister he'd thrown a cat into the cistern. What an awful thing to do! After draining the water from the cistern my father lowered a ladder, climbed down with cleaning supplies, and found no cat. That boy!
The Hancoxes were a sweet older couple who lived alone in the house next to ours across Merchant Street. Their house sat back from the street, toward the rear of their lot. They had a tall cherry tree in their front yard and grew petunias in a flower bed near their porch. (I don't favor the fragrance of petunias, but not because of the Hancoxes.)
They had both been married before and each had a child from the previous marriage. When they remarried they had a son who lived in nearby Niles and he and his wife had a daughter named Linda, about two years older than me. Linda visited in the summer for several weeks at a time. She went to bed very late and didn't get up till noon. I would have done the same had my parents let me but they didn't and her sleeping late was a frustration to me. I'm sure her grandparents got tire of me checking to see if she was awake every hour or so from 9 a.m. till noon.
The Bakers lived across the street from my grandparents. My memory tells me there were just Mrs. Baker and her adult daughter, Jean. Mrs. Baker loved to bake and often shared her baked goods with my grandmother. She introduced us to no-bake cookies, but not knowing their name, we called them Mrs. Baker's Cookies. (Don't you love our creative name for them?)
When I was a little older, perhaps 10 or so, there were several children who lived in my grandparent's triplex for brief periods of time. Other children lived streets away so it took a little more effort to arrange playtime than when I was younger and the kids lived next door. From about the time I was 8 or 9, riding bikes probably took up more of our time in the summer than any other activity. We also played cards -- war, rummy -- and a few board games.
Thanks to Randy Seaver for creating Saturday Night Genealogy Fun and for inventing the fun topics.
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