Saturday, May 3, 2008

Larry (Installment 4)

Primary Days


We moved to the house where I did most of my growing and learning at 113 South 3rd Street. Street numbering was added when AT&T decided that finding houses in Manassa was more difficult than it should be. My oldest brother Donnie worked for AT&T as a telephone technician until a while after the big breakup of the monopoly.

The house we moved into was abandoned for some time when we moved in. The house was the popular neighborhood haunted house. Some of the neighborhood kids were disappointed when we moved in because they lost part of their domain. There were many broken windows in the house, dirt was thick on the floors, the attic was full of junk, and there was a large teddy bear hung on a hangman’s noose in the living room. After considerable work to get the house into condition to occupy we moved into the house. I was 4 years old when we moved.

It was evident that my parents lived on a very tight budget from the lifestyle we led and the things that were done in and around the house to improve our situation. When we first moved into our house on 3rd street we had to make trips out to the outhouse in order to use the bathroom. The outhouse was 40 or 50 feet from the house out in the back yard. It was a two seater, not that I ever saw two people use it.

Up in the attic was a treasure trove of junk. Old boots, skis, glass jars, broken tools, and other sundry junk was scattered all around on the attic floor. The electrical wiring in the attic was a bit interesting. It was a post and insulator system with wires that were insulated with some sort of rubber and a braided fabric sheathing. The age of the wiring showed and the frayed sheathing, the thick layers of dust, the rough sawn lumber, and the rustic construction with the exposed ceiling joists all said old. The house was built as a four room house of adobe that was later modified and had 4 rooms added. The addition to the house was made of frame and sheathing construction. The inside was were lathe and plaster while the outside was lapboard.


  1. Do you remember how the ceilings sagged from the weight of the dust that had accumulated on them?

    I don't know what they used in the plaster when they built that house, but it didn't stick very well and it was really unsightly when it would crumble and fall.

    Mom would have us cleaning and painting once a year. I really hated those spring cleaning sessions.

  2. I remember the drooping ceiling. I remember Earl coming and painting the house. I remember Emery coming and undoing the work that Earl did (3 decades later)

  3. I think Mom and Dad did a good job of providing a comfortable home for us to grow up in.

    I really do miss the gathering place in the valley. I especially miss the window seat in the southern window.


Please feel free to comment. Be nice.