I went back to the neighborhood where I grew up today. Here are some photos from that visit.
This is the church I attended as a child. To the left is the rectory, the priests’ house. Behind that was the school where I attended kindergarten for a couple of days. After being rapped on the knuckles for some reason, I decided not to return. The next day, instead of going to school (I heard the school bell and knew I would be late, I went next door to the florist shop and nursery owned by friends of my father’s who knew me. I helped “Hug” Krause in the nursery until I heard the school bell ring at noon. I then left and walked home. I did not go back to school and, fortunately for me, we moved in November to our new house.
This was the house we lived in until my father bought a new house on Paxton Avenue about a mile away. It is on Clyde Avenue between 75th and 76th streets.
This is another view showing the house next door. That one was owned by an older couple who retired to Michigan where they bought a peach farm.
St Philip Neri was the new parish and the church is still beautiful although the neighborhood shows serious trouble. The interior is worthy of a cathedral.
At Christmas time the altar had life sized figures in a cresh on the altar to the side.
St Philip Neri school where I attended from 4th grade until graduation from 8th grade. The elementary school building, which housed kindergarten to 3rd grade, has been razed to build a supermarket. Also gone is Aquinas high school where my sister attended. The school is larger now although the number of students is much reduced. The school building is dated 1913 and was originally the church, as well.
This is the house I lived in from November 1944 until I left for college in August 1956. The house looks in good shape although the neighborhood has deteriorated.
The basement had a party room built by my father after the purchase of the house for $12,000 in 1944. It was built in 1912 and had gas fixtures in the living room and the bathroom on the second floor. They were never used but installed as a precaution, I guess. The photo of the party room was taken about 1946 or so. Everybody was home from the war.
The house next door was owned by an elderly man, Mr Hausler, with whom I spent many hours watching him build a new fence and restore his bluebird house every spring. He had a lovely yard which he kept meticulously. He even had the first sprinkler system I had ever seen.
Directly across the street was the house owned by a patent attorney named Nearman who enjoyed working on electronics and who volunteered to repair any TV in the neighborhood that needed work.
Next to Nearman’s was the house owned by a dentist named Cox. His daughter played with my sister.
Across the street next to Nearman’s was the McGuire house, now in sad shape. Jack and Bobby and Ginny were kids we played with. Tom, the oldest was a music major and later moved to San Francisco where he was a church organist. The youngest, Billy, was born after I had left for college and he became an artist. He painted a very nice picture of our house. The house is now abandoned. It was a very nice home when I lived across the street.
Next to the McGuire house is one that was owned by an attorney named Monaghan. My sister Pat used to babysit for them. He had a beautiful wife named Lois and they had several servants. Lois Monaghan was serene except on the servants’ day off when she looked like different person. They were lovely people.
Michelle Obama grew up in a home on the next block long after we had left.
The neighborhood shows the effects of years of crime and the lack of commercial business although most of the houses show care by the owners.