Saturday, January 20, 2018

Snapshot & memories: Kitchen at Willow Street house in Montoursville

Today's launching pad for memories is this snapshot of our kitchen at 912 Willow Street in Montoursville, Pennsylvania. We lived there from late 1980 until the summer of 1983, at which point we moved to Pinellas County, Florida. I'm guessing this photo (part of a small set) was taken fairly soon after we moved in, so that Mom could mail prints out to other members of the family. (This was, of course, long before you could email or text photographs and just share them on The Facebook.)

That's me, of course, peeking out of the corner of the photo, which I'm sure Mom took. A rundown of things in this picture besides me:

  • Refrigerator. School lunch menus, AYSO soccer schedules, and possibly Webelos information would be affixed to this in coming years.
  • Refrigerator magnets. When Mom died, she left us with a gallon-bag full of refrigerator magnets accumulated over the decades. Many of them were from trips to other countries. Others were just cheap little ones that followed us through all the moves. I only kept a few.
  • Antique apple corers. Mom had a big collection. I still have one, partly out of sentimentality and partly because they're cool.
  • Chunks of Jersey glass. Mom dug these up in our yard at the previous house in Clayton, New Jersey, which was known for its glass factories back in the day. Two of those pieces of greenish slag glass are sitting on my desk as I type this.
  • Television. Mom watched Good Morning America on weekdays and one of my clearest memories from this house is from December 9, 1980, when she first learned from GMA that John Lennon was dead. ... I believe this is also the TV that went on to become my Commodore Plus/4 computer monitor in the middle 1980s. I'm sure there's a photo around in one of these shoe boxes that can confirm that.
  • Old medicine bottle. We like old bottles.
  • Polished rock.
  • Random candlestick.
  • Unidentifed bookend.
  • Books (Cookbooks, including The Joy of Cooking, and at least one bird guide. Mom went on to pack multiple bookshelves full of cookbooks and recipe pamphlets. We only kept a small but respectable fraction of them after she died.)
  • Red Christmas wrapping ribbon.
  • Sunbeam Bread.
  • Framed illustration of carrots.
  • Blue metal cookie container. I had this until recently, when I realized that its bulkiness outweighed its sentimentality. (Or maybe it's still in some corner of this house and I've forgotten about it.) There was a screw-in cap with little blue stones that you were supposed to heat in the oven every once in a while. Then you screwed it back into the lid and it would allegedly do a great job of keeping whatever was inside fresh. I have no idea about the science behind that.

I have mixed memories from this kitchen. One of the first foods I learned to make on its stove was hot dogs. Most days after school, I'd come home through the house's side door directly into this kitchen, which is where I'd find Mom. ... I also had a minor disaster during fifth grade. On either Mom's birthday or Mother's Day, I tried to make her coffee as a "present" and ended up spilling boiling water on my left arm, necessitating a trip to the emergency room.

I was a klutz and an ER Disaster as a kid, with other trips needed for a sliced-open forehead, a smashed cheek from walking into a swinging baseball bat (it's a whole dumb story) and a bee sting that made my whole body puff up with an allergic reaction.

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  1. I do not know if I know the Smashed Cheek Story, amazingly?

    Also, "Take Unidentified bookend." "You can't take that."

  2. Look at you ... you little photo-bomber :)
    This sounds like a list of clue cards
    "It was Chris,in the kitchen, with a framed illustration of carrots."

  3. Hi! i was digging around facebook and found your pic of the Lyter fire engine...i was at Lyter from 72-77 i wanted to find a pic of the Lyter 'spider' playground equipment and this led me back to your blog here via a google search. then i found this post about willow street. I grew up on Pine st. near the intersection on the other end of Willow from your place. My parents still live there! fun memories.