Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Montoursville 2018:
Our first house

The house on Mulberry Street where we lived in the early 1970s, as photographed in July 2018.

Our family's first house in Montoursville was on Mulberry Street, as in the Dr. Seuss book. We lived there from 1971 until at least the summer of 1975 (but not much later than that, I believe). I was born in December 1970 and so, as you might imagine, this is the house that I have the fewest memories of. It's also the house that's the "toughest" for me to find when traveling back to Montoursville, because it doesn't have a level of familiarity or a sense of fixed geography that jumps out to me, like our other two houses.

In fact, as I mentioned earlier, I actually identified the wrong Mulberry Street house during my first walk through the streets this summer. But I checked in with Dad, and he set me straight. The house pictured at the top of this post was, indeed, our first house.

It's a modest home, once a parsonage, in the western half of town, where the houses are packed together more tightly than elsewhere. An alley — Montoursville is delightfully full of them — runs to the left of the house. Here's a closer look at the present-day front porch and the back of the house...

The backyard area has changed greatly, as will tend to happen over four-plus decades. That deck was not present during my childhood; we just had a big (to me) and long backyard, stretching down the alley. Here are some photographs of me in that 1970s version of the yard...

Mom and me

Me and my grandmother, Helen Chandler Adams Ingham (1919-2003)

I have already written about most of my memories of this house, in a post that appeared here on April 21 of this year, before I knew I was going to be writing this series. So rather than repeating or reinventing that material, I would direct you there to learn just a little about my bedroom, my shenanigans and backyard bats.

I don't really have other memories, except for a vague recollection of the trauma of having a splinter pulled from finger and a hazy episode involving a playmate across the street who was grounded because he/she tried to cross Mulberry Street without his/her parents' permission.

But I do have some more new-to-the-blog photos of the interior...

Me, in amazing pants, and my younger sister Adriane

Me with my grandmother Helen (aka "Beembom") again.
The fryer on the stove made amazing fried chicken.

That final photo also includes some very early "ephemera by Chris" on the walls. It's long gone now, but we have these photos! Isn't that a lovely paramecium I drew?

One final note and story. One day I wandered off with a playmate to the house next door, spending some time hanging out in the first-floor kitchen. I did not, apparently, tell my mother about this plan, which sent her into an extreme panic and certainly got me into a bit of trouble. I can remember being inside that airy next-door house. The memories probably remain because it was a rare "new place" for young me, and because the end result was a scolding. Here's what that (gorgeous) house next door looked like this summer...

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