1948 - 1954
My first home was at 1346 Lee Street near Mission Street and the railroad tracks.
Mom recorded in my Baby book that I was taken on a picnic near Mehama on the Santiam
River when I was less than a month old and on another east of Salem two weeks later.
I started crawling when I was five months old. Mom says I nearly crawled off a table
and out an open upstairs window.
We soon moved to a house on Cottage Street, then to a house on 19th Street, all in
The first house I remember living in was on 14th Street, only about a block
from the high school. It was a small brown house with green trim. It had
a basement, a fireplace and a garage. There were large-leafed bushes with
large red flowers (in season) on either side of the front steps. The porch
was concrete with cast iron railing. I remember we had large red and black
ants (body segments of different colors), which were always present during
the summer. There was a birch tree in each half of the front yard, which
was divided by the walk to the curb. I captured a black widow spider with
a jar in the garage.
When I was five, my family drove to San Diego in a small car. I remember that the floor of the car was covered with food and other items covered over with blankets to the level of the seat tops where John, then two, rode in luxurious comfort. On top of the car was strapped a crib with the rest of the things that wouldn't fit into the trunk. John and I lay on the blankets and looked out the side windows and the rear window. Along the way, we stopped at Knott's Berry Farm, and at a motel where I discovered a tree covered with ants (why is it always ants?). I remember the orange lights of the Golden Gate Bridge as we crossed it at night. While visiting my Uncle Gordon and Aunt Marge in San Diego, we visited the Zoo.
Our family would alternate summers between going to the coast or camping in the mountains. Dad didn't like sand, so it was a compromise. He did love the winding roads in the mountains. Our favorite place in the mountains was Suttle Lake, just over the Cascade ridge toward Bend. I caught my first fish, a rainbow trout, in the creek there and had it for my supper. One of my favorite foods on outings was Mom's potato salad.