July 29, 2011
*if it wasn’t obvious, this should always be said in Chicken Lady voice
142 Columbia Drive: spring or early summer 1975 to summer 1981
What the house looked like in 2006. Who puts those stupid stars on houses, and why? This trend baffles me. Also I don’t understand what people like about those angled-cut 2×2 railings that make every house look like a trailer. Bitch-bitch-bitch like a crotchety old lady In My Day we didn’t use pressure treated lumber et cetera.
No socks got shoved down the heat registers in this house, and no fires started. There was, however, a 15cm diameter hole in my bedroom wall, kicked there during a fight with a babysitter who wouldn’t let me stay up late to watch scary movies. The dislodged piece of wall didn’t fall out completely, but hung there from a hinge of plaster and old painted-over wallpaper, swinging like a little door to let in and out the small monsters and demons that I was certain lived there. Things did disappear into the hole from time to time: pencils; hair baubles; doll shoes; super secret notes; at least one sewing needle; and yes, a few socks. I would lie on my right side in bed, back to the hole, spine tingling with what I just KNEW was the fingers of the wall-dwellers tickling my skin, too terrified to peek over my shoulder lest I catch sight of one. The only time I’d ever turn onto my left, facing the terrifying portal head on, is when my dad would play a certain record that frightened me because it sounded like monsters. He’d only play it after I was in bed, unaware that I was lying awake upstairs panicking while the monsters danced behind my quivering back. Years later, as a teenager, I figured out that the “monsters” record that frightened me so much was Pink Floyd’s Ummagumma. Of which I now own two copies and can listen to it at night or alone or whatever, without incident.
Here is what the front of the house looked like in 1978, when it still had the wartime concrete slab porch and fat pipe railings, corrugated aluminum window wells, and wooden screen doors (how I’d love to find plain wooden screen doors like this for my house!):
A couple of years later those doors got painted red:
One more from around 1976: I don’t even know what pleases me so much about these plain slab porches. Growing up in military housing gave me a love for utilitarian blandness. Also, brutalism.
Those bars were perfectly spaced so that if you were sitting with your knees wrapped over the bottom bar and holding onto the top bar, and you accidentally lost hold on the top bar, you’d swing backwards and crack your skull on the side of the concrete slab. It happened to all of us, all the time.
Here is the car we drove when we lived in this house: a 1976 Volvo station wagon.
Bikes in the snow!
Posted by jodi on July 29, 2011 at 12.38pm