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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

boyhood sketch 3. POLISH HOME OWNER


I am recalling the years from 1949-1956 when I was ages 7-13 in St. Catharines. Ontario.

Our home was owned by a Polish immigrant whom we saw infrequently. He spoke with an accent so prominent that I could understand little that he said. A few steps from the Clark Street sidewalk a front door opened to a hallway that we never used. A staircase led to Mary Pankratz's apartment. I told you about Mary yesterday. Around the right outside corner of the house the sidewalk led to a side door that was our own primary entrance. It opened to a family sitting and dining area. Off to the left a door opened to my small bedroom. A hard left took us through a large arched entry into a formal living room we seldom used.  On the front facing wall were two doors, one leading to the unused hall and the other to mom's and dad's large bedroom. On the right side of the room two more small rooms, Murray's bedroom and a family bathroom. At the rear of the house, passing through the sitting/dining room was the kitchen that ran the width of the house. A back door led to a large yard that was entirely enclosed by a fence on the right side and by walls of buildings to the left and to the rear. There were two very tall trees on the wall side of the yard, trees that rose fifty feet in the air. Trees that were mine to climb. I could sit in the crotch of a tree with a good book for hours.   (This image shows the Green property 65 years after I lived there. Then it had a grass lawn where the driveway is with shrubs beside the other home.)

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