Just thought I would take a moment and see what Google had on our old house on 9th Avenue. Turns out it is still there and for sale – a steal at $34k! Reading the specifications I am surprised how small the house is – about 1100 square feet, with two bedrooms and one bath. The house is hard to see in this Google photo and the one the realtor posted is the same one, but you can actually see the house pretty well here. The house on the right is the Jone’s rental house I told you about in my post on model planes. When we lived there, the lot on the left was vacant, and then came Jones the lawyer’s house. But I like being able to scan around from the street in front of our house, 9th avenue of course.
I have a lot of memories about that street and the hill that leads down to the Parrot’s house. I can remember skinning my knees badly by falling off a scooter Mr. Parrot had made for Joe. It was just three 2 by 4’s nailed together with old-fashioned metal skates mounted on them. Joe was sitting on the seat and I made the mistake of kneeling behind him on the 2 by 4. We made it most of the way down the hill when we hit a bump and I fell off onto the asphalt. My knees were so torn up I could not kneel in church for weeks, and for that my mother was not happy.
We had a number of significant snowfalls back then. During one the first year we lived there, Dean and I hid behind bushes in the lot across the street and threw snowballs at cars that were struggling up the hill. Mom did not like that either. Seems she did not like a lot of what I got into back then.
Seeing the Jone’s rental house reminds me I did not finish the story about my crush on Carol Baumgardner. Carol was my age, 12, and totally infatuated me. Every time Dean and I want over to the Jones’ to work on planes, I tried to get her attention, usually failing. But the winter the Baumgardner’s moved away to Kentucky, magic almost happened for me.
That winter, Neil Sedaka released his hit song “Oh Carol” and it of course resonated with my smitten pre-teen heart. I played it over and over and memorized the lyrics:
I am but a fool
Darling, I love you
Though you treat me cruel
You hurt me
And you make me cry
But if you leave me
I will surely die
Darling, there will never be another
Cause I love you so
Don’t ever leave me
Say you’ll never go
It was almost as if he had written the song for me and I was just sure Carol thought the same thing.
I tried all through the Christmas season to get her attention, but she just didn’t see me the way I saw her. Still I was determined to tell her how I felt. The cold winter night in early January before they left the next day, I snuck out of our house and went over to her front door. But I couldn’t knock. I was just too afraid, so I stood there for a long time. Mr. Jones must have seen me and he came to the door to ask what I wanted. I stammered something about wanting to tell him good bye and thanks for all the help on the model planes. Then I walked off his porch and headed home. But I couldn’t go in. I stayed outside trying to get up the courage to go back and knock on her door. I watched her packing through her bedroom window but I never did get the courage. And eventually I was so cold, I had to go back home, fortunately before Mr. Jones discovered me. I overslept the next morning and when I awoke, she was gone.
I never heard from her again.