We move from the home on the left in Wattles Park to the one on the right in Lakeview.
In late summer of 1961 we made the move to Lakeview. This was preceded by a week of boxing and packing. I carefully packed up all my toys. Omitting a few to hold me over during the move.
I took a walk around the house and property as if to say goodbye. I loved it here, and it was sinking in as to what the move would mean. There was the basement where a lot of fun was had. The laundry chute where my friend Greg and I had so much fun sliding down. My room. The kitchen with the built in oven and fold down table. The large yard with the straight row of poplar trees my dad had planted. Those trees are still here to this day. Giants now. My favorite climbing tree at the very back of the property with the tire swing. I loved all these things. It was hard to say goodbye.
The day came and the big moving truck pulled up in our driveway. Two men carefully hauled all of our furniture and personal effects into the truck and covered and strapped it in. The moving van then started off on the 8 mile drive to our new home. We took one last look around the house, got in the car and followed the movers to Lakeview.
The unpacking took place without incident. At 6 years old, I had very little responsibility in the unpacking duties. This gave me the opportunity to scope out the neighborhood. I asked my parents permission and got it. My bike was one of the last things to go on the moving van so it was already waiting for me. Dad told me to have fun and don’t cross the street. I waved and off I went. I discovered that if I stayed on the sidewalk and made right turns at every street, I ended up where I started. It was fun! There were no sidewalks or curbs where I lived previously so this was new to me. I listened as the bike tires made sounds as they passed over the joints in the concrete sidewalks. Clack a clack a clack. I rode around the block a number of times then returned to the house and put my bike in the garage.
Basement Bar and Sump Pump
The Lakeview home was a 2 story home built in the 30’s. It had a large attic and a fairly large yard. Not as big of a yard as the one in Wattles Park. However, it had some interesting features. A large brick bar b q. A great oak tree to climb, and several pine trees that I was told never to climb, as the limbs are too limber and can break. There was a large living room inside and a formal parlor. The ceilings were very high as they made homes back in the day. Also very high baseboards. The home was heated by a oil furnace. As I discussed in the previous post, there was a bar in the basement. It looked like a real bar, with beer taps, two tables with chairs, and neon bar signs. The basement had black and white tile on the floor and dark paneling on the walls. Over in the corner was the laundry and a sump pump. Upstairs right next to the large kitchen was mom and dads bedroom. My bedroom was upstairs along with the bathroom.
The first night in the new house was both exciting and terrifying. In all my life I had always slept near my parents as their bedroom was on the same floor and one room away. Being a small child with a vivid imagination, I was prone to have nightmares. One comes to mind. And it was a recurring nightmare. This one happened 3 or 4 times at the age of 6. I was walking alone in the woods and I heard the sound of wood chopping off in the trees. I listened and made my way towards the sound. I hide behind a tree peeked around. There in the clearing was an enormous lumberjack dressed in plaid shirt, denim work pants with a wide belt, suspenders and heavy work boots. He had a full beard and long scraggly hair. Except for his clothing, he looked much like Aqualung from that Jethro Tull Album. I watched him as he raised his very large and heavy ax high up and Woooomp, bring it down on the log he was splitting. He would look around from time to time. Not sure what he was looking for. He terrified me! I decided that now was a good time to retreat back into the woods and put some space between him and I. I turned to go and as I did I stepped on a stick and it went CRACK! The lumberjack instantly turned towards the sound and bellowed “Who is it out there” in a deep booming voice! “I haven’t had my supper yet! I hope you are a young tender boy. You will roast up just fine!” I at once started to run, and immediately tripped and fell. He was on me in an instant! Three big strides and he had me, and dragged me into the clearing. He tied me up and began to sharpen his ax and knifes. “Yes indeed” he bellowed. “You will cook up just fine, and just in time for supper.” He then grabbed me and put my head down on the chopping block, raised his ax, and I woke up. As I said this dream happened 3 or 4 times during the age of 6. Each iteration a bit different, but with the same results.
Well. It came the time for bed. We were watching some television and dad said “Okay Jim. Head upstairs, brush your teeth and mom will be up in a few minutes to tuck you in and hear your prayers.” “Okay dad” I said. I headed for the staircase and noticed that it was very dark up there. There was a light switch at the bottom of the stairs. I turned on the light. This helped. I bounded up the stairs and into the bathroom to brush my teeth and put my pajamas on. I then ran back downstairs to the kitchen for a drink of water, then back up to my bed. I got under the covers and waited for my mom to come up to tuck me in. She came a few minutes later and did just that. She Heard my prayers, and gave me a big kiss on the forehead. “Goodnight. See you in the morning. I love you!” she said. “Goodnight mom. See you in the morning.” I said. And she headed back downstairs and turned off the light.
At once my overactive imagination took over. I darted under the covers and peered out into the darkness. Dim light was coming from the street below. It cast an eerie shadow on the wall. I heard the creaking of the old house. I was not happy being all alone up here. Why did we have to move? I did know this. I would have to adapt to the situation. My family did not believe in complaining. I just accepted my situation, knowing that although we were not back at the previous house, we were still together. So, I just pulled the covers tightly over my head, still a little afraid of the dark, and drifted off to sleep.