Thursday, April 3, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Today’s blog is written in conjunction with Facebook’s “Throwback Thursday.” The above photo was taken during the mid ‘60s in the backyard of our house located at 7317 39th avenue. It was a two-story house located across the street from St. Mary’s Church. In the photo, my dear Ma is holding up baby brother Joey. Sister Teri is to her right and I am to her left. I’m not quite sure why I am flexing. Brother Mike is right behind Teri and is staring at me probably wondering what I am doing.

Since this is a “Throwback Thursday”, I am going to take you on a tour of my old neighborhood and see how many neighbors I can remember. I will go north on 39th avenue and start with the white house behind us in the photo. Here we go…

The Wayne and Betty Smith family. They had two sons – Steve and Doug. Wayne was a firefighter who later bought an Open Pantry convenience store in Racine.

Mr. and Mrs. Tom Collins. I’m not sure of her name. Maybe it was Rose. The first job I ever had was shoveling the Collins’ sidewalk and driveway.

Jim and Jackie Pulera family. Their kids were Joanie, Tina and Jimmy. They were great people and were my folks best friends back them. Jim sold cars. Ma still stays in touch with them.

Mrs. Dimeo and her male “friend” lived on the northwest corner of our block. Al Dimeo was her son. He insisted on wearing his eyeglasses when we played football. Of course they got broke. High drama ensued.

We are now going around the corner to the 38th avenue side, starting on the northeast corner.

Art and Elaine Jurgens and their son, Keith. They had several other older sons that didn’t live with them. Played a lot of sports with Keith. Although he threw lefty, he batted right-handed. The Jurgens were all good bowlers.

The York family. I’m kinda sketchy with the details here. Don’t remember any of their names. Except for Nancy. She was my age and I briefly had a thing for her.

The Onserud family. Another household that I am kind of vague with. I think the kids were named Guy and Sarah. She was a tomboy and good in sports.

Jim and Shirley Iaquinta and their children – Alice, Jim, David, Peter and Tim. Two things stick out in my memories of the Iaquinta family. I was scared to death of their big black dog (which never stopped barking) and Tim shaved off one of his eyebrows just for the heck of it.

The Gillespie family. Not sure about the names of the parents, but the kids were Frankie, Hope, Don and Greg. I will never forget the viscous wedgies Don would give his little brother Greg. Man, he had his underwear up over his head many times. Ouch.

The Follensbee family. Again, I don’t recall the names of the folks. They had a ton of kids. Here’s who comes to mind – Ken (aka Punky), Vickie, Stevie, Debbie (?) and a couple I don’t recollect. Ken lived up to his nickname. I remember him sliding into second base on the asphalt at St. Mary’s playground. He was picking stuff out of his leg for weeks.

The Fredrickson family. There was Scotty and his mother. She was sort of a hippie and he was crippled. She would occasionally pull him around the block in a wagon. Other times he would hop around the sidewalk on his knees. Sometimes this made me sad.

The Isermann family. They lived in a big house on the southeast corner of the block. I believe that the daughter, Katie graduated with me. They were sort of removed from the rest of the neighborhood. She was very attractive. I do remember that.

The rest of the southside of the block was flanked by Roosevelt Road. There were several businesses located here. Frank’s Bakery, the Public Library and Clay’s Tap immediately come to mind.

We now go around the corner and back on 39th avenue.

Zuehlsdorf Family. Not too sure about these neighbors. I think they had a son, but we didn’t do much with him. I do believe they owned Clay’s Tap at the time.

The Clark family. This was the house located to the south of ours. Jeff lived with his grandma and grandpa here. Jeff was a good athlete and excelled at baseball. He developed into one of Kenosha’s best softball players and is now known as Herman. He was over to the house just last week.

That concludes my tour of the neighborhood I grew up in. It was fun looking back. I know that I probably screwed up some of the names, but who cares.

Until next time…from the booth.

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