Post 487: Once upon a time…

Family photos are fun to look through. You never know what they will reveal, what pets you never knew, how your older siblings ever were smaller than you!

I don’t know the puppy’s name — Topsie, maybe? — other than it died young — distemper? — but not before it tried to eat my oldest sister’s cracker.

marijean and topsie_edited-1

Dad was Chief of Police here, and this is my brother wearing Dad’s police hat while perched on the police motorcycle. I don’t remember the motorcycle, but I remember watching crews pave that section of Missouri Avenue, which means it was a dirt road till the late 1940s, perhaps as late as the early 1950s.

police motorcycle

My brother, the younger of my two sisters, and me (in the carriage) pose in our Grandma’s backyard. That’s good old Laddie (Gram’s dog), the dog I grew up with. He was very possessive and protective of me, I understand. He was a good boy!


Dad and Mom built the home where they raised their family. I think we moved up there in 1951. I remember each of us kids carrying a dresser drawer down the alley when we moved from Gram’s house to our new home. That’s about it. (We must have looked really cute, like a parade of ducklings!)


Dad was a perfectionist and very skilled in construction work, a legacy of his short “career” on the railroad. Those cinder block walls deviated only one-quarter inch from one corner to the next, something the city engineer found remarkable. He’d never found that level of precision in any construction site inspection he’d made in his career.


Mom, Dad, and another couple bought a surplus WWII warehouse from the city. It was on the former US Army airbase. They tore it down, and built the house on Mississippi with that well-aged, high quality former government wood.

That’s a very young me standing by Mom, being very helpful, I’m sure!

One of the family legends has Mom hanging upside down with a cinder block in her hands. She’d slipped, somehow managed to hang onto the scaffolding with her feet (!), but refused to drop the block because “it cost 25 cents, and I don’t want to break it”. Mom finally listened to Dad, I guess, and let it fall, but I can believe the story. Both Mom and Dad were tight with money because money was tight.


I told you I helped! Yeah, before there was Bob the Builder, there was Dougy the Digger. Notice my shovel-handling skills.

All this happened once upon a time.

4 thoughts on “Post 487: Once upon a time…

    • I think I still have that old Argus camera Dad used to take those photos somewhere in the house. I like the format and look of them, but I don’t think I’d like to go back to the expense of film-print photos again. I’m going to do some digging in my old prints to see what else I can put up here. Thanks for your comment!

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