Saturday, September 12, 2020

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: What Was Your Childhood Home Like?

Somoetimes the theme for Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun is unexpectedly funny for me, through no fault of Randy's whatsoever.  This is one of those times.

Here is your assignment, if you choose to play along (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music, please!):

(1) What was your childhood home like?  How big was it?  How many rooms did it have?  What facilities did you have?  What furniture was there?

(2) Share your response on your own blog, in a comment to this post, or in a comment or post on Facebook.

So the first thing I have to decide with a question like this is, which home?  While Randy was fortunate enough to have lived in the same home until he was 19, me?  Not so much.  A few years ago Randy's theme was the houses in which you have lived.  I had racked up 27 addresses, 21 of them by the time I turned 21.

I think I'll go with the house at 434 Randy Street in Pomona, California.  Not only was it a home from childhood, which I tend to think of as a younger age, but I can actually picture more of what it looked like than most other of our homes.

434 Randy Street in 2011

Going by the information on Zillow, the house is currently 1,190 square feet and has four bedrooms and two bathrooms.  That number of bedrooms sounds right to me.  I think all three of us children had our own rooms.  We had a living/family room and a kitchen.  I remember a back porch off of the living room and a big back yard off of that.  I think there was a door off the kitchen that went to the outside, probably the back yard.  There was a garage, possibly for two cars.  The house had a curved driveway and a good-sized front yard.  I think there was some sort of overhang over the front door.

On the right side of the driveway, where the phoot above shows a hard surface, it was still part of the yard and we had roses planted along the curve.

In the living room we had a floor-to-ceiling bookcase, which I used to climb up, which freaked out my mother, who was afraid of heights.  We had a credenza of some sort, probably that included a TV.  I remember on that piece of furniture was where my mother's status of a cobra with its hood spread out used to sit.  We had to hide the statue when my mom's sister came over, because she was morbidly afraid of snakes, even inanimate ones.  There was a big couch on the opposite side of the room.

There was enough space in the living room to accommodate a folding card table, because that's where my parents would set up the table when they had friends over to play cards, probably poker and pinochle.  My parents didn't play bridge; my father only picked up the game after marrying my stepmother.  Sometimes when their friends were over I would walk through chomping on an onion as though it were an apple.

I don't remember what any of the bedrooms or bathrooms looked like except that I had a window in my room.  That I remember because my cat, Velvet, used to go in and out that way.

For some time we had a pet snake — a green snake, I think — which lived in the garage.  It escaped three times.  My mother was able to retrieve it the first two times, but the third time it was gone for good.


  1. I never thought to use Zillow to learn more about the houses. You were lucky to have your own room. With six kids, that never happened. I only had my own room for the year I lived in an apartment before getting married.

    1. It's amazing how so many tools created for other purposes are really useful for genealogy, isn't it? I'm glad I thought of it. I was disappointed in their phot of the house, though. I like mine, also from Google Maps, much better.

      With six kids, I can understand why you wouldn't have had your own room. As I recall, Pomona was the first house where I had a room I did not share with my sister. We did share rooms again in later houses, though. My brother had his own room because he was the only boy.

  2. I can't imagine living in 21 different places by the time I was 21 years old. You have a lot of memories from that one house, considering how often your family moved. Your home in Pomona isn't far form where we lived in Alta Loma. I used to go to the Pomona Public Library often to use their genealogy collection.

    1. We were always moving when I was a kid, to the point that my mother had the nickname the Wandering Jew. :)

      I'm thinking we might have been in Pomona a little longer than some places, because I do remember quite a bit about it. I'm pretty sure we went to the Pomona library, but I don't remember it. The first library I remember is the one in Niceville, but that wasn't until 1973 or 1974.


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