Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Saturday, February 22, 2014

"I Have Often Walked down This Street Before ..."

As you probably know, Google has embarked on a project of photographing streets and houses in the country--and elsewhere? The other day (why? I don't know) I started checking on the streets and houses where I lived as a boy ...  In some cases the Google photographer did a good job; in others ... not so much.

The first place we lived was 1609 1/2 E. Broadway Ave.; Enid, Oklahoma, the apartment above the home of my maternal grandparents, Edwin and Alma Osborn. Google's photo doesn't show the place too well. You can barely see the house behind the trees. We lived there until about 1948? 1949? (or so), when, after Dad returned from WW II, we moved to Norman, OK, where he spent his year in residency as he worked on his doctorate at the University of Oklahoma. I cannot find out the address of that place--cannot remember much about it (I was not yet five years old--I have a vague memory of getting sick after eating green apricots I stole from the neighbors' tree--and a kid named David Lampton pistol-whipped my older brother, Richard--just a cap gun! still ... blood and stitches).

1609 E. Broadway Ave.; Enid, OK
When we returned to Enid from our year of exile, we rented this place at 1709 East Broadway, just a block from my grandparents' place and only a few blocks from Phillips University (now defunct) where dad was on the faculty (as was my grandfather)--convenient for all. My memory is that the parts of the house that are yellow in the photograph were red or rust colored when we were living there. My little bro, Edward Davis Dyer, was born (1948) while we were living there, and I remember him in his crib--and I remember some ... envy ... for the attention he was receiving. I remember, too, that he didn't open his eyes for the longest time, and my parents--especially my mother (as I recall)--feared he was going to be blind. He isn't.
1709 E. Broadway Ave.; Enid, OK
When the Korean War arrived, the Air Force called Dad back to active duty and sent him (us) to Amarillo Air Force Base (Texas). We lived at 4242 West 13th Street. This picture doesn't show our house, which is on the right (I think), a little brick ranch where we lived for a year and a half (I did 2nd grade at Amarillo's Avondale Elementary--and part of 3rd).

Near 4242 W. 13th St.; Amarillo, TX
After the Korean War, it was back to Enid in 1953, and there we bought our first house, 1706 E. Elm Ave., only a few blocks from my grandparents' place. Ours is the white house on the right. On the left lived Johnny Collins, a good friend. The house colors appear to be the same, though Mom, back in the mid-1950s, painted the front door pink. Dad's study was in the room above the garage--I thought it was the coolest place on earth. The room I shared with brother Dave is upstairs, far right. Reading Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, I fantasized about sneaking out of that window at night--but was too chicken to do so. We lived there until August 1956, when Dad sold the house ($14,750) and took a job at Hiram College, where he would stay for ten years. Mom had been teaching English at Enid's Emerson Junior High (I think I've mentioned earlier in these posts that Enid's two junior highs were named for Emerson and Longfellow!), and in Ohio she would teach for ten years at Garrettsville's James A. Garfield High--and would complete her Ph.D. at the University of Pittsburgh. In the summer of 1966, the year I graduated from Hiram College, they both joined the faculty of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. By then, Little Bro had graduated from high school and was off to Harvard, where older brother Richard was in grad school ... and I went off to teach at Aurora Middle School ...

1706 E. Elm Ave.; Enid, OK

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