This was our first house that we owned as a family. We moved in late 1969 and moved out in 1973. It was a typical suburban house of the era with the bonus of having an English theme for the subdivision. I remember the names Canterbury and Coventry for different regions of the development. The schools had the same names as the regions. At least that is how I remember it.
It is a two story house so it was great to play on the stairs as kids. One of the tricks was to sit at the top of the stairs and attempt to build up enough downward momentum to bounce down to the bottom. It was extra fun to add sound effects with hopefully an interested kid audience. It was also great fun to see how different toys would roll/fall/self-destruct down the stairs. The trickiest bit was that the stairs were not straight so the L-shaped turn always presented a bit of bummer since it was hard to get anything to go past it. I suspect that our parents appreciated the break in the stair’s destructive powers.
The only thing being more fun than this was Grandma’s laundry chute in Humboldt. The upstairs had a cabinet door that lead straight down to the laundry on the first floor. Endless hours were spent chucking down various objects to the waiting cousins downstairs. Sometimes something would get stuck and we would have to find heavier toys or other objects to unclog the pipe. It was a good thing that it wasn’t big enough for a kid otherwise that would have been tried as well.
At 1024 Abbington, I remember getting my own room. This was quite a novelty even though I suspect that might have had my own room before this. I was allowed to pick the sheets for the double bed and I selected a “Stars and Stripes” theme that I still clearly remember. It was impressive to not only get a big bed but also be allowed to express freedom in what it looked like as well. There were lots of kids books on bookshelves in my room. I remember this because when I was learning how to read and write I decided to write on the wood (not stained) bookshelves with my name. At the time, I knew my first name and not my last name. So, “Jeff Boo” became my name and I did a good job marking my territory. My parents were not however impressed with my level of graffiti. The punishment was to try to get it off. Unfortunately crayon can be trick to get off unstained wood.
I remember going to school for Kindergarten and Grades 1 and 2 in Crystal Lake. They built a new school in 1970 so I went to two different schools in that time. I have fairly happy memories of this time. Everything was new and exciting.
Crystal Lake was a great place to grow up. It wasn’t that far from Chicago but yet it had more of a small town atmosphere. It was a fairly safe place. I walked to Kindergarten on my own for most of that first year of school.
Debra and I both had good friends from nearby houses. Kids were always out playing in the front yards and the neighbors knew each other. My Mom is still in touch with a friend of hers from this time.
Strangely enough they still delivered milk to the houses then. You can spot it in the background of the picture below.
My first memory of a song happened in Crystal Lake while at daycare. It was by Simon and Garfunkel and was being sung by one of the carers.
We went to many 4th of July celebrations in the park. One particular time the fireworks got too close to the crowd and actually landed on some blankets as the people scattered. Strange how things like this are what you remember.
I remember Dad making a big deal about the moon mission in 1969. I vaguely remember seeing black and white pictures of an astronaut walking around the surface of the moon. At the time I couldn’t understand what was so important about that.
By the end of our time there, Dad and Mom decided that they wanted more space. We moved out to Woodstock which is really close. We went from about 1/2 acre to 5 acres in the country. I’ll write about there another time.