Friday, May 11, 2012

Those Places Thursdays - 1646 Highland Ave. (Week 1 - Remember When Your First Memory)

    Well I haven't posted in a while and so I checked the blog prompts and saw "Those Places Thursday" and Immediately thought of my grand parents home at 1646 Highland Ave. in Windsor, Ontario.  My Dads mother Elva (who I have blogged about before) married and settled down with Vic Boismier. They owned the home on Highland and it was where they lived until they each passed away. I never knew them to live anywhere else, all my life.

Grandma Elva Boismier (Nee Dennie) with me John F.W. Goodwin (age  1) Aug 1967.

            Above their home was a small apartment. It had two bedrooms (average size), a bathroom, a living room and the smallest of kitchens. You got to the apartment by going up the back stairs and their was an enclosed porch at the top with some storage space, and the door to the apartment.

Me in my parents room 1968.

Me in the old bathroom (notice the cast Iron tub). 

Christmas 1968 (living room - with door to my parent bedroom top right corner - which is where the picture above (of me in their room) was taken from). 
Me at 2 and a half with my parents William F. Goodwin & Noella A. (nee Lafleur).

     Now my parents lived up their to get started when they first married and had me, until I was about 4 or 5 years old. Then my Dads brother (my Uncle Vince) lived their, and my aunt Orleen. each started out or got back on their feet living their. Later in the 80's my grandmother's sister (my great aunt Gladys) moved down from Hamilton with her three kids and lived their for a year or so.  For the last year of high school my father moved us out to the Forest Glade area in Windsor, but all my friends where still down in the area near my grandmothers. We had lived in the area and I went to high school a few blocks from the Highland home. So I had a key and if it got to late to take a bus out to home, then I would just go there and crash. She kept it partly furnished and left some bedding up there in case I needed to come by.  I learned  how to walk in that apartment and one day soon after, at the age of 10 months (my First Memory).... My parents where going out one night and my mother took me out on the back porch to head for the car, when she remembered she had forgotten something (her purse maybe), and went back in the apartment to grab it. My dad was just grabbing his keys and wallet and was still in the apartment, when he saw my mother without me. He asked where I was and as she realized she had left me on the porch without closing the gate to the stairs, they both started for the door just as they heard me go THUMP, THUMP, THUMP...PETTY, THUMP, THUD down the stairs and land on the cement at the bottom. I can still to this day remember standing there looking down from the top and trying to manage the top stair (that was extra height, by the way). Then falling and rolling with the banisters going by, and finally coming to a rest on the cement on my back, looking up the stairs at my parents as they came running down in a panic. I was taken to hospital and kept for observation for a few days. To this day I am afraid of heights, and think this is why. But I was fine. Later I remember my 5th birthday which was downstairs in my grandparents dining room, I had a party with friends and got my first 2 wheeler bike with training wheels. We took pictures and the next day my dad took the training wheels off before he headed to work. My grandfather watched me during the day and I set out back and forth down the side walk out front trying to master the act of balance, pedaling and steering that little beast. When my father got home, I rushed out to show him how well I could ride my bike. He was impressed that I had learned in the day. We had Christmas dinners, thanksgiving dinners, saw my Great Uncle Ordel and his family off (as they passed through Windsor, on there way to move to California), and so many other events I can't even remember them all. When my Mother and Father split to divorce, my mother asked me if I wanted to live with her or my dad and I said my dad, she dropped me at my grandmothers with some clothes and the keys to the house (she moved out that day and left my dad to take care of selling it). He picked me up the next day, but everything seemed to revolve around that house for  me until high school was over and then gradually it slipped away. When My grandmother finally passed on, I got to go through the house and take whatever I wanted since I had just started my own family. I took the dinning room set since it reminded me of all those family gatherings and a few other nick knacks that reminded me of my grand parents.  Unfortunately at some point my grandmother had gotten rid of the open front high bureau desk that my grand father always kept his important things in. It was damaged, but I would have loved to have had it. It was that item that really spoke to me of him.

My father would be standing in front of the house (so you can't see it) while my mother stood watching me walking around at 1 year of age, 1967. 

   So when I think of "Those Places Thursday", I almost always "Remember When...." we use to live, play, visit, eat, party, laugh, cry, and talk; at 1646 Highland Ave., in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. It goes together with childhood for me.