Thursday, November 1, 2012

Those Places Thursday - 818 Bruce Ave., Windsor, Ont., Canada

      Well I've told you about the home on Highland that belonged to my father's mother. How we lived in an apartment above her and what that home meant to me. Well it was important as it was around a lot longer than the house that my grandparents owned on Bruce. That would be my mother's parents. However, the house on Bruce probably means more to me overall if you were to weigh time spent in it (daily life, events, and stories), to time available to us, to spend in it. In other words more quality than quantity.  When my parents were first married they lived with my mothers family until my father had a steady enough job and could afford to rent the place over his mothers home. They lived in the back bedroom, off the kitchen. When I was born I was put in a bassinet beside the bed. My father recently told me how he would come home from working afternoons at Chryslers, coming in at mid-night and finding my grandfather Lafleur (the one from Painters of Windsor previous blog) sitting up in the kitchen feeding me a night time bottle.  Later in life my grandmother lafleur took care of me in the mornings and sent me to kindergarten for the after noon at St. Alphonsus School (thanks to my mom and her cousin Linda for correcting me - I had Marlborough School - I went there grade 1-3). My Aunt Denise (my mothers youngest sister) is only about a year and a half older and her youngest brother Bernie was 4 years older. they walked me to school. My parents both worked  at this point to afford their own home. My grandmother also watched my cousin Sheri (a year younger). There were also my other uncles Mark and Wilfrid Jr. the oldest of the boys living at home then. All these kids and their friends in the neighbourhood made for a busy home. Then add in the oldest sister and her 5 kids and other relatives coming and going on the weekends and you might say the joint was hopping. There was cards and drinking, people talking, laughing and some yelling (mostly to be heard).  The house was a hive of activity. We had Christmas dinners here, birthdays, easter, and to many other events to list. My grandfather retired and they moved up north Sturgeon Falls in the Nipissing area where they were from.
     First thing below is a section of page 134 of the Windsor City Directory from 1967. Showing my grandparents listing and residence as 818 Bruce.  I still have the real estate listing from the time. It shows a picture of the home and gives the specifications. It appears second below. Also included in the pictures below are shots showing some of the interior of the home. So the second picture is a floor plan I drew up from memory with each of the pictures that follow shown on the floor plan. By "shown" I mean I attempted to show where the photographer would have been standing and what you are seeing of the house from that point of view.  Now the floor plan isn't exactly to scale but is just here to give that perspective. Speaking for myself as a family representative, I must say I always "Remember When..." fondly, when I think back on this home and everything that went on there.

Lafleur listing section from page 134 of the 1967 Windsor City Directory

Photo #1 - My mother (Noella Aldea Lafleur) in the kitchen  - Sept 26,1965
My Mother said " This picture of me was taken the day after your dad and I got married - the family was teasing your dad and I - and I was really blushing - to bad the picture was in black and white."
Photo #2 - Aunt Florence (my mother's sister) with her daughter Sheri  & I am standing with my back to them in the kitchen/dining room doorway  -  1972

Photo #3 - Uncle Bernie (right - my mother's brother) and a friend in dining room outside master bedroom - 1971

Photo #4 - Grandma Desneige (nee Ouellette) Lafleur in dining room outside master bedroom - Christmas 1965

Photo #5 - The Lafleurs - Christmas 1968
(Left to right - rear) Florence, Noella, Fernand, Desneige, Wilfrid Sr. holding Denise
(Left to right - front) Wilfrid Jr., Bernie, Mark