Growing up 0-12
i was born when my parents (Grandmommy & Grandaddy)& Aunt Linda (my sis) were living in Bellaire, which was eventually annexed by Houston. It had a small town feel, which I probably wouldn’t have remembered except for the fact that my sis & I continued to go to church there through high school, largely because of the youth choir there & my best friend through 10th grade anyway, went there (Leslie) & went to that hi school. GM & GD didn’t continue to be active, probably partly because when we moved to west Houston just west of the Galleria, they didn’t keep up with those friends/neighbors as much. Also, I think they thought it was a little clique-y, as Linda & I knew it was.
i remember having Kay as my girlfriend on my street (it deadended so was one block long west of Ave.B or whatever the cross st.was.), we played in her or my backyard a lot... I liked to come up with the pretend game & sometimes it was adventure in our backyard with the tall hedges, trees (a mimosa was my fav.), & giant elephant ears that we almost hit when we swung back on our swing set. I was the Indian boy, named Buttermilk, & I made Kay be the girl. We took a few play dishes out there & picked/pulled bean pods & whatever else to be our play food, & ran around & hid. We had monkey bars which I don’t think I was strong enough in upper body to do, & occasionally strapped on plastic skates & rode in the driveway where it was fenced into the backyard. We collected pillbugs, which stunk after a day or two stored in a can. I also liked to play with the kittens we had, except I mainly wanted them to lick me, which I tried to force. The kitties kept on being either bitten & killed by their dad or crawling up into the motor of the car & getting chewed up, and then the last one died I related to died by eating fertilizer, so we were done.
i also remember having a friend named Melissa from school, she was oldest of 3 girls, her parents had been hi school football player & cheerleader sweethearts. I don’t remember much about Melissa, but I do remember he few times I spent the nite & then we went on errands with her mom the next day, I obeyed her more than her own kids did, seems like I wanted the attention/approval.
Since I was out of school a lot during Kindergarten & 1st grade due to my eye injury a month before I started, I wasn’t as comfortable there (k was only 1/2day), didn’t have strong connections, but there was a girl named Camille in 1st grade & liked that name ever since!
I once had to stay after school as punishment because I didn’t bring my homework, which was to cut out or draw a pic of a bicycle... I couldn’t find one to cut out & trying to draw one proved too hard for me, so I didn’t have one. Staying after meant waiting at the door to leave until everyone else was down to the sidewalk, then I could join.i was a little scared of my kindergarten teacher, too. She would say that if you didn’t do something, she’d hang you up by your toes! We played some games at recess like Red Rover, tug of war & the one where you’re in a circle & if someone dropped the handkerchief behind you, you had to grab it & try to tag the person who was “it” before they got back to their place in the circle.
A bigger influence/memories were the family that lived at the end of the circle who babysat us. Sally was the mother, Lottie & Frances who we continued to know til after they were married, & the father was a carpenter whom I saw even a few times working after I graduated college & moved back to Houston where I worked at First City National Bank downtown. His family always went to church of Christ church, I attended a few times (undoubtedly when they were babysitting Linda & me when our parents went out for the night without us—seldom, I’m sure). Joel was his name, & I came to know that he was an alcoholic, but after many years & much Prayer apparently, he gave up his drinking & became active in their church with them.
Sally was a good cook, enjoyed it, & had several types of fig trees in their backyard—the bigger ones were good, but the smaller digs were sweeter. Sometimes w’d eat those as a snack when we went down to visit. Sally was a working/blue class Woman but was company for & a help to my very educated (& under stimulated/appreciated mom). Lottie was older, not as attractive, became a math teacher. Frances was cuter, funnier, & got herself into a few scrapes, soo know her parents were glad when she met Larry & got married. Lottie’s husband was from her church, I don’t remember about Frances’s.
I remember one time being on their front porch which in Houston could be a lot of the year, making $ by gift wrapping some Christmas presents for my mom. It’s also where, when I was 4 & Sally was babysitting me while my mom took Linda to the Dr., probably for her heart condition, I put my Little BoPeep barrette in my mouth to suck on it when I laid down to rest & I “swallered” it.
Our st.would flood occasionally, almost up to the front porches, & that was COOL to get to play in the water—Lottie & Frances would come down & play unit with us.
Thats also where I remember standing in my grassy front yard, looking away from the house & noticing my hair blowing in front of my face, & I said “I’m 4 & I have yellow hair”.
I shard a room with Linda, but don’t remember that much because she was 3.5 yrs older than me, so she was mostly in school when I could remember anything. She didn’t like playing with me, she’d outgrown whatever I became interestes in (dolls, games, playing pretend with stuffed animals) & didn’t really like to play outside much like I did. Nor do active play, but maybe that was because of her heart condition more than anything. They planned for her to have heart surgery for her valve situation when she got to puberty, which she did as one of Dr DeBakey’s patient.
We moved from Bellaire after 1st grade because we could afford to live in a more affluent neighborhood & bigger home in a newer area, Meyerland. Exciting—it was the same area where Leslie lived, & now we were in the same school!! And my first exposure to the different people, Jewish kids went to my school! That was 2nd —5th grade.