Monday, September 23, 2013

Time Travel Tuesdays~ My Childhood Home

An interesting thing happens when you travel back through time. You find that not much ever stays the same. Back in July I wrote this post about my visit to Arizona and the old neighborhood where I grew up. I wrote about the first house my parents ever bought brand new, a place where I never lived, but years later would live just north of on the same street. I wrote about that house's amazing pink kitchen here. Well...when we drove past that house in July, we noticed that it was up for sale. It was so fun to go back to my brother's house, get on the Internet, and take a peek inside of the house we grew up in, Gena and I.

323 North Hunt Drive was the first house I ever lived in that had a sidewalk out front. Dairies don't have sidewalks, do they? Ours didn't! There was a driveway that in combination with those sidewalks introduced a whole new world of play to us such as roller skating, and bike riding without flat tires! It is a 4 bedroom 1 3/4 bath home with a living room and a family room. It was huge compared to the Little House on the Dairy! There are so many memories there! Among these are Christmas mornings, Thanksgiving dinners, happy family times around the table playing games, little nieces and nephews coming over for visits, learning to sew on Mom's old Singer, practicing my violin in the family room and making Juan the chihuahua howl like he was in some kind of pain! (poor doggie!)

So if you ever get to go back and look inside of the home you grew up in do you expect it to look the same? I didn't. I knew a lot had changed because the family who bought it from my parents made some changes immediately, like even before the final papers had been signed and closing was complete! They were in our ward and requested that they get the key early so they could go in and get their painting done before they moved in. I recall this giving my mother all kinds of heartache and worry. What if their loan wasn't approved? The worries became more intense when Mom checked in on the house one day (we had already moved out) and found her beautiful wood cabinets in the pink kitchen had been stripped down and painted fire engine red! Not only that! "Painting" included letting her children put multi-colored hand prints all over the bedroom walls. They had ripped out the carpet and replaced it with white carpet covered in what looked like paint splotches. What IF the loan hadn't been approved? The nerve! Really. Thankfully the house closed without a hitch and the other family moved into their new and colorful home! One thing they did do that I was jealous of was to install a swimming pool in the backyard. They also knocked out the back splash wall between the kitchen and the family room so that there was a pass-through. they took away the storage room next to the dining room and opened up that whole area to make one big room. Cool. I never got to see it until nearly 40 years later on .

Remember the perfectly pink kitchen? To the right in the photo just past the dishwasher was a door leading to a laundry room. You could also go outside from there. This was a narrow galley style kitchen. Also to the right would be the wall with the fridge and wall oven. Behind it was a pantry with a door that opened up in the hallway just around the corner.'s pink no more! It is blatantly blue! Really? Pink would not be my thing either, but this? Hmm...
Here's how they made the room much larger. The laundry room was where the fridge is now. The pantry was where the water cooler is with the door in the hall. The wall oven was right there in front of the water cooler. Pull that fridge forward about four feet and put the little counter space between it and the oven on the other side. It really was a narrow kitchen and this was a pretty smart way to make it larger.  The granite is very nice and I love the island work space. (So glad the bright red cabinets are gone!) They did replace the pantry space with those cupboards near the back door. That's good!

 The laundry is now out on the back porch. Not too bad in Mesa! there's a work sink but no room for Moms' pink freezer!

Here's the hall bathroom. These cupboards used to be pink too! It's fun to see the cabinets are still the very same ones only painted black. The counter top was tiled in white and pink, as was the shower surround. Really though, as long as you were updating could you at least have gotten rid of
 the Hollywood vanity lights from the 80's?
This bathroom is where I first learned to clean a toilet. I'll never forget that lesson. We didn't have a bowl brush and my big sister made me put my hand in the toilet with a rag and clean it. Yucky!

Here's the family about to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner. Yeah, look who's digging into the turkey with her fork! That's right, me! Couldn't wait to pose for the picture, nope...
That's Dad at the head and clockwise, sis-in-law Renda with 1st baby Tyler on the way, lovely Mom, cutie sister Gena, and Porky, er, Me.

Imagine someone standing behind Gena and I in the above photo. That is where this next photo was taken. They took out the storage room which was in the corner where the dinning set is. There was a wall just behind the sofa there. The above photo was taken from the spot by the end of that sofa below.Overall it makes the house much larger. They just had to add a shed in the backyard. The kitchen is just out of the photo on the right.

This is the living room in 1968. Here is my handsome brother Richard and his date to Senior Formal at Westwood High. They didn't call it Prom for some reason. That's the front door behind them. All of the doors and trim in the house were a blond whitewashed look. 
You can just barely see the gold carpet.

 Here is the living room today. No carpet, new door, The spot where this picture was shot used to be closed in. It was the corner of the living room where it met the dinning area. I guess someone got tired of walking all of the way down the long hall and around the corner to the front door! The closest path between two objects is a straight line after all! See where those coat hooks are on the right? That's where Mom hung a bulletin board. We put all of our favorite "Cathy" and Ziggy" comics cut from the Mesa Tribune there. That door that you can barley see on the right leads out to a garage. We just had a covered carport. It was a lovely country door with a window and white curtains.
This is another view of the living room looking into the kitchen. Yep. They just chopped off that corner! See whee that couch is above? That is exactly where ours was. In the photo below you see "Santa" Richard has come to visit the Ellsworth children. Tom (who is now a city planner for Mesa) was none too pleased with the visit! Love my Mom's sea green walls and orange retro lamp?
 Of course, it wasn't retro then! Somebody, straighten that lampshade!

Here's the garage as it is today.
 Here it is on October 30, 1970. Blurry, I know. The door you see was to Dad's storage room. This was a birthday party Mom threw for my niece Eileen on her second birthday. My sister and her husband were sick with hepatitis at Mesa General Hospital.  That nice board and batten siding on the house got marked up by my bike as I would glide in to a stop and bump the wall. black marks all across the nice creamy yellow paint. I got my bike taken away for a few days. Dad was not happy.

Next we have Mom and Dad standing in front of the house. These window are their bedroom and bathroom. Mom collected Avon cologne bottles in her bathroom window. Dad always smelled so good..."Wild Country"!
 Here's a view looking north on Hunt Drive. University Avenue is just up the street. On the left you see some vacant land right before University. We would cut through there to get to our crosswalk in front of the U-Totem store on the way to school. Three houses down on our side was as far as the development went too. Isn't Renda so cute? This is when she was barely expecting Tyler.

Here's the front of the house now. I like the porch swing! We really didn't have a porch
 other than right in front of the door. I'm not sure if Dad planted that tree.

Below there used to be a curving sidewalk from the door to the driveway. In that area below the swing, Dad planted beautiful dutch irises and flowers of all kinds. I hate to tell the owners, but deep beneath that swing lies the remains of our yellow parakeet.

Here's a picture of the front yard with a little tree he did plant. This is my niece Jalyn. Nope, I don't think that's the same tree.

 Here is regrettably, one of the only photos we have of the backyard and Juan the teensy tiny chihuahua. Dad planted fruit trees, orange, I believe.

The trees didn't survive to maturity. The family that bought the house from us were the ones that put in the pool. I would have died to have this thing! But then, there is no grass. It's a trade-off.

 Here's the back porch. They still have the same french doors that were there when we lived there. The laundry must be right behind the photographer.

 To whoever recently purchased 323 North Hunt Drive...This was a very happy home, not a perfect family, but one taught the values of hard work, and love for family above all else. I hope you enjoy the house, and if a random Davy Jones, David Cassidy, or Donny Osmond poster falls out of the closet in the back bedroom...sorry!


Nancy Face said...

What a fun post!

That blue in the kitchen is way beyond hideous! EEEK!

P.S. I love bright happy colors, but gee whiz!

URFAVE5 said...

I always love your Time Travel posts. It was fun to see how the house used to look and how it looks now. Personally I think it could use some more updating. I'm with Nancy Face that blue kitchen is a little much! I do like how they made some things bigger but I'm not a fan of the washer and drier outside. It is Mesa so it may not be cold but when its hotter than a hot tamale outside that is not fun to do laundry in.

I love the picture of you guys all gathered around the kitchen table. At first glance I thought grandma was Gena. I never realized how much they look a like until seeing that picture. Also the picture of Dad and his prom date, I totally see Brent in Dad in and a little of Conner. So fun! I love all the pictures.

Thank you again for always posting such great posts from the past!