Thursday, April 30, 2015

A to Z April Challenge: Z is for Zone


“We need to get together more often and not at a funeral.” How many times have you and a cousin said that? Funerals are much like a family reunion. You can learn a lot about a family just by looking at who showed up. Using my grandparents’ guest books and sympathy cards, I’ll be exploring “Who came to the funeral?

is for Zone, the neighborhood zone. When I was going through the cards from when my maternal grandfather died in 1963, I was especially touched by one in particular. The neighbors had all chipped in to send flowers to my grandmother.

My grandparents lived at the corner of Gillis and Frailey. The list of names on that card is the geography of Frailey Place.

From Google Maps street view
Left to Right: Davis, Louden, Harris behind the trees
On the “peninsula” between Frailey Place and Travis Place was the Louden family. They had a daughter much older than the majority of the kids on Frailey, but she would always speak if we were out in the street jumping rope. She would even take a turn holding one end for a game of High Water-Low Water.

Mildred Harris lived at the corner of Gillis and Travis, to the right of the Loudens’. Her yard was like a garden in the 1960s. She was a friend from church, so I’m not surprised to see her name included in the list of “Your Neighbors” which seems otherwise to be families along Frailey.

I believe the Bowens lived on Travis, probably next to either Mrs. Harris or the Loudens.

From Google Maps street view
Left to Right: Harris, Cummings, Foltz, Hornick
Across from my grandparents and right behind the Loudens were the Hornicks. They were accountants with an office in their home. With a paved driveway that looked like a divided highway, they had the best rollerskating surface in the neighborhood. The covered carport at the end of the driveway was perfect for twirling and skating in circles. The Hornicks never complained about our intrusion. Occasionally they closed the kitchen door, but that was the worst that ever happened to us kids except, of course, when they were actually parked in the carport. Bummer! The Hornicks always prepared my parents’ and grandparents’ taxes, and when their son took over the family business, he did the same for us until he retired a few years ago.

Next to the Hornicks was Mrs. Foltz and her son and daughter. Sonny was one of the few boys in this girl-heavy neighborhood. He often joined us in our games of tag, and he came to all the birthday parties. I’m not sure whatever happened to Mr. Foltz. He came and went until one day he went for good.

Mary Jollette Slade, Debbie Ellis, Donna Cummings  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Debbie, my sister Mary Jollette, Donna
Next to the Foltz house were Russ and Tess Cummings and their four kids. Donald and Barbara were teenagers, so I didn’t know them as well as I knew Katherine and Donna. Barbara and Betty Foltz next door were cheerleaders, and they practiced cheers out in the yard. They were the cool girls making everyone want to be a cheerleader. Katherine always had good paperdolls, but my favorite toy of hers was a cute pink metal kitchen set. Donna was at that funny age – a couple years too young for me and a couple years too old for my sister, but despite the difference in age, Donna was easy-going and always a good companion willing to play whatever part she was assigned in our many make-believe games.

The last house on that side of the street was the Harris house. What I remember most was playing in their ditch that ran parallel with Victory Boulevard. That ditch seemed deeper and wider in the 1960s than it does today. Still, what a dangerous place to play – where were our parents?

From Google Maps street view
Allen house was the only two-story on Frailey.
Next door to my grandparents was Earl and Betts Allen and their four kids. Big brother Dickie was too busy with Little League to bother with us girls. I played with Peggy, Mary, and Anne probably more than with any of the other kids on the block.
Anne, Mary, Peggy, and Me
in dress-ups

The card reminds me of what a fine time and place to grow up. While I don’t see the Frailey Place kids often, we are still Facebook friends. Too often we see each other at a funeral. One by one, we have buried all the parents now. Mr. Cummings was the last one, just a couple weeks ago.

We need to think of a more cheerful reason to get together now.

Zip, Zoom, or Zigzag over to the A to Z April Challenge Zone for Zillions of Zesty Zingers by Zealous Zanies before they are Zapped.  But the challenge is now over, so it’s time for me to catch some zzzzzzzzzzzz’s.

Now give me my Survivor Badge!


© 2015, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

26 comments:

  1. So sad to have buried all the parents; I always wonder how that is to be, the last one left. My mom was the last one left of 10 siblings, how did she feel about it all?

    Did enjoy reading your A/Z challenge posts. So admire you for the research you have done and how you are connected with family members. I know I said that before, but I do admire you. We shredded so many pictures from hubby's side because we just didn't know. I'm an advocate now to make pictures and tell stories on them, hoping someone in future generations may care.

    betty

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    1. I had an aunt who lived so long that one time she said if she didn't hurry and die, there'd be no one to come to her funeral. That was almost true!

      Betty, it's been fun visiting you and learning so much about Arizona. I appreciate all your comments on my blog. Don't be a stranger.

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  2. Your post made me remember how much my childhood was spent at our neighbors houses. My children are having a much different childhood. I know a couple of our neighbors, but we don't "hang out." I miss that sense of a small community. It was comforting as a child. Don't really know how to replace that for my own kids! Thank you for visiting :)

    You can find me here:
    ClarabelleRant

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    1. I think my kids had a similar childhood with lots of kids on our street, but they didn't have the freedom we had.
      Thanks for visiting!

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  3. You had a theme that could have been sad but you made it a wonderful tribute to all your family and friends. It's been great following you all month.

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    1. I never really thought about my theme being sad although I guess it surely sounds sad. Thanks for the kind words and continued support.

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  4. Best street ever...lots of fun stuff and touch of gossip when Sonny Foltz started dating. He sure was cute!

    How sweet of them to go into together to send flowers to Granddaddy's funeral. I am sure they appreciated him watching over the kids from his porch. He was gone too soon.

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    1. Wasn't it a great street? Someone should make a movie!

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  5. You deserve that survivor badge for sure. I sure enjoyed following each day of your challenge. Congratulations on a job well done!

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    1. Thanks so much Carol. You have been such a loyal follower. I appreciate all your comments.

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  6. I really enjoyed your blog posts. What a wonderful idea to write about your memories of family members and the neighborhood.

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    1. I have enjoyed it. Thanks for visiting.

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  7. What a fabulous end to your a-z! I've enjoyed your reflections so much. I can hear that jump rope snapping on the pavement and those roller blades gliding, and can see all those paper dolls spread out. It was much like my childhood....the kind most kids (sadly) don't experience today. Thanks so much for all your comments at my blog!

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    1. Who needs friends when you have your own little iPad and a gazillion games on it? UGH - Do kids even know how to jump a rope? Yeah, our childhoods were wonderful and innocent times.
      I appreciate you hanging out with me this month - even though I tricked you into coming over. HA HA

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  8. What wonderful memories you have - I'm so glad you've documented them for others to find! Nice work on using the letter Z - you're entire series has been so fun to read. Congratulations on another successful A to Z challenge.

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    1. Thanks Debi -- I expect to see you daily in April 2016.

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  9. You chose such an imaginative theme and I could relate so well to your introductory sentence. Lovely tributes and a final imaginative subject for Z. I would never have thought of Zone.

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    1. I debated between Zone and Zip code but I guess it didn't matter. I know you could relate to my theme either way. There aren't many genealogists doing A-Z.

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  10. Ah...the Neighborhood Zone....great way to end the challenge and hug your grandparents relatives, friends and neighbors one more time. I agree with Sally. As in the past challenges, I can't thank you enough for your daily visits and comments. I looked forward to what you had to share. I intend to keep it going. I too, am in a Zone for Letter Z...Texas Oil Boom Zone. How funny we used the same Z word. Mine's a stretch, but what the Alphabet....it's done.
    Congratulations on making it to the Finish.  
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal
    AtoZ 2015 Challenge
    Minion for AJ's wHooligans

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    1. I'll pat myself on the back for having something like a big catch-all here at the end. LOL

      Thanks for the visits and all your humorous comments. I love how you and I can't take too much too seriously.

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  11. I love that you were able to do this, and learned so much doing it... congrats for finishing the challenge! :)

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    1. Thanks and thanks for visiting!

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  12. How did I not know so many Sepians were doing the A to Z? This was a wonderful post! Now I have to go back and read the rest. and add your blog to my A to Z section in my feedly so I will be sure to follow you next time.

    Kristin

    Finding Eliza

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    1. Don't feel bad. I kept forgetting who was participating too -- I am sure I visited Bob Scotney only once.

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  13. Hi Wendy - well I'm glad others are admitting to be behind the commenting zone - I'm way behind it .. and you visited me at G ... I took on another project for April - and yes I managed both .. but not so well ... once I'm A-Zed caught up ... I'll revert to project 2 to continue on ...

    Have a good summer and well done for completing the Challenge and for writing down your family history in the A-Z format .. interesting for us ... but important for you and the family .. cheers Hilary

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  14. It was so fun to see the card sent to Mrs. Davis. My mother (Bets Allen) wrote all the names. I miss her and seeing her handwriting. She died in May of 1983.

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