Susan Dennis (susandennis) wrote,
Susan Dennis


About the same time I started high school, we moved from that white house in the neighborhood, out to the suburbs. It was actually only a mile and a half out and, of course, today, it's considered very much in town. We were all quite jazzed about the new house. For one thing, central air conditioning!! We didn't even have window units in the old house. I have no clue how we survived.

Daddy was now the vice president of Hanes Underwear and the new neighborhood was in a nicer part of town. Plus it was way bigger. Interestingly, along the way, the white house has, apparently, seen some major upgrades. I think they must have completely built out the basement which was just rocks and sand when we were there. Somehow they got it from the 4 bed 2.5 bath house we lived in to a 6 bed 4.5 bath house. And Zillow now has it priced double what the 'new' house with central air conditioning in the fancy neighborhood is worth today. The tides of change.

The new house had a gynormous amazing finished basement. It was kidsville. Daddy fell into a bar that was going out of business and bought a juke box, pool table and shuffle board table. So it became a great spot and we had four years of great fun down there.

Mom hired a decorator. His name was Reggie and he was amazing. He gave every room in the house a wonderful feeling of home. We had a formal - no kids allowed - living room and a formal dining room. Mother and Daddy had a den and then we had a family room where we ate all our meals and watched TV. The family room was the general hub of the house.

Reggie sat down with each of us kids individually and without adults to garner ideas about how to decorate our rooms. I have to say that he and Mom nailed each of us perfectly. My sister's room had a canopy bed with frothy pink organza linens and curtains. My brother had bunk beds and red plaid. But my room was the very best.

Reggie tricked me out with twin beds. Each had a tailored corduroy spread with knife sharp corners and two foam rectangle bolsters. The corduroy was deep sapphire blue and it looked like I had two couches and no beds at all - a salon. And the carpet was pin stripped with all kinds of wild colors. I loved loved loved that room. It frustrated the heck out of my mother. She would have loved to have punished me for all my various crimes and misdemeanors by sending me to my room but she knew that that was the only place I ever wanted to be.

On the day I turned 16, my Mom took me to the department of motor vehicles to get my drivers license. I nailed it on the first go and drove us home. Mother and Daddy sat me down and told me they were going to buy me a car. Well, not me - it would be a car for all us kids but, since I was the only one who could legally drive it... But, the car buying would not be free. In return for wheels, I would be in charge of chauffering my brother and sister everywhere and without even the hint of a complaint. And running any errands needed.

I would have promised to pull out my own teeth for a car of my own so they had their deal in spade. It was a 1962 white Ford Falcon (that Daddy's Buick friend had taken in trade). It had bucket seats which I had never even seen before and an all turquoise interior. It was amazing.

I really don't remember the errands/chauffeuring thing was a burden at all. I don't think I had to take my brother and sister to school even. My school was a dozen miles from home so I think just getting my ownself there and back was taking enough off my mother's shoulders.

My school was very near the Buick place which also serviced our cars. So one of my jobs was to take any car in that needed serviced or fixed. The guys from the Buick place would then take me on to school and pick me up after. My sister once snapped the drivers side door right off of Daddy's brand new yellow Skylark convertible. And I had to drive it in - with the door in the back seat. The guys at the Buick place - used to me by now - sauntered up with their clipboard...

"hmmmmm did you lose your door, there?"
"No! 1. it was my sister and 2. the door is in the back seat."

I was so clever - even then.

To Be Continued
Tags: tbc
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