Sunday, February 22, 2009

Poppy Drive, Burlingame, CA

Mom and Dad are visiting us from St. Louis and yesterday we got to drive down to Burlingame, California to show Dad the house he lived in with his family the year before they moved to St. Louis. Dad took some better pictures but I can't download them to my computer.
They lived there in 1942- August 1943 during World War II and had many experiences involving the War. From the house they could look one way and see San Francisco Bay. Not far away was a Japanese Internment Camp they drove by occasionally. Dad thought they were in there having picnics, but that wasn't quite the case.

They rented this house and were thinking about building one nearby when the call came one Sunday morning asking Grandpa to move to St. Louis to be the General Sales Manager for Edison Brothers Stores, Inc. Dad was 8 and Uncle Don was 11 when they lived there. Because he has so many vivid memories of that home and neighborhood, Dad thought they had lived there for two or three years, but it was only one and a half.
The neighborhood is off of a 4-lane road lined with tall, fragrant eucalyptus trees. Burlingame is called "The City of Trees." It has great schools and is an exclusive area. It's about 15 minutes south of downtown San Francisco and still has it's own "downtown" Broadway street with an ice cream store, restaurants and old drug stores. Dad remembers getting ice cream there with his mom. She got a vanilla cone and asked him to hold it for her for a minute (maybe to pay for the ice cream?). Dad took a bite of it and the gap between his front teeth left a tell-tale line of evidence down the scoop. That's his first memory of vanilla ice cream!
Dad had to wear dog tags with his name and address on them to school in case of a Japanese attack. They had bomb raid drills at school and once their family had to stop the car and turn off the headlights on their way home from his baptism.
When we got out of the car yesterday there was a little girl outside at the house next door. I told her that Dad used to live in that house and that we brought him back to see it. Her mom came outside and I told her the reason for our visit. To my surprise she asked me if we would like to go inside! She said they owned that house and that it's been vacant for a while but we were welcome to go in! She showed us around. It has a huge fireplace in the front room with the three arched windows and the back bedroom has a beautiful view of the neighborhood. The backyard drops off and has a lemon tree. We were able to pick some lemons and bring them home with us!
The home was built in 1928 and has been added on to. The price of the home now is not much since it has fallen into some disrepair and because it has not been updated. The additions are strangely configured and it will most likely be town down when it is sold. The price of the LOT alone is 1 million dollars, down considerably from what it was about 6 months ago. We were so glad we got to see it before it's torn down!
It brought back some good memories for Dad and I feel like I have some family nearby after all, even if they haven't lived there for over 65 years.