Our New Neighbors
In the summer of 1970, we moved into our new house. As far as I was concerned, it was in the country. In fact, it was in Lemon Grove. Crane Street to be exact. I don’t remember moving much furniture. As I recall we did not have much and the lady who sold the house (Mrs. Quirk) was leaving some of hers.
My mom did not take part in the move as she was in Kansas visiting her mother. I believe the first night there was the 3rd or 4th of July. There were firecrackers and in the distance fireworks. So I am guessing 4th of July.
It was weird as it was just us “guys” – my dad, me (12), Roger (10 yrs old), David (6 yrs) and Gary (5yrs). None of us had beds so Dad said we will “camp out” on the living room floor. We all thought that was very cool. The 2 young ones and my dad fell asleep right away. Me and Rog (freaking out on the move and our new house) were awake for awhile. Of course, you couldn’t sleep as Dad is a champion snoring machine.
As me and Rog lay there talking , there was a lot of shouting coming from across the street. We couldn’t see what was happening as our house was on the east side of the street and our front window was at least 10 feet below the front window of the neighbor. As it turned out that did not make a difference.
Right across the street from us, a man was at the top of his stairs yelling at his wife at the bottom of the stairs. Even at 12 yrs old, I knew they were both drunk. Roger and I took up positions at the front window and watched the action.
There was a lot of swearing and insults. We couldn’t hear very well because our front door was closed. About this time, my Dad woke up. He started to give us shit about going to sleep until we clued him into the action. He was just like us and joined us peeking through the front window. He got pissed when he couldn’t hear what was going on – so he opened the front door. I remember looking at Roger and we both thought – YES! All three of us were now spying through the front window.
Across the street, the lady started up the stairs. Which according to my Dad a HUGE mistake. The stairs were concrete set on wrought iron with no riser and an iron railing. (I found out later there were 17 of them). She got about half way up and her husband met her there. They yelled for a couple minutes and then to all of our surprise he punched her in the face knocking her down the stairs. My Dad let out an audible “Fuck!” – me and Rog just stared.
She hit the bottom of the stairs and rolled into the driveway. The driveway was really steep. She didn’t stop until she was in the street. To say the least, we were all stunned. Before we could say anything, she got up and was yelling again! Her husband had gone into the house by this time. She picked herself up and went up the stairs and slammed the front door.
We all kind of waited for a minute. Then my Dad said, “Let ME tell your Mom about this ok?.” We laid down on the carpet in our sleeping bags and went to sleep. That was my first day in Lemon Grove.
38 YEARS AGO!!