729 is the middle house, with two cars in the drive. We never used that drive for cars. Our official entrance was from the street behind, Gardendale. My parents owned the land from Moraine to Gardendale, as well as the next property west up Gardendale. The front porch was open in 1945, but was closed in within a year or two, giving we children ten more windows to wash twice a year. Inside and out.
Next, my parents built the garage over a summer, with the help of Uncle Bill and neighbors who did carpentry. A blacktop surface that filled the balance of the lot was poured in front of the three car garage and then dad graded the hill up to the west lot and planted trees and grass. Thus leading to another phrase from childhood, “Keep off the hill!” Or, “Get off the hill!” The hill only took up part of the west lot, and the neighborhood played baseball on the rest of it.
There’s a long neat line from the back of the house to the garage, curving past the garden to meet the blacktop. That very large tree in front of the garage is an acorn Walt brought home from Aunt Laura’s house and planted when he was two or three. The long neat line is the sidewalk that got us from the back door to the garage. Dad and crew built it in 1956.
He and Walt put up a grape arbor at the end of the blacktop, first.
Dad excavated the sand from across the street. It was 1956, people were resourceful.
Walt fell out of the neighbor’s tree and broke his leg, so he got sand washing duty. The doctor told him he was not eating enough green beans. He still doesn’t eat green beans.
Dad built a frame to form the blocks, which had to cure two days. Then, it was a block a day.
Anyone who could swing a shovel to clear the way did.
Block by block the sidewalk was laid.
When it was finished, the celebratory picnic:
Uncle Hank, Barb, Mom, Uncle Bill, Aunt Flo, Joanne, Grandma Rolf, Walt, Mel, Janice and Ken.
Uncle Hank swapped places with the chief engineer for the final shot.
I am not pictured in any of the construction. That’s pretty much how I remember it.