Here’s what I remember about the kids on Pollyanna Avenue. Sit back, get a pot of coffee, this may be a tad long, if you need to break it UP, feel free. I just didn’t want to leave anyone out.
Starting at the top of the hill: The Hughes – three kids, Randy, Ronnie, and Cindy. All blonde, the boys were brats. Next, the Tyners. Three kids. Nancy, who was a few years older than I,Jim, about my age, and Phil, four or five years younger. Jim has passed on. Phil was a bit of a pistol. Nancy and I stay in touch via facebook, and she reads my blog – which I like! Nancy was in the marching band, Sarah Michael, who’s house was really on Market Street, and Nancy Shoup were her best friends. When they came home from football games, Mrs. Shoup made pizza or donuts and hot chocolate.
It was that kind of street!
The Roses. Two kids, Mark and Janie. Much older than I. They were in high school, big kids, Charlie’s age, all that stuff.
The next house was owned by the Monk family. No, they weren’t monks, that was their last name. Oddly, I don’t remember their first names. Again, older, out of my league.
The next house, was really on Marshall Dr. It was a cul-de-sac, that shot off the main drag of Pollyanna, who am I kidding, main drag, Pollyanna was a dead end street. The Russells lived there, four girls, Diane, Susan, Joan, and Donna. Donna was my age, was one of my best friends in childhood, and we still stay in touch. She runs the class reunions, because Bernie is to darn lazy to organize them even though she wasn’t the class president like Bernie was.
Heatons, still on Marshall. Ann, and a couple of other kids. Younger than I. I remember Ann, and maybe they had a kid named Mark. Mr. Heaton was my math teacher in Junior High. He had gray hair at the age of 25. Pretty scary in the class room, but a nice neighbor.
Next, the Battens. Mr. Batten was first my Jr. Hi. Principal, then my HS Principal. He was really, in retrospect, pretty cool for the day. Oh, he hated long hair, tight jeans, and Beatle Boots, but really, if he’d been cool enough to find them ok, we’d have never respected him. Not that we respected anyone much. They had three kids, Rex, Lisa, and another one…sorry, oh wait a minute, a moment of lucidity, Mike! Mrs. Batten mowed her grass in a black one piece bathing suit, and white tennis shoes. Mother was scandalized, all the teen age boys were thrilled.
Next door to them was the Woodrome family. He was the gym coach. I’ll leave it at that. Three kids. Patrick, Pam, and again…no clue! Mrs. Woodrome was an elementary school teacher. I never had her for school. She pretty much looks the same 50 plus years later.
Then, the classy family. Anna and Kermit Hannahan. One kid, David. Great toys, model cars, beautiful house, they “added on”. Lots of pretty glass bottles in the window. David had every kid book too. I spent a lot of time over there. The last house on Marshall was owned, and still is, by Mary Daugherty. Kent, Scott, and Todd. Three boys. Kent and I were in the same grade in school. Todd was 8 to 10 years younger, and had blonde curly hair. Scott was Al’s age. He was a pistol in the class with Phil Tyner. I remember Mrs. Daugherty pulling weeds all the time. I thought she was nuts, but learned later on it’s great therapy. See, we do learn stuff from the neighbors.
Back on Pollyanna, the house between the Daugherty’s and ours was owned first by the Mindlings. Pat, the mom, was perpetually pregnant. They only had four kids, but I swear that woman was pregnant all the time. I remember Janie and there were three boys too. Janie always had her nose in a book, even while walking to the car. The other kids called her turtle, because she walked so slowly. They had peonies in her yard, beautiful, covered with ants, and moved away – to Michigan. After that, a “childless’ couple moved in. Back in the 1950s and 1960s, if you didn’t have kids, there was surely something wrong. This couple didn’t want kids, their nephew, David, lived around the corner, and that was enough. He had the coolest car, a 1966 Buick Rivera, 2 door, kinda purple color…really, really sharp. I remember the cars most.
At 123 Pollyanna, there were five of us plus Mom and Dad. Judy, Charlie, Zola, Paul (me), and Alvah. One bathroom, three bedrooms and five kids. I don’t know how we survived, but we did. Asphalt tile floors, no carpet, Judy made the drapes in home ec class, a swivel TV, washer and dryer in the kitchen. Mom was in heaven. She still lives there fifty three years later. She has wall to wall carpet however.
Moving on down the road, the Wooddells lived next door to us on the other side. One kid, Brenda, spoiled rotten, and a standard French Poodle named Jojo, that was the size of a horse. They moved to someplace called Neosha, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, a flyover state. Her dad worked for Dupps, and bought his own rendering plant. With in a few years, they were back, living on West Market St. in a nicer home, and the old man was working for Dupps again. Brenda stayed in Neosha. She was in my first grade class, and the teacher hated her. She spent most of the time in the corner. They could do that then.
When the Wooddells moved out, the Thompsons moved in. They were Catholic. Seven kids, three bedrooms, one bath. Honestly, it was the freakin’ stone age. Carol was a year older than I and was the biggest Beatles fan ever. Well, maybe Stick was a bigger fan, but you couldn’t tell. They were best friends, even though Stick was a Baptist, lived in the better part of town, and had nicer clothes…than most of the girls at school. But, Stick didn’t live on Pollyanna, so moving on. The Thompsons moved away, and Dr. Miller and his wife, Jane moved in. He would ask me to play Chess and the get really pissed off when I beat him. He was kinda loopy sometimes – I think he played in his own medicine bag. No kids.
It gets a little murky from time to time, but the next place was owned by the Marcus family. They weren’t the first people to live there, the first family had a daughter named Gwen, I think, and she picked on me mercilessly. My sister, Zola, being the only person who was allowed to pester me, kicked her butt every summer. But, back to the Marcus family, they had at least two kids; Brenda and a boy, I want to say Mark, but everyone was named Mark, Phil, or Jim back then, so, who knows. Brenda reads my blog too! Yeah. Theirs was the first house on the Pollyanna cul-de-sac, and they lost a picture window every Summer to a baseball. Helen Wooddell lost one too once in a while, but we played anyway. Windows were easily replaced, we worked to pay them off, and baseball was important. I, of course, never had to pay for a window, because I, of course, have never connected a baseball bat to a ball, Never, seriously, never.
The Wellers were the first owners of the next place. The Bells moved in later, but their kids were younger, and I remember the mom and dad more. They were pretty cool back then. Back to the Wellers. Four kids. One girl, three boys. The girl, who’s name escapes me collected butterflies. She would catch them in nets, kill them in a jar filled with something, and pin them to Styrofoam sheets. Quite the collection, some were really pretty, but in retrospect, it was pretty creepy.
Then the Zulaufs. Dad was Jewish, Mom, Catholic, and a foreigner, she was Canadian. Three kids then, Adeline, David, and Renee. Adeline was HAWT, she took dance, practiced on the front sidewalk, and did a routine to Alley Cat. I was smitten. They moved to New Orleans, last I heard, had another kid, and after Katrina, the mom and dad, Boris and Jackie, moved to Nashville.
The Workmans or Workleys, I can’t remember which, lived in the next place. Three girls, Catholic, called my dad the Priest, even though he was the Baptist preacher in town. You know what you know, I suppose. Dad took most of the kids on our end of the street to school. One 1957 Bel-Air and umpty ump kids, no seat belts, they’d lock him UP these days. But, we all survived.
The McKloskeys were next. They had a “bar” in their family room, and their mom would never let me come into the house because she was afraid my Dad would get UPset. Terry and I played tag, ball, and all the childhood games with the other kids, he was my age and was the first person from my graduating class to die, he was killed in a car wreck on Diamond Mill Road.
Mrs. McKloskey’s sister lived next door with her family. The Harts. Two kids, Tim and his older sister Debbie. A very protective dog, no one got near Debbie – that dog was a biter! Debbie still lives in the house, one of the few original owners.
The Mosemans were the first owners of the house where the Byrds grew UP. Three kids, two boys and one daughter, the daughter had Down Syndrome. Mr. Moseman had a 1964 Triumph Spitfire. The boys took pride in telling me that it had a boot, not a trunk, and a bonnet, not a hood. I advised them that by the age of 12, I had read the 2,000+ page History of the English Speaking Peoples by Winston Churchill, and if they’d like to sit down, light UP and grab a cup of coffee, I’d recite the list of British and English monarchs in order for them. They never took me UP on the offer. Smart ass kids trying to tell me something about the UK I don’t know. Seriously!
They moved away, and the Byrds moved in. I knew Paul. He was a year older than I was, and we were friendly. The family kept to themselves. Mr. Byrd had beautiful flowers in his yard, Mrs. Byrd had a hearing problem, and one of the boys had a great 1957 2 door Chevy that was purple. Not just any purple, but metal-flake Japanese Imperial Purple. It was awesome…again…the cars!
Mrs. Slone still lives in the house across the street from Mother. Mr. Slone was our elementary school princapal. They had three kids, Sharon, Alonzo, and Garreth aka Soup. Sharon was about the smartest person to graduate from Germantown High School, Alonzo was so much like his mom it was amazing, and Garreth was “super cool”. He played in a band, had Beatle Boots, and a Gibson guitar. Oh, and curly hair. The girls loved him. Al passed away, Sharon lives in Kentucky, and Soup lives in Northern Ohio and flies a lot, and takes pictures…he’s pretty good too.
The next place was started, then the building stopped for a while. We were thrilled. It was the last house built on Pollyanna, and we used the foundation as a skating rink for our metal skates. They had a key – google it.
But, alas they built the house, and the Fischers moved in. Mona, also perpetually pregnant, and her husband, Jim -seriously, another JIM!!!, had three or four kids before moving away. The kids were all younger, I have no memory of them, and no clue where they are today. I do remember she would come to the door while she was breast-feeding one of them. Later on, Therapy helped. The Burkholders bought the place next. Three girls, Linda, Becky, and Kelly. Linda was my age, homecoming queen, college professor – a true Pollyanna escapee! Mr. Burkholder taught science in Jr. Hi.
I don’t know the names of the first family to own the next house, but the woman there was an ‘uberbeeatch’ in the league of O’Brien from Downton Abbey. She put pepper in the popcorn balls at Halloween, and we soaped her windows annually. They moved away, and the Boyers moved in. Couldn’t tell you which Boyers they were, but you couldn’t swing a cat in Germantown without hitting a Boyer!
The house around the corner, where the Naylors lived, was first owned by a family with two boys. The Hoehns, Freddy, one of the boys died, childhood leukemia I think. I remember it being very sad, the neighbors being very kind, and the family moved away shortly afterward. The Naylors bought it next. Two kids. Scott, or Scottie as he was called then, and Kande. Pretty mom, handsome dad, perfect family. Scott and Kande still live in Germantown, the folks moved away.
Betty Huber owned the next place. She had one kid, Greg, he was Zola’s age. A huge Colorado Blue Spruce in the front yard that was the envy of the street, hid most of the house from view. She sewed for other people. And she was very loud, you could hear her calling Greg all over the place.
The Bachelor lived in the next house. That may sound odd, but in 1960’s suburbia, a bachelor was suspect. Actually, there were three of them. They guy was just a smart guy who bought a house, rented out two rooms to his buddies, and made a profit when he unloaded it. We weren’t allowed to go near the place. He had ‘parties’, you know. I’m sure they weren’t all that raucous, I mean the police were never called, but we were told to stay away. Eventually, the bachelor got married to an elementary school teacher, his reputation was now pure, they were accepted, the other two guys moved out. They had a kid – the Hinshaws, not the two guys, sold the place, and moved away. No clue who moved in after that!
Maybe Nancy knows?
OOPS! There was a house between the Huber’s and the Bachelor, but I can’t remember them at all.
Dr. Bradley and his family, his wife’s name was Dainty, were next. He was a medical doctor, had several kids. I remember he would come to the house when Alvah had his fevers. They moved to Kentucky, and the Howards moved in. I don’t remember them that much. One of the boys rode to school with us, and I remember getting dirty looks when I asked him why his football uniform didn’t have as many stains on it as Charlie’s did. Hey, I had no idea what a bench sitter was!! And cleanliness and neatness of apparel mattered to me back then as much as it does now!
The Landsaws lived in the last house, or the first house, depending on how you look at it. Two kids, Gale and Eddie, they moved away from Germantown, but moved back later on. Gail still lives in Germantown, I think! When the Landsaws moved out, the Shoups moved in. Nancy went to Sr. Prom with Alonzo, but nothing ever came of it. He was crazy for Connie Poorman, who wasn’t a Pollyanna Kid.
Sadly, there’s no point to this post…other than that thinking of this has reminded me just how lucky we were to be Pollyanna Kids…and I had a moment of lucidity and decided to write it all down.
Were you a Pollyanna kid? Did I leave you out? Let me know!
*Thanks to Nancy Tyner and my sister, Zola Ruth for help with names!! And thanks to Richard Glenn Harden for the picture of Pollyanna Avenue and Marshall Drive.