Wednesday, June 8, 2011

2846 St. Paul Boulevard, By the Kinsellas

We’ll start the cousins write up of our family houses by highlighting our family home, 2846 St. Paul Boulevard, in West Irondequoit, a town with Rochester on its southern border and Lake Ontario on its northern border.

Mom and Dad moved from ‘2846’ in 2007 after living there for more than 45 years.

Mom writes many memories of 2846—here are a few:

--Sue, packing her clothes in a brown paper bag, and moving to the dog house in the back yard to live, after some words with me—she was nine or ten.
--Chris, curled up on the love seat in front of the living room window, immersed in the bird book that he got for Christmas. Two day later, he came up for air and was an expert!
--Tim, his driver’s license barely in his pocket when he got a ticket, right in front of our house.


Living Room

Sue remembers: I loved the pantry off the kitchen when we first moved into 2846. It was long and narrow and filled with cupboards. The cupboards, lovely wood with glass windows, filled the upper walls, with matching cabinets along the bottom wall. Among the cabinets was a bin that pulled out at a 45 degree angle. Mom called it a flour bin.

There were secret doors to the outside—one was the milk box that in older times, the milkman must have opened from the back yard and put in orders of milk bottles. This door saved us many times when we left our house keys in the house—the smallest was always pushed through the tiny opening.

Dan writes: We lived on St. Paul Blvd., but we hung around with the ‘Seville gang’ the kids who lived on the street to one side of us. They were scared of the ‘Thorndyke gang’—kids from the dreaded Thorndyke Street on our other side. I guess they must have been a year or two older than us, so felt bullied when we ran into them.

We would regularly have ‘wars’ with them. These wars were primarily raids with us running over to where they were playing and pelting them with pine cones, or vice versa. I know for a while we stockpiled paper bags full of pine cones up in the top of the garage at 2846, because we didn’t want to take the chance of getting caught without our supply. For all I know, they may still be there!

Beth writes, calling hers ‘Ghost Memories’—
--In the front yard, underneath the big fir tree, making ‘rooms’ by clearing spaces in the pine needles and using pine cones to outline ‘doors’
--In the back yard, learning to skate backwards, being careful around the roots of the big tree at one end
--In the downstairs hall, Tom and I jumping from ever higher stairs until we got scared and stopped. I wonder what stair we stopped at?
--In the living room, peanut hunts during birthday parties, marathon Monopoly and Risk games while we listened to just about every Beatles record ever made
--In the kitchen, making pies and cookies with Grandma Kinsella, coloring Easter eggs, and around the counter, everyone liked best the seats where you could rest your feet on the radiator
--In the basement, watching ‘Dark Shadows’ and eating Charlie Chips chips, consulting the Ouija board and scaring ourselves silly

Tim writes:
It will be sad at Christmas time not to be there to open presents, have a dart gun war, and take a nap on the living room floor after a wonderful turkey dinner.

Jim writes:
The house I grew up in was HUGE. The house I returned to as an adult looked identical...just smaller.

The nice thing about an old house is all the stories that have left their mark on it:
1) The scratch marks on the basement door from our dog trying to get out when we were away.
2) The hammer marks on the banister from my brand new 'kids' hammer I was testing out Christmas afternoon
3) The cracked glass mirror over the fireplace...blamed on our neighbor for years until one of us 'fessed up.
4) The notes and drawings on the ceiling in the attic written by siblings over time.
5) The 'hidden compartment' over our clothes-chute that had secret papers in it
6) The water-stain on the hall ceiling from the bathtub overflowing when we were too rambunctious in the tub above

Like scars left on a body, they record the passage of time, and bring a smile to those who remember.

Dining Room where many a Thanksgiving and Christmas feast were eaten!


Tom writes:

I’m sitting in the backyard of my house at 20 Hobart Avenue. It’s a nice backyard. But it holds none of the memories of the backyard at 2846. No trees that I jumped from into leaf piles. No ghost trees of plum and pear. No basketball court with cracks for shooting foul shots and three pointers. No garage with an attic to play in as a child. No tent trailer, sleds, hockey sticks, no windows broken.

Paul Kinsella writes:

I remember—Breaking the garage windows…a lot (editor’s note—LOTS of hockey got played there). I guess I knew it was bad when I broke one and then told Grandpa. He came out to fix it and just pulled a fresh window from a pile in the corner of the garage. When you have a reserve stash of three or four garage windows at all times, it’s never a good sign.

--Dart gun wars at every major family event!!! I remember explaining to my friend in elementary school how I couldn’t wait to go to Christmas so I could have a dart gun war with my uncles.

The Attic as we kids never saw it--empty!

And, in 1993, when one of our family newsletter questions was ‘What is your Favorite Room’, almost everyone answered, ‘our attic’, although everyone had different reasons for loving it so.

Chris writes: One of my favorite rooms was the little room behind the sliding door with the Confederate flag in the attic. To get to the room, you had to open the sliding doors and open a small door into the room. It was a small room with a slanted roof. It contained several old chemistry sets, one of the broken down televisions and Jim’s astronomy magazines. This was Fred’s (our cat) favorite room as he ripped all the insulation down with his claw.

I’ll end our memories of 2846 with what my niece Kristin wrote about her favorite room when she was thirteen—such wisdom, Kristin!

“My favorite room is the attic at Grandma’s house. It’s my favorite room because it has a lot in it. It is so crammed with stuff, you’ll never know what you might find. The closet door in the outer attic is prominent in my memories, because of the height marks penciled in on it. I like to see what my height is compared to my dad, aunts, and uncles at the same age.

I really like the attic, and when I get my own house, I want one just as full of memories as Grandma’s is.”


Mom/Grandma/CB said...

When we moved we brought that door from the attic closet with us!! Ithangs in the garagr so measure Cam next time you come! Mom/Grandma/ CB

Mom said...

IF you identified the 3 buggers in the first piture, I missed it! They are Left to Right, Rick Lochner, Tim KInsella and Dan kinsella

Ma- again! said...

I must leave one more commwnt! Notice the greasy fingers? Times don't change! Popcorn!

Pat said...

Phew! Good thing my mother loves to leave comments!

Thanks, Ma,


Dad said...

I'm surprised the author of this rememberence never mentioned the big front windows that looked out onto St. Paul Blvd. and how, one day, she pointed a laser beam through one of those windows to scare people across the street!

Pat said...

Mmmmm. Ah yes, and how my father dressed up as policeman to come to the door and scare said author half to death!