Let’s do another post on my high school days or maybe I should say where I lived during my high school days. As I mentioned before I went to a Catholic school from the first through the seventh grade. So, I was primarily taught by nuns and priests. I have mentioned before that my mom deserted my dad, brother, and me when I was in the sixth grade. Soon after that dad could no longer afford the mortgage payments on our house. He did manage to sell it for a small profit and then we moved to a rented farmhouse southwest of Indianapolis. This, even without the cultural shock of a different school took a lot of getting used to.
We moved from a modern tract house of the 1950’s to a farmhouse probably built in the very early 1900s. The house was heated from a monster coal furnace in the basement and I mean it was a monster! So starting then it was a daily practice in the winter months to stoke up the furnace each night with just the right amount of coal so it would last over night. Since dad worked as a milk delivery man and my brother and I went to school there was no one there during the day so we let the fire go out. Since I was the oldest it was my job to get a new fire re-started when I got home from school. During the coldest months it was about forty degrees in the house when the school bus dropped us off. We did have a shower and sink on the unheated enclosed porch next to the kitchen but the toilet was outside the back door in an outhouse. I never got used to going outside to use the bathroom. Fortunately since I was young I could usually hold it until morning so I didn’t have too many late night trips.
We lived in that house about 3 years and then moved into a small bungalow in town. The total house measured about twenty feet by twenty feet. There were four rooms in the house which were all of equal size. There was a kitchen (with plumbing), a bedroom for my brother and me, a living room with an old fuel oiler burner and a bedroom for dad. I guess it was a step up since we no longer had to load up the furnace with coal each day. But I think the reason we moved there was because it was just cheaper than the farmhouse. This little house still had no toilet. Instead we had a key to the ladies restroom in the adjacent service station. The owner of the gas station of course also owned our house. After high school I said goodbye to our little rented house and moved to the Purdue Lafayette campus. Dad soon remarried after that and moved along with my brother back to Indianapolis. I went back a few years ago and found that the house had been torn down. It is now a parking area for junk cars. I managed to get through those years just fine. I became somewhat of an expert on “bird baths” in the kitchen sink.
And the journey goes on…