If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
Neighbor, Neighborhood, Community, Society, Country
One of the things I remember so fondly of my childhood is the neighbors and the neighborhood. Add to that the St. Joe Schoolyard, just across the street, and I grew up in a world of excitement and laughter. Wow, to explain our neighbors will take some doing.
For starters our nearest neighbors were the Killday family, who lived with their grandparents, Bing Withrow. We lived so close to the Killdays that they seemed more like family than neighbors. Hardly a day went by that we were not playing or working with Bobby, Billy, Betty, Terry, or Danny. Neither family was blessed with the expensive toys; tricycles, bicycles, or such but we had fun just having fun. In many ways the Killdays were more like family than friends. Then, just across the street, lived the two Kelly boys and JoAnn Kelly. I remember JoAnn was the only girl I ever knew who could whistle. Then, on down the block lived Dave and Evangle Woodard, such warm and gentle people. Across the street lived the Berberet family, the children our age were Rosemary, Suple, Sonny and Patty. The St. Joe Schoolyard was our after-school playground.
East of the Killday’s lived Mr. and Mrs. Klote. They were aged and childless but sort of adopted the entire neighborhood. Next door to the east lived the Gibbons family – they, at one time owned the Gibbons Farm Implement business which was north of the Edina City Hall today. All the Gibbons family were adults when I first knew them. Bella, Ceal, and Babe were the girls, Johnny and Paul the boys. My African American friend Joe Sutton was their main man. On east lived old Jim Miller, a very poor black man. His neighbor was Pee Wee Haines who had a daughter, Mary, who sometimes played with us. Back closer to home lived Ray and Maude Arment, very poor but very kind people. I used to shoot rabbits for them. Next door to Arment’s lived the Ira Dalton family. Richard and JoAnn were their names. Across the street lived Doctor Coughlin, the vet. They had two boys Pete and Jack. Across the street east, were the Marble and Kieson families. Herbert Kieson was their son, and Herbert was a hunter.
Behind the Marble house lived the poorest family in Edina. The Burkhardt family – poor in the depression meant poor. One of their daughters died of scarlet fever. The whole community wept. East, across the street was the Wilbur Bishop family. Wilbur worked for Henderson Produce. Back now on Main Street by the Berberet’s, lived the Fahay family. They had three children, and Mr. Fahay operated the Rail Express Wagon. Just across the street lived a convent of nuns. I remember their names, but not how to spell them. They were always sweet and kind. Though we were Protestants, they blessed us anyway. Across the street south lived Father Mullins, a kind and gentle man and neighbor.
East across the street was Steve Lynch’s Little Store as we called it. Steve always kept a large supply of penny candy. Why? Because penny candy was all we kids had. Steve passed the store to Mr. Tharp, he passed it to Mr. Strait; he passed it to Mr. Hunolt; he passed it to Mr. Ausmus; he passed it to the Powell family. The Powell family whose children were Johnny, Faye, and Louise, lived in the residence part of the store.They were all part of the North End Gang. East a block, lived the Lorey family. They had two boys, Pete and Pat. They were members of the North End Gang. Now North across the street lived Mr. Stoner. North again, lived the Stablium family, north again, the Sheridan family who had two beautiful girls, the older type. Then, northwest across the street lived firstly the Ruxalow family. They had 4 boys, but Bill and Murphy are the ones I remember. Yes, we were families with many children. We grew up in a time when we made much of our play things. It was a time when we shared what little we had during night time games. We all had plenty of nothing. Still, nobody had more fun. We were the neighborhood.
Contributed by Bill Lewis