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Reminiscences of Maywood Courtright

We Buy Our First House for $2,500 and Remodel It

We had moved five times since we had been marreid, six, if you count the move from downstairs to upstairs in the house on Southern Avenue, and each time it had been Yvette who had instigated the move. She watched the want-ads in the newspaper, something I never did, and investigated when she though we could profit. She bought her first sewing machine, a White portable, that way, as well as our grand piano. About the time our $2,500 savings certificate was due she began looking for houses for sale without telling me what she had in mind, located a small two story bungalow in a good neighborhood on Maffett Street, then took me to see it. It was not a handsome place, just a rectangular box with a porch across the front. The front door was to the left (north) and opened into a hall, really a part of the living room, and the stairs to the second floor, where there were three small bedrooms, was opposite. Heating was supplied by a coal burning furnace in the basement and the laundry tubs were also down there. There was a one car garage at the back of the lot with access from the alley. It was easily worth the $2,500 we paid for it even tho prices were very low then because of the depression.

We didn’t need all of the space we had and Yvette thought we should get some income from it by making the upstairs rooms into a small apartment. She was always making floor plans. She sketched out a scheme to make the two rear bedrooms into a kitchen-dining room with bathroom next to the kitchen side. I drew the plans to scale and we hired a carpenter to do the remodelling. I made the rear window into a door opening on to a small balcony at the rear of the house. The upper hallway was turned into a small living room. I believe our first tenants were a middle-aged lady and her daughter, both of whom worked during the day. I can’t remember much about them. I built a passageway from the front door to the stairway by building a partition at the north end of our living room. I invented a sort of turntable so that the phone could be used from either the living room or the hall side. When you turned the thing around the back of it sealed off the other side. I thought it was rather clever but the phone company objected that they couldn’t install a phone in a hallway. We countered that it was not in the hall, it was in the living room, so they connected it.

It must have been before we remodeled the house that Yolande and then Alan came down with Scarlet Fever and were were quarantined. No one was supposed to enter or leave the house but Yvette persuaded the authorities it would be the same as not living at that address if I lived upstairs while the rest of the family remained downstairs. I ate my lunch in the cafeteria at school and a hamburger or a bowl of chili about six in a small restaurant on the corner of Peck and Kinney Avenue (later changed to Broadway.)

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The Fourth of July Courtright Reunion - 1934

Last modified on 16 April 2018 @ 23:31