Childhood Memories


The Land of Lost Content

Into my heart an air that kills
From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
What spires, what farms are those?

That is the land of lost content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again.

A. E. Housman


For my brother -- Remembering him, and some of the homes we had in Cincinnati.

Lansdowne - I remember all the children coming out after supper to play on the street. We played all the classic outdoor games until the street lights came on. That was the signal to go inside for the evening. At that house we both got Scarlet Fever. I remember that we were not supposed to touch each other, but played soldiers with me on one side of the doorway, and you on the other. Also, since dad worked with food (Albers Super markets - Scroll), he couldn't come in the house. I still have the warning sign in my baby book that had to be posted on the door.


We both went to school by bus to The Mount Notre Dame Academy. I think we both liked it, though you grew to like it less as you grew older. In the 8th grade you transferred to a local parochial school. I continued through 9th grade until we moved away to Long Island in 1948.

Here is my first communion picture taken on the steps of the convent at Mount Notre Dame. I am in the middle of the third row:

1st communion

3820 Thornton Drive in Silverton next, I believe - Darling house on a cul de sac street - Oodles of kids. There was a "woods" at the lower end where we went exploring. I remember chasing a kid who tried to bully you. I was always so protective. We had a dog there, but I can't remember much about him. We slept upstairs in the finished attic, as I recall. Both of us had asthma, you worse than me. I once got so mad at you I threw a grapefruit that missed and hit the wall!!!

In the pictures: 1. Charlie, Mother’s friend, Mary Ellen – 2. Xmas 1941 – Thornton Drive

There might have been a house in between, but I remember best 2857 Cyprus Way. That was a magical place for both of us - Three and a half acres - a Victorian home at the top of a winding driveway. There were fireplaces in each room, and an elaborate carved bed in my bedroom. Beautiful carved and curved wood main stairs, a parlor and a living room, an old record player left by the previous owners with "Old Black Crow" records. Back stairs, and a little guest house outside the kitchen door. Mother made a vegetable garden (it was during WW2), and actually cooked vegetable soup for us out in the garden. Lots of quince trees helped mother make jam and gave us great weapons for our war games. We played Capture The Flag and had a clubhouse in the barn. We had two ducks who came down the driveway to meet us when our school bus pulled up. Two dogs, Mitzi and Bill.  Dad had his first ulcer attack there too. But times were happy. You built a jitney out of a wooden fruit crate and old toy wagon wheels. I use to ride on back. We would take it up to the top of Indian Mound Road and go down there all the way to the end of Cypress. The street ended in a railroad yard. Do you remember the Huscharts who live down and across from us on Cypress? Their Dad was a dentist, and Mary Jo was a friend and mentor to me.



Cypress Way Then

Cypress Way now – The house is gone and a motel now occupies the property

At the busy other end of the street ran Montgomery Road, where there was a huge church we attended on Sundays. We went to Mount Notre Dame Academy (now a girl's HS), as did Mary Jo and her brother Vincent, and took the bus every day to school.

We next moved up and around the corner to Indian Mound Road. Had fun there too. You and friends built a tree house down in the long back yard. President Roosevelt died while we were living there. I remember a news boy coming up the street announcing the death. Mother’s Aunt Ellen moved in with us here.

At that time, you decided Mount Notre Dame Academy was too prissy for you, and you transferred to a parochial school (name?) near our next home - our last home in Cincinnati - What was the street? Orchard Street, Berry Avenue? You set up your great train set there. We saw "The House on 92nd Street" with friends while we lived there.

A couple more memories – We were in a movie theater when Japan surrendered and WW2 ended. Someone came running down the aisles to shout the news.

And remember when we saw “The Thing?”- the original with James Arness as the monster?? I spent most of the movie under my seat.

And when Dad won a car? A Chevy! And we drove to NYC from Cincinnati in it? Uncle John did the driving since Dad was already there, working now for The Grand Union. You took to our new home in Mineola like a duck to water. I hated it. Chaminade for you – The Mary Louis Academy for me.