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  • Dad, Mom, Sis (four years old) and myself (three) moved from a city apartment on Spring and Palm to a brand new house located in St. Louis County, circa 1950. Our house was built on a cul-de-sac and almost every home in the subdivision had children. The houses were cozy little cuties with nice size living rooms, a galley-type kitchen so narrow it was lucky to fit a table and four chairs. There was one bathroom, three bedrooms, one so small it was best suited for bunk beds stacked, but you could fill two entire walls “L” shaped with both beds on the floor. Oh, I almost forgot the laundry room; it had one of those too.

    I vaguely recall the night of the big “get to know your neighbor” party, mostly from the retelling of the story over the years. Mom and dad invited the cul-de-sac neighbors over for an evening of getting acquainted and most guests brought their children including BYOB. The assigned play area for my sister and me, along with the other children was the small, tiny bedroom.

    As the evening progresses the moms and dads were having fun listening to music, dancing up a storm, partaking of adult beverages, while we children were engaged in our own soirée in that small room, door closed.

    We played with every toy in the toy box and scattered them everywhere. Now and then they would check on us in the “playroom”. Midway through the party mom came in serving us little sandwiches, chips, cupcakes, and soda. What a gracious hostess. “We the children” must have become bored with the toys and became creative in our play, because when next peaked on we were all fast asleep. Some on the floor, others sleeping on the tilted mattresses where the slats had collapsed half on, half off the bed frame, and still other children were sleeping on the draperies pulled off the wall. One may conclude a good time was had by all!

    Nowadays all the parents would be arrested for child neglect or endangering the welfare of a child and we children placed in foster care. Boy how times have changed.
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