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That old house was our home

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POSTED July 17, 2010 2:48 a.m.
The house of my youth is currently on the market.

Located in south Stockton, I took advantage last weekend to take a peek inside the vacant abode on the corner of West Fifth and Monroe streets.

The 1,130-square-foot single family house was remodeled and includes many upgrades.

“Not a short sale or repo,” said the listing on www.movoto.com. “What a great property.

“The property is a must see.”

It certainly was a great place to call home. For us – included are my siblings, Frances, Mal, and Pete – it was here that our lives were molded.

Everything that took place in this space, in some shape or form, contributed to the people we would become.

We shared laughter. Many times it was stuff that was only funny to us.

As teenagers, for example, I still remembered playing a prank on my younger sister, Mal, who came home late knowing our mother was on an overnight trip to Lake Tahoe or Reno. Frances, the oldest, put a scare in her by dressing to look like my mom (she wore the old woman’s robe and night cap).

We shared tears. The worst, of course, was the night my father died.

He suffered a massive heart attack in the living room while watching television. I was in the kitchen eating a TV dinner when I heard the commotion from the other room. He was treated and taken away by ambulance.

We cried when my mom broke the news of his passing.

It was in this house that we celebrated special events, as in weddings and graduations.

Unfortunately, my brother missed out on his high school graduation, falling short of some requirements due to a severe case of “senioritis” and had to go to summer school.

I can recall cleaning, painting and even grilling chicken and ribs during the nuptial events of my sisters.

It was here in my old bedroom that I contemplated my fears of leaving for college.

At the time, this was the only place I knew to be home.

I was also leaving behind friends and family.

In 1990, we decided to move my mom out of the old house. But the sticking point involved our family dog P.J., a 100-pound Labrador mix. We actually took a vote among my siblings as to whether or not P.J. would be allowed to relocate to the new house.

The final tally was 3-1 in P.J.’s favor.

When we finally moved out of the old house, we took one final walk-through each of the rooms.

I hadn’t set foot on the property until last week.

I drove past the old place on numerous occasions, checking out what the other occupants had done to spruce things up. The folks that followed us actually painted the house in a shade of purple reminiscent of the Los Angeles Lakers’ team colors.

I’m sure some family will soon make this nearly 60-year-old house their home.

They’ll also have their share of fond memories, I hope.
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