13 Willoughby St

The daily prompt is Street. So I guess I will write about the street where I lived because the last blog I read on this subject was about the song ” The street where you Live” from My Fair Lady which was set in England so it made me think of the street where I lived. The only thing that confuses is me is that the writer of the blog said that the song was made famous by Nat King Cole and I am just not sure that is correct, however I might be wrong.

I lived at 13 Willoughby road from 1969 to 1971. I lived in a white stone ,row house. It was a house that was connected to the house next to it. It was four stories high excluding the basement. The basement was a small room with a  coal stove. There was chute  from the street that led to it. My father had to shovel coal into the stove to keep the house heated. The house had a coating of soot. The first floor off the street was a small living room and dining room. Beyond that was a kitchen with a small refrigerator and a stove.   There was a garden in the back that was raised and led to a back alley. The second floor housed the room that my sister and I stayed in. It was a large room, well it seemed large at the time. It took up the width of the town house. There were many windows looking out to the street. We each had our own bed. there was a small space heater that we would huddle around to get dressed in the morning. There was a   WC ( water closet) It had orange walls and a metal chain to pull, and a room with a tub and a room with a washer and dryer.

My parents had a room on the next floor. They had their own bathroom with a bidet. I had to mention that. There another room that was used for guests, but I don’t remember anyone ever staying there.. The fourth floor was a studio. It must have been someone’s studio. It was our tv room. The place where we spent the evenings.  There was a scale there that had been left by the previous tenants. It measured in stones.Little stone discs that were placed on a balance.

There were small pillars outside on the stoop. We weren’t allowed to play on them.
We did anyway. We would jump from one to the other and then down to a slightly raised stoop. One day I slipped and fell and hit my shin. I still have the scar. I cried and limped my way around the circle that was our neighborhood. I finally found the courage to  tell my mother.  I had roller skates. The ones with a key. I would skate around the circle over and over again.

We went to school within walking distance. A dance school on top of a car agency. The tube station was up the road where the flower lady  sat. My mother went shopping with a wicker basket on wheels.

We had a milkman who delivered  milk in glass bottles with foil tops. The cream raised to the top. He left the milk in a metal box on the stoop.

In 1971, my father got his transfer papers and we got on a ship  to go back to America where I lived on a different street.



About jensiper

I like to write now and then
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5 Responses to 13 Willoughby St

  1. Maggie says:

    The first think I thought of when I saw the prompt STREET was that song from My Fair Lady… (but I wrote about something else.) Its fun to read your description of your old home and the things you did there…

  2. Gabriele says:

    I very much liked the description of the house, the details, the rooms … All those floors, a sense of a small-ish space in spite of them, the house being a row house and, last but not least the heating made me think of British houses for some reason. Maybe because it reminds me of my own (European, German) childhood in a row house with coal heating (on the ground floor) and a coal cellar and an overall sense of familiarity throughout the piece.
    Still though, in the end I was completely stunned when it said “we got on a ship to go back to America”. Before that there was no mention of a country or even continent, so in spite of all the evidence to the contrary I assumed this was an American childhood … very interesting! Willoughby Road sounds very British so now I assume that as a child you spent a few years in Great Britain. 🙂
    But to be clear, I very much like that we don’t really know where this Willoughby Road actually is. The surprise in the end feels kind of ingenious that way.

  3. Pingback: NaPoWriMo – Day 5 – “Heir Today, Gone With The Wind Tomorrow” by David Ellis | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

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