Chesterbrook VA 1950s - Photo #22

   
22

View of our house, 5433 Kirby Road (don't use that address to find it today; Kirby Road house numbering has changed since then). Living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, 2 bedrooms, no basement. And a small utility room with a concrete tub where my mom did the laundry with brown soap and a washboard. The house cost $7000 in 1947 when it was new. I think this is one of the very few of the GI-Bill cubes left standing today (according to Google street view). My Dad and I built the addition on the back ourselves, with the help of a professional carpenter named Julian. Forest in the background, 1950 Ford in the driveway (we didn't have a car before that). There were no sewers then. There's a septic tank under the front lawn; you could see where it was because the grass was lusher. Wild onions grew with the grass, and my Mom had mint planted around the perimeter of the house but I don't see it in this
The same house in 2011
The same house in 2011 - Google Street View
picture. Next door: our neighbors the Casons, a retired couple whose phone we used until we got our own. A lot of sharing in those early postwar years.... The first family that got a TV set was suddenly very popular, everybody went to their house to watch Martha Raye or Sid Caesar or Uncle Milty or a Washington Senators ball game. Nobody had air conditioning though, so TV parties in the summer would be cooled by oscillating electric fans with ice-cube trays in front. The normal thing, however, was to stay home in the evenings and listen to radio dramas: Lone Ranger, Dragnet, Gangbusters...