Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Back To My Roots - Sunday Afternoon Tour - Part 6

Once again - this is a many part posting of the trip to Celina taken June 12, 2009 through June 15, 2009. If you haven’t read the other parts, do so now and be caught up to date. OK?

When I emailed Karl Allmandinger that I was coming to Celina with my daughter, Brenda, he responded that he would be happy to be the driver for a tour of the city and allow us to take pictures of the various places we visited. So after church Sunday morning, we met with Karl and had lunch with him first at a place he likes to visit. Karl picked up the tab on this one. It was a buffet and had everything you’d want to try. Of course, we tried a lot of entries and was ready for an afternoon nap but had many places to visit first.

When I originally planned this trip I knew I wanted to have the family at home see us on the Celina Web Cam at the corner of Market and Main Streets. We did that when we arrived on Saturday afternoon but I had scheduled on my BLOG a 2:00 p.m. Ohio time Sunday appearance for family and friends. So first off would be the web cam appearance. Carl drove us there and people told me that they saw the car drive up and three people get out. Of course we were pretty small on the screen at home but Brenda, Karl and I waved to the camera while talking on the phone to home. Then someone on the phone at home suggested we cross the street and get closer to the camera to allow those watching a better view of the three of us. So we did. Both pictures taken off the internet by our son Rick are below.

Two of the three schools I attended from 1943 to 1949 were torn down and the land was used for other purposes. The schools were replaced and we were amazed at the beautiful schools that replaced all the buildings I once knew. A new K-4 Elementary School replaced The West Building which had 1-4 grades when I lived there. I attended 4th grade only at the West Building. It was a few blocks from the parsonage where I lived. The Celina Mutual Group Insurance Company now occupies the entire one block square where the West Building once occupied.

We drove to the location where East Building was located which had grades 5 and 6. That is now a church location. A new Intermediate School for 5-6 has been built at a different location. The Junior High (7,8,9) was located in the High School (10,11,12) building. We were two different schools located within the same building. A different principal for each school. I attended all three grades of Junior High before moving to Kansas City to finish high school. That building has been replace with a Middle School (7-8) and a new High School (9-12). The former High School building still exists but is used for school offices and a Head Start School. A picture of the old high school is below.
We next located the first house that I lived in which was the parsonage since grandpa was the pastor of the Nazarene Church. This was at the corner of Warren and Sugar. A brick building that was old when we lived there 1943 to 1946. I don’t believe that anyone lived there for many years as it appears to be in pretty bad shape outside. A closer look through the windows showed us that the building was being remodeled inside with walls being moved, new electrical unit on the back to supply the building, a small section of the original building taken out and a new part being built. Quite a remodel and I expect the wood on the outside of the house will be replaced in time. I think maybe a lawyer’s office will be there some day soon.

The second home was at 630 Brandon Avenue. I lived there from 1946 until I left in 1949. Grandpa had to buy another home since he retired from active preaching and was living in the parsonage that belonged to the church. This was another old house. Had only cold water to the kitchen, no bathroom (used a little house out back) but a large home on a large lot. One of the first things he did was to install a bathroom where the pantry was off the kitchen and get hot water. Our heating stove was in the dining/front room and used coal which had to be brought in from the garage a half city block away from the house. Good thing he had two grandsons to do that job! Before hot water and a bathroom with shower, the Saturday Night Bath ritual was done in the kitchen using hot water off the stove.

This home had a large upstairs section which was turned into a bedroom for Ben and I and a guest room. The rest of the upstairs was remodeled as an apartment that was rented out to help with expenses. Before that could be done a kitchen, bathroom, outside entrance with stairs had to be built. Grandpa was very handy in doing anything like that and did the work himself. In the pictures below of this house as we saw it in June shows the outside door on the second level but no stairs! They apparently rotted away and were removed. The door remains. Someone was living there at the time and I wanted to see if we could get in to see the house but nobody answered the door.

Both houses I lived in had a “front room or parlor” that wasn’t used in the winter. That room was closed off and the heat turned off in those rooms during the cold months to conserve heat and keep costs down. Of course, no homes at that time had air conditioning so all rooms were open for air ventilation during the summer.

On the same property grandpa built a small house for himself after I had left Celina. Grandmother had passed away the following year and he didn’t want to live in the big house much longer. That new home is sitting on ground that I used to mow. Right next to it at the alley is the original garage that I used to put my bike, motorbike and motor scooter. Ben also had a motor bike and his was kept there too. We didn’t use the garage for the car then. Grandpa had machine equipment in there. I was surprised to find the garage had survived all the years. Probably not for much longer.

After the tour of Celina, Karl took us back to his home and served us the biggest bowl of ice cream I’ve ever had! After that, we said our goodbyes as we were leaving Celina in the morning after our visit to The Daily Standard where I used to work as a news boy and janitor. That story coming up.

We went back to the West Bank Inn to get some rest and then over to an Italian place on the grounds for dinner. It was right across the highway from the Spillway which was new since I lived there. This keeps the water level and avoids floods. It was interesting to see the birds sitting on top of the spillway looking for fish that fell over. I thought they were fake but they flew away after a while. The birds were evenly spaced around the semi circle of the top of the spillway.

On our way back to the Inn I saw a cream colored old Buick convertible coming our way. It was Whitey! He wanted to show us his other Buick and knew we would be leaving in the morning. So we got another ride and some time to chat with Whitey.

We had a full and interesting day. One more day on this trip as tomorrow it is a quick stop with the newspaper office and then off to Indianapolis for our trip home.

Karl Allmandinger at home. I regret that I got only one picture of Karl. He was our tour guide for Sunday afternoon. I've known Karl since school days there.

Celina Web Cam at the corner of Market and Main. The three people you see in the lower right corner is Dick, Karl and Brenda.

This is a close up of the three of us taken off the internet. Dick, Karl and Brenda.

Brenda talking to home during the web cam appearance.

The old Celina High School building. I attended 7, 8, and 9 grades there.

The Celina Bulldogs football stadium behind the old high school. Saw many football games there.

Dick next to the parsonage at Warner and Sugar Streets. The upstairs corner was Ben and my room.

Back of parsonage. Note the new construction with new electrical unit. I used to mow that yard.

This is a winter picture of the Brandon house as I remember it. Grandpa's new house was built on the yard that I used to mow!

Brandon house as it appears today. Needs a lot of work. I would expect it to be torn down and replaced with a modern home sometime soon.

Side view of the Brandon house. Note the upstairs door with no stairs! Also stone steps going nowhere.

Grandpa's new home he built on the property. I've never seen it before.

The original garage that I used 61 years ago. We had a half city block lot. The garage is on the alley.

Cousins Norman Reynolds and Dave Ummel on my Whizzer Motor Bike in 1948. Note the garage behind them and Ben's motor bike.

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