The Story of Our Childhood
by the Children of
Donald Graham Dick and Bertha May Neisinger Dick"

Sharon, First Grade                                      Sharon, Second Grade
               Sharon, First Grade                              Sharon, Second Grade
"Mrs. Briscoe and Sweet Pea"
When I was just 5 or 6, we moved from our house on 8th Ave to a new place. It was part of a government housing complex on top of a hill in Rainier Vista. In the apartment next door was a family called the Briscoes (sp?). They had a daughter named Delores but we always called her Sweet Pea. They were a fun and loving black family, the first black people I ever remember knowing. I don't remember any negative thoughts about their color. They were such nice and wonderful people.
While living there, Judie was just learning to talk and having a hard time saying her "J's". That was a huge problem for her because her NAME began with "J". But no matter how hard she tried, all of her "J's" came out as "D's". Mrs. Briscoe just loved to tease her about it.
"Hi, Doodie" Mrs. Briscoe would say.
Now Judie knew that wasn't right. She could HEAR the "D" and knew it should have been a "J". So she would put her little hands on her hips, and stand up straight and announce:
"I'm not Doodie, I'm Doodie!!!"
We would all roar with delight! She was so cute. It seemed that Mrs. Briscoe just couldn't help but play her little "Doodie Game" almost every time she saw Judie.
"The Feathers"
Down the street in the same housing complex lived another family named Feathers.
They had several kids, but I only remember the oldest ones, John and Alice.
Our family visited often with them and remained friends for many years.
The last I heard they had moved to Montana. That is where this picture came from
Our Good Friends the Feathers
The Bumpy Tent"
One day, several of the neighborhood children and I made a tent in our backyard out of a blanket and some sticks.
It was pretty wobbly, and as we sat on the grass inside of our "tent" our heads made little bumps in the blanket.
I never knew who it was that did it, but someone through a rock at the tempting "bump" that my head created and I got a big lump.
Boy, did that hurt! Mommy carried me into the house and cared for my bump.
I don't think we ever made another blanket tent as long as we lived in that neighborhood.
"The Long Bus Ride"
While still living at Rainier Vista, I started first grade. I was only 5. (I never went to kindergarten).
Shirley and I went to Seattle Christian School.
She was in the third grade. My first grade teacher was Mrs. Johnson. She was a very nice lady with gray hair. The school was located in Georgetown, which was several miles from our home, so we rode the school bus. Children from all over the south part of the city rode the same bus so we had quite a long ride every day to and from school. One day, on our way home, both Shirley and I fell asleep.
The bus driver apparently didn't notice that we missed getting off at our stop until he got all the way home. His name was Mr. Zimmerman, and he was our piano teacher.
(His wife was My 2d grade teacher. I liked both of them very much.)
He then gave us a ride home in his own car.
One day, our parents announced that we would be moving because the government was going to tear down the housing complex.
Not long after that, we moved to Georgetown to another government housing complex. This time we lived on "Kittatas Court". Our school was now within walking distance! We had an old coal box in our front yard. It looked like a little play house but Mommy didn't want us to play in it because there were still remnants of the coal that used to be stored there. Oh! how we wanted to get into that coal box and play house!
"Moving Twice in Third Grade"
Third Grade
"Sharon, Third Grade"

We hadn't lived there very long and again our parents announced that the government was going to tear down the housing complex (that it seemed like we had just moved too.) Daddy and Mommy then told us that they had bought a piece of property and we were going to have our very own house.
The first visit I remember to the property, we explored it and it appeared that there had once been a house on the grounds but perhaps it had burnt down.
It was a whole acre of weeds and stumps, and lots and lots of blackberries and scotch broom. We made many trips to clear the area where Daddy and Mommy wanted to put our house.
The deadline for getting out of the "condemned" housing complex was nearing, but our new house wasn't built yet and we had to move again.
This time, we moved to another government housing complex that was close by.
I was going to be in the 3rd grade.
This one was across the street from our new school.
We only went to that school for less than two months though.
It was between 4th Avenue South and 1st Avenue South just west of Georgetown. We only lived there a few months, because Daddy and Mommy were frantically working on getting our new home ready.
They had purchased one of the condemned housing units and were going to have it moved to our new property.
The unit they bought was a "two one-bedroom units" building.
Daddy hired a company to come and slice the unit into two pieces with a big piece of machinery (a giant saw!).
They cut it in such a fashion so that the bedrooms were both on one piece.
Then he hired a moving company to come and move the big piece to our property and set it onto blocks.
He spent a lot of time with the other piece, taking it apart as best he could to salvage the most lumber and other building materials he could.
The Giant Saw
"The Giant Saw"
"Finally! We moved to 641 SW 124th St."
We finally moved to our new house in October of 1953. We started going to a new school in the middle of the school year. This time we went to Mount View Grade School. But if was FAR from finished. After the building piece was moved, the bedrooms were open, (having been sawn away from the other half of the building). So Daddy put huge pieces of plastic over them to keep out the weather, and whatever else might decide to wander in. The only plumbing that worked was the cold water in the kitchen sink. We had to carry the big teapot to heat water. We had a bath "room" but no working toilet. There was an outhouse in the back yard. The "bathroom" had a shower stall so our parents put a big galvanized steel tub in it and we filled that with hot water for baths every Saturday night. That was a lot of water carrying, so they didn't empty the tub between each person. Shirley was the oldest so she went first, then when she was done, they added more hot water. So I, being the 2nd oldest (!) got practically clean water to bathe in! We were so excited when Daddy finally finished adding the tub and we got to have clean water for each person!
Click here for more Pictures
Click the Camera for Pictures of Buiilding the House

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