stone and frame house at 2342 Arlington
Avenue, built in 1916 and purchased
by Walter and Henrietta Isaly, was the central
gathering place for their three children,
and Earl, and the
six grandchildren, Auntie, and much of our
extended family as well.
photo above shows the home back before the
driveway was even paved. A long stone walkway
led from the sidewalk by the street up to
the stone porch. All the windows were beautiful
leaded glass and even today, the owners
have retained that original front door.
Unfortunately, they have painted it a ghastly
shade of bright blue.
not sure who that is, standing in the yard
- does anyone know?
think we all have special memories of events
that took place within he walls of this
family home; the holiday gatherings, Easter
egg hunts, and birthdays.
spent my whole life there, from about eighteen
months to 22 years of age. My room was in
the front of the second floor, overlooking
Arlington Avenue. I had a beautiful window
seat which was actually a cedar chest. Gramma
hung frilly white "crisscross"
curtains at the window and I always had
some sort of pink flowery wallpaper, until
I was in high school, at which time she
silently groaned and gave in to my desire
for yellow walls and deep pile orange shag
carpet. I can only imagine all the stuff
I lost in that carpet ... once something
was dropped, it was gone forever. But it
was very 1960's and I loved it!
few years ago, I was driving down Arlington
Avenue and pulled into the driveway. I took
a deep breath, walked to the front door,
and when a young woman answered the door,
I told her who I was, and that I had grown
up in the house and wondered who lived there
now. She kindly invited me inside, and oh
my goodness - what an experience!
same blue carpet was in place in the living
room, but they had exposed the hardwood
floors in the dining room and sunroom. I
walked into the dining room and was startled
at how small everything seemed; it had seemed
palatial when I was a little girl. I looked
over at the front window and noted a deep
groove in the painted wooden windowsill.
It reminded me of the times I played with
my tiny china animals on that windowsill,
and that groove was the "river"
in my imaginary world.
kitchen had changed dramatically, having
been expanded and remodeled. It took me
a few moments to get my bearings, trying
to remember the way it had been. Remember
the breakfast room, with the red patterned
wallpaper and yellow painted woodwork -
including pencil markings where Grampa had
marked all our height measurements? That
breakfast room had become a pantry of sorts.
They had extended the screened / glassed-in
porch so that it went all the way across
the back of the house. And behind the kitchen,
out toward the garage, one of the owners
had built a lovely family room with a stone
corner fireplace and a beautiful mother-in-law
garage in the back was torn down and a new
one was built in the side yard, between
our house and the Lathrops'. It's odd to
me, because it's detached from the house
and is quite far from the kitchen entrance,
where people would carry in groceries from
the car and so forth. I don't really get
sunroom, where Gramma and Grampa watched
TV, had become a seldom-used piano room
with hardwood floors. The living room, full
of so many memories from my childhood, seemed
small, but I could picture the Christmas
tree in the corner and the six of us sitting
beneath it, posing for the annual Christmas
picture. Remember how Grampa had his chair
in the corner of the sunroom, but he also
had a chair in the living room, next to
his "smoking stand"? In the drawer,
he kept his cigars and always had a box
of Good & Plenty candies, which we called
"fours." Each evening, if Grampa
deemed that I had eaten a good enough dinner,
he would give me two white and two pink
looked into the sunroom and could picture
Gramma in her swivel rocker - remember the
blue chair? - in the corner by the window.
She always sat there, reading or watching
TV, with the photo of Grampa next to her.
I always thought that was touching.
couple who lived there had a little girl,
Jenny, who was about five years old. She
asked me if I wanted to go to her room,
so of course I said yes, assuming that it
was probably the same room I'd had as a
child. It was, and when we walked in, I
got very emotional - the windowseat was
covered with dolls, as it had been when
I lived there, and she had frilly white
curtains at the leaded glass windows. Two
canopied twin beds practically filled the
room - and when I was small, I dreamed of
having canopy beds.
noticed that the beautiful mahogany door
still had the lovely original glass door
knob on it. Everything that I didn't realize
I remembered came flooding back to me ...
the happy days I spent in that room, the
sometimes scary nights (I was scared of
everything!), sitting at my desk in front
of the window, typing my homework, watching
my little portable TV in the corner ...
all these memories came rushing at me, and
the tears came to my eyes. I was standing
there, tears running down my face, and little
Jenny came over, took my hand, looked way
up at me, and said, "When you lived
in my room, were you a happy girl?
did it. Here came the tears - and I sputtered,
"Yes! I was a real-l-l-ly happy girl
when I lived in your room." She looked
confused at my tears, running down my smiling
face. What an emotional journey it was!
Jenny was small and brunette like me, and
I was so happy that she was also having
the experience of living in that special
I left, I stopped to look at the Lathrops'
old home, recently beautifully and grandly
remodeled, and remembered summer afternoons
with Anne, playing Chinese Checkers on the
Lathrops' porch, and evenings when I'd look
over and see Mr. and Mrs. Lathrop (Tom and
Carolyn) reading by the light of a 40-watt
bulb. They never did own a TV. Mr. lathrop
passed away in 1985 at the age of 95. Dear
Mrs. Lathrop lived to be 109 years old,
and often came by our home here to visit
in her later years, accompanied by her niece.
In this photo, she was 100 years old (1988).
an article from the Dispatch about
Mrs. Lathrop and her amazing 109-year life>>>
row of peony bushes was still intact and
I know that Anne would remember plucking
the petals from those beautiful red flowers
and making "lips" out of them!
haha! How fancy we thought we were!
and I also had a secret "grocery store"
that we called Big Bear, behind the Lathrops'
house, where they had a grapevine. We took
our dollies with us and "shopped"
at our secret store.
the family picnics we had in the yard between
the Lathrops' home and ours? The cherry
trees in the back, over the stone patio?
I know Patty remembers the apple trees that
grew in that part of the yard, too, because
she loved those sour green apples so much!
also used to set up croquet in the side
yard and being the biggest non-athlete and
the hugest klutz in the family, I always
lost; my ball always seemed to ricochet
off the post or a wicket and go rolling
off under the peonies! Those games could
get pretty competitive.
remember all the times I would hear Tom's
fabulous red 442 pulling into the driveway,
gurgling and rumbling, and I'd run to the
door because I always loved it when Tom
came to visit, especially when he started
bringing Jeannie over.
wrote a reminiscence of how Grampa used
to install those reflector poles at the
end of the driveway so Auntie wouldn't drive
over his lawn. Gramma and I thought they
were hideous! But as Tom said, regardless
of Grampa's efforts, there were always deep
grooves in the grass near the driveway apron.
Auntie simply couldn't gauge her turns in
that Chevy Bel-Air yacht she drove. Geez,
she couldn't even see over the steering
house was truly a HOME ... and it meant
a lot to us, as the ones who made it that
do YOU remember about the old house at 2342
Arlington Avenue? Please share
your thoughts and I will post them here.