Growing up in Louisville KY

05 Oct

In several of my past BLOGS I have spoken about Louisville Kentucky.  To a casual reader, and for that matter, anyone that has met and talked to me for any period of time would assume that I lived in Louisville Kentucky most of my life.  But in reality I only lived there 4 3/4 years. In the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t that much time, but it was the most important time.

I lived and worked in Louisville Kentucky for a total of 4 years and 9 months.  Such an amazingly short period of time considering, I at almost 63 years old I am going to spend the next few hundred words talking about the 4 ¾ year period.

Here are some key facts about Louisville KY for me.

1  As a family we lived in that house longer (at 4 ¾ yrs) than any house I had lived in to that point.

2  I went to the same school for 4 years in a row, again the longest period of having the same school environment in my life.

3  I knew the same group of kids for more than 2 years, for the 1st time

4  I got my 1st real job in Louisville KY, and during the 4 ¾ years I lived there I had 7 different jobs, and they were the Hardware Store in Buechel, Burger Chief, Thomas’s Automatic Car Wash, McDonalds (I was there the day they put the sign up saying over 1 million sold), Spur, the Coke plant, and GE

5  I had my 1st real love there

That’s more than enough key facts for the sake of a Blog. LOL LOL.

We move to Louisville KY from Shelbyville KY, which is only about 20 miles or so south of Louisville.  We had lived in Shelbyville for a little over 2 years.  And we always seemed to move between school years, always putting us in a new school at the beginning of the year.

We lived in a small house in a neighborhood called Buechel Terrace, 3 bedrooms, 1 bath about 1056 square feet at the most. Myself, 3 brothers and a sister, as well as, our parents lived there.  Our house was the 2nd to last house on the street.  My brothers and I shared 1 bedroom with 2 sets of bunk beds, 2 dresser draws and 1 closet, that was crammed full of crap, and it was never cleaned, to the desired level mom wanted it cleaned.  We were a bunch of pigs LOL LOL. We only had 1 television, and dad choose what station we watched. For the longest time there was only one room which had AC, my parents’ bedroom. Dinner was in the dining room, and it was like the little house on the prairie, all the kids around the table, food piled high, and you got what you wanted the 1st time the bowl was passed because rarely were there seconds.  Both of my parents worked full-time, Mom was a nurse working the midnight shift, Dad was a sales man, working days.

The street was asphalt and had 10 foot grass strips between itself and the side-walk.  From the edge of our driveway to the corner where the street sign was, was 50 yards.  It was our football field and it was our baseball diamond, some used it as a mini drag way. But this area was the focal point for many an activity.  During the summer we had a horseshoe pit in that grassy area between the sidewalk and street. And Mom was the horse shoe Champion.

We had 2 seasons on our street, football and wiffleball.  Everyone gathered in front of my house to play football.  We played after school and on both Saturday and Sunday.  Generally we played 4 on 4, or 5 on 5.  Sometimes a couple of the Dads joined us but it wasn’t often, though they did watch. We played a hard 2 hand touch.  Out of bounds were the sidewalks on either side of the street.  On the asphalt it was 2 hand touch, but on the grassy strips it was a harder variety of 2 hand touch. We would play from noonish until dark, there were 2 street lights that provided enough light to play until parents gathered us for meals.  We played in the rain, the snow, and sub-freezing weather.  A lot of time was spent in front of our home, and kids from all over the Terrace came and played in the area.

I went to Fern Creek High School, in Fern Creek KY, it was no more than 5 miles from my house.  I graduated with less than honors in 1968.

Halloween was a joy for all of us kids in the Terrace. There seemed to be a million houses but there weren’t.  Trick or Treating started early and ended late.

During the winter when it snowed we would sled ride down Gravel Ave it had the biggest hill in the neighborhood, other times we would go over to Seneca Park and sled ride there.

To get anyplace if you didn’t have a car, or if you didn’t have a buddy who had a car, you hitch hiked, back then it was relatively safe to hitch hike, the bus was also available, but it didn’t keep the hours we would need, so again it came down to using your thumb.  I had 3 particularly good friends in the neighborhood where I would hang out most weekend evening, if I wasn’t otherwise engaged.  I was usually engaged.

Another place we would gather was Buechel Lanes (it has long been torn down and replaced with an Auto Dealership).  Anyway at the bowling alley we would hang out in the snack bar, sharing fries and having a soda.  There was juke box in the snack bar, and we would pool our money to get the most plays possible.  We also gathered at the Hikes Point McDonald’s, it was next door to Thomas’s Automatic Car Wash.  It was a lot cooler if you were in a car, but you could almost be cool just hanging out.

While I only lived in Louisville for 4 ¾ years, those were the most important years of my life.  All of my brothers and my sister still live in Louisville, and they life within 15 miles at the furthest point from each other.  Life in Louisville was kinda like Ozzie and Harriett or Leave it to Beaver.  Seeing the kids playing in the street would have been a good Saturday Evening Post cover picture.  I am sure there were a lot of bad things going on while I lived there, and I am sure if I dug really deep I could have found some bad memories, but I don’t need to, life in Louisville was great.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, your comments are always welcome.


Posted by on October 5, 2012 in Humor, Ramblings


Tags: , , , ,

6 responses to “Growing up in Louisville KY

  1. drinkcoffee (Paula)

    October 7, 2012 at 12:32 am

    Have you ever thought of writing a book. You are good!! I can see myself there as you write.
    God Bless

    • FlaHam

      October 7, 2012 at 8:29 am

      Paula, Thank you for your very kind words. I am glad that my writing gives you some level of joy. No I have never considered a book, but someday I will turn all of my blog entries into a book for my granddaughter.

  2. Wanda

    October 7, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Bill, I can so relate to the little house with so many people in it. Ours was also a 3-bedroom/1-bath home. Our parents had one bedroom and there was a girls’ bedroom and a boys’ bedrom, each featuring at bunk beds. We had more more girls than boys in our family, so we had the larger room–two sets of bunk beds with a baby crib in between for good measure. My primary outside activity during the years you descibe was marching band–I wasn’t any good at my instrument, but I sure did enjoy it!

    • FlaHam

      October 10, 2012 at 12:05 pm

      Wanda, when I read your comment I immediately remembered past conversations we have shared regarding our childhoods. When the 4 of us are sitting around a table playing dominos I know those conversations spark something in my head that becomes a blog, or you’ll say something regarding one of my blogs that ignites a thought which becomes a post. Thank you for your continued support. Bill

  3. DeeDee Granata

    October 9, 2012 at 8:59 am

    I so agree with Paula, feel like I’m right there with you. Your granddaughter is going to love reading your book. My dad wrote a life history book named Whatever Happened to Uncle Don. I love reading it. Fun to get to know him as a human being, not just my mean ole dad (which of course he wasn’t – spoiled me to death).

    • FlaHam

      October 10, 2012 at 11:59 am

      Dee, I am so glad that my stories make you feel at home and comfortable. I have enjoyed writing them all. As I follow this new purpose I too hope that my granddaughter reads it, and falls in love reading it. Just as your dad did, I hope to make myself more human in her eyes. She is a beautiful little girl. And each time I see her, I love spoiling her. Again Thanks, Bill


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