Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Life at 39 East Signal Drive, Rapid City

The Family in 1964

From the Fortress of Solitude
Overlooking the Valley of the Pleasant Grove

Tonight's Family Reunion...... Our Time at Signal Heights.

This family picture was taken when we lived at 39 East Signal Drive in Rapid City. We owned one side of a duplex for several years and rented the other side. It was a happy day in our lives when the renters moved out of the other duplex because dad had the partition separating the two homes removed giving us full access to both sides. We had two kitchens! We had two living rooms and two bathrooms. I remember we all played in the other duplex like it was just ours. It belonged to the six of us. It was magic.

The young lady in the picture above is Lori Sanders. She lived with us for one year during her senior year in high school. She helped mom with all of us for her room and board. Her family lived outside of Rapid City. She was a lot of fun. She went to Rick's College after her year with us and was named "Woman of the Year".

In the picture above mom is pregnant with Jilane. I'm 6, Kim is 7, Kevin is 3, Janice and Jon are one. Mom is 25 years old. Dad was 28. We must have just come home from church because everyone is in their church clothes.

This picture was taken in the August of 1966. We were in the middle of moving from 39 East Signal Drive to 210 North 42nd Street, Rapid City. We moved from Signal Heights because the duplex was too small for the growing family. It didn't have a basement. Dad sold the duplex for $1.00. He says it was because nothing was selling in those days and they couldn't get rid of it.
Yes, I'm amazed. Imagine selling a home for $1.00! Dad says he tried to rent the home to an Air Force couple. They moved in but got kicked out because they had black friends that visited them. The home was owned by mom and dad but there was a contract for deed stipulating certain conditions to ownership. I guess one stipulation was based on color. Amazing isn't it?
Mom and dad paid $96.00 per month for the duplex. The home was $15,900. They were paying per month for the deed. They rented the other side of the duplex for $50.00 per month. We shared the garage with the neighbors. Our neighbors were the Roots. They had a beauty parlor in their other duplex.

Mom tells me I attacked a lady in that beauty shop. Mom was getting her hair cut. I was a toddler. I waddled over to some lady who was relaxed under one of those mammoth hair driers and chomped down on her big toe. She hit the roof.

The home on 42nd Street was owned by The Hendrickson's, Kim's first husband's family. I remember I was sad moving from that hilltop. I missed all my friends. I missed my favorite tree.

I actually remember this picture being taken. I wanted a picture of me in front of my favorite tree before we moved away. I dont' know what I was wearing. It seems a bit 50's French to me.


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