Yesterday I went to my grandparents' house for an early Sunday dinner. Somehow as we were talking during dinner I started asking them about all the places they have lived since they go married. They have been married since 1952 - that's 63 years of marriage!
It was fun to hear them reminisce and list of each place they have lived over those 63 years. As I expected, they had their moments of disagreeing with each other over which house they lived in first and for how long. Parts of it were pretty hysterical because grandpa can be so stubborn and grandma rolling her eyes at what he says. Even through the debating they still laughed in the end.
During a few of the more-contentious moments of them debating which house was which, I pulled up some city directories online and found out that neither of them were right! There was even one where my grandma said, "That's right!! I forgot about that house!"
After spending probably a good 30-40 minutes trying to figure each and every place, I suggested we go for their "Sunday drive" and see the houses, at least the ones that are in Salt Lake County. They didn't know if they were all standing, so we took a drive. I wanted to see first-hand the places they lived and get photographs, if possible. Although we found just about every single one of them still standing, they told me many of them looked quite a bit different because of paint color, fences, yards and other things had changed so much. Well, it doesn't surprise me that many of them have changed over the last 63 years. Ironically, one of the first houses they lived in actually looks just like it did in 1953. This house is located at 233 South 400 East in Salt Lake City, Utah. I told them it was interesting they lived right there because a couple of years ago I lived not too far around the corner from that house and I'm sure I have walked past it a dozen times without ever knowing or realizing my grandparents lived there so many years ago. That is actually how I felt about a couple of the places they showed me. I have driven past the neighborhoods many times throughout my life without knowing my family had a "connection" to that street or neighborhood.
We had a lot of fun that afternoon, going from place-to-place. Not only did I get to see the places they lived, but also the stories of each house. I learned about the cockroaches in one apartment, my aunt falling down the stairs in another and my grandma rushing next door to ask for help, the unfinished plumbing in another that made it so my grandma had to use the garden hose in order to have "indoor plumbing," and my favorite, which I have heard many times, the "house" (which was really a warehouse) where my grandmother had an interesting encounter with someone falling through the roof while she was taking a bath. Of course I was on my computer the whole time typing these stories out while my grandpa drove. Now I need to take those stories and photos and put a little book together for them of all the places they have lived. I'm sure I'll also post more in the future about our little adventure we had yesterday!
A.C. Ivory is a professional genealogist, blogger, computer geek, and traveler.