Oh, the places I've lived. It's hard for me to believe, but I've lived well over half my life in my current house. To California in August of 1980 and here on November 1, 1981. This page has several of the places I lived in Michigan, and some thoughts about them.
The Michigan Houses of Shin
This is my first place of residence, 7408 Thatcher St., in Detroit, Michigan as was when I visited Michigan in July, 2019. I lived here all of about three months in 1951. I suspect the move came about as part of the mass migration to the suburbs at the time. I didn't really expect this house or the others in the neighborhood to be this nice.
This is 983 Wimbleton, Birmingham. That's neither a misspelling nor a typo, just the way the street name is, with a T instead of a D. The house is not at all the way I remember it, given that I lived in it for nearly six years.
There was no stone front and I'm sure it was smaller. This is much nicer and was recently listed (note the for sale sign at the right) for $1,895,000, FAR more than the house we would move to is estimated to be worth today.
I remember it having a fun bannister I slid down many times over the years, watching the Micky Mouse Club, and my brother laughing hysterically at the Sunday comics. "What's so funny?" I'd ask, "Peanuts!" he would reply. I didn't know it was a comic strip, I thought of a shell with two little nuts inside. Many years later I learned they weren't really nuts.
The move from here makes no sense to me. I was never inquisitive and brother Chip has no recollection.
4128 W. Orchard Hill, Bloomfield Hills. This is where I did most of what growing up I managed to do. I had just turned six when we moved here. The quintessential suburban house in the quintessential suburban neighborhood. We were the original owners and had to stay in a motel between sale of the old house and occupying this one. I had my birthday and the measles in that motel room!
Neither the house nor the neighborhood look too much different than when I lived there. According to Zillow, the last time the house changed hands was 1987, Redfin estimates the current value to be in the low to mid $300,000 range.
But economics aside, it was in many ways a great place to live, with lots of kids around my age. Jack and Charlie Esslinger lived down the block and often argued as to which of them met me first, on my first day there. Lots were fairly large (this one being a half acre, fairly typical) and if you put two or three back yards together you could play football or even baseball, at least until we got into our teens. How our picture window in back survived, I'll never know!
Great neighborhood to ride bicycles in, but no parks or stores nearby, something I didn't know I missed until looking back on things. This was my "official" address through most of my college days until my mother sold it in the mid-seventies.
186 Gunson St., E. Lansing. It was white when I lived here. Maybe gray. Certainly not red, and it was not mine. I rented a room in the basement for a year in 1975-1976. For a last minute find it was great, being only a short walk to most of my classes in Eppley Hall. I didn't much fit in with the crazy undergrads there, but ironically they became (and remain) good friends. Shout out to Kandy, Alan, John S., John C., and Donna. Not to mention the others with whom I've lost touch. Speaking of Alan, thanks for the photo!
16211 Marguerite St., Beverly Hills. After dad died in 1970, the 3-bedroom house in Bloomfield Hills got to be too big for mom. She finally sold it in 1975 to move here. My brother was concerned about the "downgrade" but the house was simply smaller, and in a nice area. I was studying my butt off at MSU when the move, but friends were very helpful. (Jim Bacon, Jim Root - bless you both, wherever you are.)
Mom suffered from cancer which took her life in 1977. I'd already moved back here from MSU and stayed here until leaving Michigan in August, 1980. I was fortunate to have found a job in the auto industry (Chrysler) within a reasonable commute. The house was the main part of my inheritance, but I soon wondered if I really wanted a house. The maintenance drove me crazy. I started looking at apartments. The house looked real good!
In 1980, the auto industry had a big downturn. I found a job in California, sold the house and was California bound.
1310 Altadena, Royal Oak. This was my mother's parents' house, Bobbie and Pop we called them. (Note: I have no firm memories of a house for my father's parents. I loved them too!) I remember raking leaves in the back yard for fun with my sister Ann when I was five. He paid us a quarter each, the first money I ever earned, although I had no Idea we were going to be paid. Pop died a lingering death of cancer, likely induced by the many cigars I remember him smoking. I remember little of him, only that I loved him dearly.
I also loved Bobbie and remember spending several nights in the attic bedroom here with my sister Ann. Sadly, Bobbie grew unable to take care of herself and we had to have her move into the house at W. Orchard Hill. She didn't go willingly. I remember mom trying to reason with her. It didn't work. I came up with the idea of kidnapping her TV. She couldn't do without it and along she came. Cruel? Perhaps, but Ann agreed it was necessary and the deed was done. Not too long after, we had to move her to a nursing home where she died in 1973.