These are photos of the house in Apple Valley, CA, where my family lived from around 1959 to about 1962, from the time I was maybe 4 years old, up to age 6 or 7; and then which I visited for another full 20 years as the home of my grandmother. (These are all scans of slides of my father’s, from the three metal boxes of slides I acquired after his death in January 2001.) As always, click on the images here for full-sized scans.
This appears to be my father, digging to install plants or perhaps a walkway; my grandmother, whom we called Grammie, who would one day live in the house; and me, presumably age 4 or 5.
Next, from apparently the same roll of film, are four photos of nearby businesses, all along Highway 18 almost due south of the house. A bank, with a circular stone structure containing the vault; the entrance to Apple Valley Inn, on the south side of the highway; a row of businesses called Apple Valley Ranchos, directly east of the bank; and an old covered wagon, perhaps a sign or ad for a nearby museum. (Today this area is much built up, with a Walmart and many chain stores; the Ranchos building is still there, but the bank is gone and Apple Valley Inn is near-vacant but still standing.)
Next are, out of all my father’s slides, the only other photos of the house as it was in 1960 or so.
This is from the southeast, showing the back of the house. Afternoon winds blew from the southwest, thus the wooden fence shielding a small patio, and the young tree at far right permanently leaning from the wind.
Front of the house. The outside walls were covered in some kind of flexible gray asphalt tile; the wooden trim was painted turquoise. On either side of the front door were slat windows that could be opened and closed like blinds — hugely impractical, given the daily winds, since the windows could never be shut tightly and so the entryway was always dusty. (As were those large picture windows that let the house bake in afternoon sun.)
Three more. First, a southwest view with my father’s shadow and my grandmother’s car (a 1954? Pontiac) in front. Second, a closer angle. Note in these photos a narrow side door near the front corner of the house; its existence may have been a sign of some remodeling of the original structure before my father bought it. And finally, an angle of the front of the house showing a trellis entry-way to the small yard on the sheltered north side of the house.
A few more pics showing people, because these are the only others I have showing any part of the original 1960-era house. These are apparently photos of a birthday party held on the back patio, for me, though I have no memory of it at all, and no idea who all these people were. (On the contrary, my overriding impression of these early years is how solitary my life was. I’ll discuss that later.) I’m the one in the shirt with a horizontal checkered pattern. In these shots you can see that the back of the house (this patio is just outside the master bedroom) is constructed of cinder blocks, uncovered by asphalt tiles (or stucco, which came later).
Two shots of the living room. The furniture, including that rakish ’60s bucket chair, was naugahyde — imitation leather — and the floors were linoleum tile covered by a huge rug. Note the decorative cork again, set in what appeared to be a window-frame — perhaps a window in the original house, filled in when a second bedroom was added on the other side of that wall. The two ornamental pieces there are a copper platter, and a copper bed warmer, my parents’ souvenir from England, which I still have.
And then a peek into the master bedroom at the back of the house, showing a wall with built-in wooden closets and cabinets.