Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Throwback Thursday - My First Home

My Mom pregnant with me at our first home in Mineral Springs, PA - 1941


Haven't done a "Throwback Thursday" for a while.  What with posting photos and videos of my trip to California and my leg injury, I thought posting a Throwback Thursday would be a welcome diversion.

This week's "Throwback Thursday" features me (of course) in about the earliest photo I could find of me.  Specifically the summer of 1941. I was born in November of 1941.  Looking at this picture of my Mother pregnant with me and the leaves on the trees behind her and the size of her belly, I estimate she was at least seven months pregnant.

My Mom was 17 years old when I was born.  She ran off with my dad, a 21 year old North Carolina hillbilly transplanted to Pennsylvania when he was 10 years old, to get married.  

Ike Tipton (my father)


Their first home did not have indoor plumbing, running water nor electricity.  My father worked at a local steel mill. They didn't have any money. But they did have me, their first born. Lucky them, lucky me.

And that was the start of the saga of my life folks.  Some life. And it's not over yet.

20 comments:

  1. Even though I have no idea what Throwback Thursday is, I always enjoy the old photos and long-ago memories. Our parents (meaning mine, also) went through so many hardships back then. Their stories were always fascinating. There will never be another era like it and it should never be forgotten.

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    1. Jon,
      I don't know the origin of Throwback Thursday but I do know those who participate post old photos. You know me, I love old photos and family memories, in spite of some who say I "live in the past." I'm not one of those who believe in wiping out the past no matter how bad. Our past is who we are today and the more we understand our past the more we understand ourselves today. Besides, I love reliving old memories. I've hardly touched on my old memories which I had always planned to do in this blog. But I'm disregarding the naysayers and will post about my past. I've had a wonderful, interesting and challenging life as most of us have had. It's worth posting about and sharing. That's why I find your blog posts so interesting Jon. I can relate.
      Ron

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    2. Well, now that I know what Throwback Thursday is I'll have to post some old photos next time. I love everything to do with nostalgia and the past. It's our heritage.

      I'm surprised that you still have your father's employment card. All of the work photos looked like mug shots back then, and my father always looked like a REAL criminal on his photos.

      I hope I haven't annoyed you by leaving so many comments!

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    3. Jon,
      I too love nostalgia and the past. I just wish I had spent less money on comic books and candy and more on Kodak film and taken more pictures, especially of people. I have so many photos of landscapes which don't mean much now. How much do landscapes change?
      By the way, your comments would never annoy me. Never. Feel free to comment as often as you wish.
      Ron

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  2. Well, I suppose that 'seeing' you tucked cosily inside your mum MIGHT be preferable to seeing you in your birthday suit sprawled out on a rug. On the other hand.......
    The photo of your dad looks like a police mug-shot where he's made to stand against a height-measure. But I'm sure it can't be.

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    1. Ray,
      You're right about that picture of my father, it looks like a mug shot but it isn't. It is his employee identification card for Lukens Steel. Check my blog again, I posted a picture of the whole card.
      Ron

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  3. Your father was goodlooking and very tall. I'm assuming that this is a work photo and not a "mug shot" (I'm not trying to be rude, I'm merely curious). My father had numerous similar work photos and they all looked like mug shots.

    I like that little country road where your house was.

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    1. Jon,
      You're right, that was a work photo. Check my blog, I've since posted the whole photo which was on a work ID. My father was very good-looking and quite the charmer. It's a wonder my Mother stayed with him but she had three children and she wasn't going to be a single Mom. She told me the whole story a few years before she died and several years after he died. "Pop" (what we called him) had his wild years but he wasn't abusive (other than the usual whippings kids received back in the Fifties) nor was he an alcoholic. He didn't want kids though and was indifferent to me and my brother Isaac but he made my youngest brother his pet, which I resented greatly while growing up.
      "Pop" loved living in the country with a long country road (me too) but had to move to "the city" when he lost his driver's license (for speeding and not showing up in court). If that hadn't had happened, my whole life would have been different. I would have been a "country boy" and grown up with a whole different set of friends. Fate is fickle, and I am glad we lived "in town." Later on when we got his driver's license back he moved back out in the country but by that time I was one year away from graduating from high school. But for that year I did a lot of walking from school to home. I've always had a fondness for little country roads and I can understand why you like living where you're living now.
      Ron

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  4. My grandmother bought a house in Florida in 1977 and remarked that it was the fourth home she had owned in her life time (she was a recent widow after 50 years of marriage) and the first home that had an indoor bathroom when she bought it. The things we take for granted.

    It does look like a booking shot, or a very old employee ID photo.

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    1. David,
      You're right, the picture of my dad was a very old employee ID photo. Coincidentally, many years later (1963) I was hired by the same company, Lukens Steel.
      Ron

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  5. My mom was born and lived in a real log cabin until she was 5--1934-1939.
    Her dad, my grandfather built that cabin. No running water, indoor plumbing, no electricity AND no floor. lolz

    We forget very quickly how people lived in this country if they didn't live in a big city.

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    1. Denise,
      My father was born near Pigeon Roost, the western North Carolina Pisgah mountains. Literally, hillbilly county. Not near hillbilly country, real hillbilly county. He was used living without indoor plumbing, running water and no electricity.
      Ron

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  6. Ron - as a kid I spent summers at my uncle and aunts farm. A holiday for me and cheap labour for them. We had electricity but wood burning stoves, a hand water pump and an outdoor toilet. It didn't matter to me altho we had all the conveniences in the city. Just a different lifestyle for the while. Great photos.

    Pat

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    1. Pat,
      The reason my father and his eight brothers moved to Pennsylvania in 1928 from Hillbilly Heaven in North Carolina was that he and his brothers provided cheap labor for his Uncle Don Byrd's farm in southern Chester County. His father's sawmill business went bust during the Depression. Two more brothers were born in Pennsylvania providing a total of eleven Tipton boys for cheap labor. In your case it was just you and your brother, cheap labor. Of course my father used me and my two brothers for cheap labor in his vegetable gardens (mostly corn). We didn't get to enjoy the conveniences of "the city" (if you can call the small town of Downingtown a city - 5,000 population) until he lost his driver's license and had to move to "the city." That's when we first got to "enjoy" indoor plumbing, running water and electricity at our $22.00 a month, second floor, three room apartment at 120 Washington Avenue. You were there a couple of years ago. Lovely wasn't it?
      Ron

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  7. Ron,

    My Mom grew up without indoor bathrooms or electricity. Her Dad never made much money to support his 8 kids. They were happy though and grew a lot of their own food. I often wonder how I would have fared if I was born back then. Mom is 87 and going strong still. Works almost as hard in her garden as I do mine. There is something to be said for that simpler life back then, but I am sure glad I have real bathrooms!

    Cindy from Sonoma

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    1. Cindy,
      If my father hadn't lost his driver's license we would never have lived in town with electricity, running water and indoor plumbing. But I think you get used to everything. I know when we visited relatives (his brothers and my Mother's sisters) we always had to use an outhouse.
      Ron

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  8. 1941: hard to believe there were still homes without electricity, indoor plumbing or running water.
    2015: hard to believe there are still homes without electricity, indoor plumbing, or running water...and yet there are all those groups who spend millions to prevent us from having equal rights.

    Peace <3
    Jay

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    1. Jay,
      When Bill and I make our Trip South, we go across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge into Virginia. Before we get to the bridge we go across a long stretch of the southern Delmarva peninsula which is Virginia. I think a fair amount of those homes don't have indoor plumbing. They look pretty basic to me. But you're right, there are those (today's Republicans) who have their priorities screwed up and think it is more important to keep some from having equal rights than bringing decent housing to the poor. That's the "Freedom Now!" party.
      Ron

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  9. You keep promising to drop dead from decrepitude but I see your plan: you will bury us all. I am certainly looking forward to you burying me, among the daffodils please.

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    1. Dr. Spo,
      You should see my daffodils this morning, a profusion of daffodils. More will be added in the fall. One can never have too many daffodils.
      Ron

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