I try to stay away from getting too personal here, but this is hard to keep to myself: I found out my childhood home, where I lived from 1961 to 1972, just sold for over a million dollars!
Although I look back fondly at the 1958 west coast modern post and beam home now, at the time, it was not ideal for raising a family.
My sisters were in semi-basement bedrooms with cold, terrazzo floors, and the front door was at the back of the carport and opened onto a dark hall with a flight of stairs to go up to the living area. The panoramic view of the Vancouver skyline was already mostly hidden by trees when we sold and left in 1972.
The siding was originally dark chocolate brown (almost black) with white trim; my parents repainted the siding olive green in the late 1960s. The lower floor, which is now a separate apartment, was originally my sisters’ bedrooms and the family room where we watched Saturday morning TV on the big, old 50s set with rabbit ears that you had to turn on early to warm up the tubes. There was a portable black and white TV upstairs where the family watched Star Trek, Dick Van Dyke, the Jackie Gleason Show, Ed Sullivan, and Twilight Zone (the episode with the gremlin on the wing is probably the reason I hate flying today!)
Upstairs, the pegboard cabinet kitchen with peninsula table and laundry is now a family room. Some owner along the way has transformed what used to be the dining room into the kitchen, making the living space a little squishy. I’m not a fan of open concept kitchens – I don’t want bacon grease spitting across the room onto my sofa, and if I drop the roast on the floor I don’t want anyone to see because I am still going to serve it. Besides, I can’t drink and visit while I cook – unless you want something burnt.
The only other major change to the interior of the house is the panelling, which used to be wide and vertical, typical of the 1950s, but is now narrow and horizontal, typical of the 1970s. I like both but prefer the 1950s for its originality.
It’s great to see the original fireplace in situ, with its floating hearth – and that brings a fashion angle into this reminiscence. In December 1964 my father photographed my mother and me on New Year’s Eve in front of the fireplace. My mother was wearing a gold thread embroidered black silk top that was already a couple of years old in 1964. That top, by Charles Dumas, remains in the collection.