On one side of us was an older house occupied by an older woman, Mrs. Koester (“custer”). I remember Mom and I going over just to visit. Nowadays, that concept seems so Anne of Green Gables-ish: “visiting.” We would sit in her living room, the headrests of the chairs covered in doilies and the shelves filled with little china knick-knacks. Mom would talk and I would just sit and listen, although I can’t honestly remember anything that was said. I do seem to recall her having a little dog.
Our neighbors on the other side were the Robbins. Mrs. Robbins was short and portly, and seemed old to me, although she had a teenage son named Tommy. My main memory of Tommy is that he learned to drive in their driveway, backing up and going forward, backing up and going forward, over and over and over again.
Mrs. Robbins (I guess there was a Mr. Robbins, but I don’t remember him at all) had an adult daughter Mary Lou, who had a son a bit younger than me named Shannon. My sister and friends and I used to talk to Shannon over the fence separating our backyards, and often these exchanges became pretty acrimonious. It seems like once Shannon was threatening us with some type of orneriness, and we said we would spray him with a hose. At that point Mrs. Robbins came out and launched into us, castigating us for “standing there with your arms crossed!” What an accusation!.
Anyway, years went by and Mrs. Robbins died. Mary Lou still lived in the house, and once asked us to come in and feed her cats while she was gone. We did – and what an experience. It was kind of like a Hoarders house, but apparently what she hoarded was cats. We saw a few, but the whole house was old, and dark, and smelled absolutely awful. The whole memory is still kind of nightmare-inducing, and strange to think that it was right next door.
Do you remember neighbors from your childhood?