Saturday, February 7, 2009

Suburban Scenes - I


The sprawl of suburbia was everywhere in the early 1960s. My memories are of East Hartford, CT from early 1963 on. As the nearby city, Hartford in this case, shrank in population East Hartford grew form 29.000 in 1950 to 43,000 in 1960 to 53,000 in 1970. And this was typical of much of the US. Interestingly, the house at 115 Wickham Drive was the most expensive in this development. at $20000 in 1962, about $150000 in today's money - not a bad deal. But as you can see that things were new, no real grass, nor new trees or shrubbery yet.. But suburbia in that era you notice right away: Kid (me) on a bicycle, kids jumping rope, the neighbor's Rambler American and a close look on the left, and you see our 1963 WW Microbus. And beyond the snow, the car is a SIMCA Aronde, a French car few Americans have heard of. But families were larger then, and you see more kids at play. And pools became a common sight, for us in 1968, as we had one at 24 ft across, and 3 to 4 feet deep, the big kids were tasked with watching the little ones, with parental supervision of course. Of course sprawl has extended in reach to tough to handle proportions in the ensuing decades. But we kids weren't thinking about that...it is a fun age to be where play is your profession.

4 comments:

Queen-Size funny bone said...

I love the old picures. East hartford is pretty full these days.

Mimi Lenox said...

What great photos, Ralph!

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Catherine said...

Too funny, Ralph. You know that French people still get that kind of pool, no more Simca now, but my father and even my husband have had their ! I can't believe your family got one !
You're really European in your heart !

WillThink4Wine said...

Love the old photographs, Ralph! I've been trying to scan old photos as I have time. The house actually looks a lot like one of the houses I grew up in - mid-60's in Massachusetts. Actually, it looks nearly exactly like my sister's split-level ranch!