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Doing 1960 in Sacramento, CA

Updated on June 4, 2020
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Revisiting the memories of being a teenager living next door to a firehouse, in a cottage which is now the Mercy Clinic.

Living next door to a Fire House in 1960

the alley between our tiny cabin and the firehouse was just big enough to squeeze in a person or two, if they walked single file
the alley between our tiny cabin and the firehouse was just big enough to squeeze in a person or two, if they walked single file

1960, Age 14 and Had the Teenage Blues

I'm the 73 yr. old with the hat on. My daughter is behind me in this photo. I recently returned to the state of my birth, California after living in Arizona, for a few more years than I intended to.

We took a little drive to Sacramento, namely to 1321 No. C st, the home of my 14 yr.old self back in 1960.

I freaked out. The old firehouse is still there, and even has several fire engines within, but Tony's Courts is no longer Tony's Courts. But rather it appears the cabin I lived in with my stepfather has changed into a clinic, and all the other little cabins are now associated with social change and helping the homeless with medical needs. There's something very definitely going on of a helpful social nature, where Tony's Courts, was simply a place to live with very cheap rent month to month in 1960.

Dad made a living rounding up metal, like copper, aluminum, etc and then selling the metal. He was a recycle type person in other words. He had sniffed out Tony's Courts where it was practically free to live there by today's standards. I'm guessing it was $45 month due to the tiny space we lived in. It had a tiny living room where I slept on the couch. There was a bedroom where dad slept, a tiny kitchen to the front, and tiny bathroom with a tiny shower.

In 1960, there was no fence, no vines, just a parking lot in front

holy cow. I can still see myself sleeping on the couch inside.
holy cow. I can still see myself sleeping on the couch inside.

Another Life

More about the shower later and the peeping tom. I had come to live with dad as my mother and I weren't getting along. I kept running away, so one day I just called my stepfather and asked him to rescue me for a few years until I got smart enough to fend for myself out there in the world.

For about 3 more years, from 14 to 17, I got to remain a kid though. I became a Sacramento river rat kid for about two summers, living next door to a firehouse that used to wake me out of sleep with it's dreadful sirens shocking the nervous system.

It never made sense to me, which got built first, the cabin or the firehouse, as it seemed there should have been more than 3' distance between my wall and the firehouse, and nobody had thought of noise polution factor. I just learned to live with it and kind of roll with the punches at that age.

I was just glad to have a roof over my head. However, even at age 14 I wondered what dad was thinking to move us here. As it turned out, we wouldn't be there long. I don't remember more than two summers, but in my mind it seemed like a very long time. I made new friends. There really wasn't a lot of good memories with childhood. The best memories have to do with my chums, the river adventures, and the feeling that I was about to become an adult, and that made me excited. After all these years, going back to take a peek at that location of my previous existance is like viewing somebody else's life and circumstance. A very strange feeling indeed!


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