The house on Cherry Street was just one house away from Cherry Street Park as I remember. The house had a rather large front porch and a small back porch that had been screened in. It was there that sat an old sewing machine with foot treadle. It was also there that I was told that my brother-in-laws, Robert and CT, taught me to walk. I don’t think I remember this, I just remember being told this.
Cherry Street Park is where I played most of the time. I think my favorite part of the park was the creek that ran through. Seems there were a lot of flat stones in the creek bed and I would turn them over looking for and catching crawdads. One day I was headed home with a crawdad in a jar, someone with a BB gun shot at the glass jar, but missed. Hit me in the wrist instead. That BB was lodged under the skin for years. I don’t even remember when it went away. I assume it is still in me somewhere.
My sisters are older than I. One day I found a silver dollar under the swing set at the park and I headed home to show my mother. When I arrived at the house my father was in the middle of my sisters marriage ceremony to CT. I was about 6 making my sister about 16 or 17 I guess.
The house between our house and the park had a large porch that ran around most of the house. There were a couple of girls living there and we played together a lot. One day I was on the porch and climbed up on the banister. On the ground was a paper bag. I jumped from the banister onto the bag. The sack was full of nails. I’m now more cautious of what appears to be empty bags.
The house on Cherry Street had a very large open window fan that was used in the summer. I mean big like would go in a machine shop or something. It had no protective cover. One day while playing with a neighbor kid with water pistols, I slid on a throw rug and slid into this fan headfirst. A blade caught the corner of my left eye and I had to go get stitches and a big bandage on my left eye. These day I would be seen on a bicycle more than walking. Two or three days after the fan incident, my mother sent me to one of the little neighborhood stores to get some aspirin and I headed out full speed. Head down and pumping hard I hit the back of an old car with the sloped back and license plate standing up on the trunk. Headfirst over the handlebars of the bike I struck the license plate with my forehead at about the hair line. More stitches. It is only in later life that these scares have disappeared and been replaced by many others.
Going downtown in Sherman was a special treat. Even though the church was just a couple of blocks from the downtown district, we didn’t go their very often, or so I remember. Downtown Friday or Saturday evening could find half the town there window shopping. It was here that I saw my first TV. There would be hours and hours of a TV test pattern and each morning about 2 hours of programming and also in the evening. These were big boxes with very small screens and the merchant would turn them to face the street.
It was one of these trips downtown when our Cherry Street house caught fire. It was on our return trip that we found the firefighters at our house putting out the attic fire. Houses of this era had bare wire running in the attic. Bare wire running on insulators and the hot and neutral spaced about two spaced about two feet apart. It would come together at the wall and an insulated wire run to the wall switch. Same with the single light in the middle of the room. There were few, if any wall sockets. Climbing in the attic could be a shocking experience. I guess there was a short between the bare wires that caused the fire. There was enough damage that we moved form the house.
I don’t know where we stayed while the new church parsonage was being built but it wasn’t long until we moved into the new pink house on Charles Street.