2608 Gramercy Avenue, Ogden, 1941?-1945?

This is the first home of which I have any recollection. Before revisiting it for the first time in half a century, I made some notes about those memories:

  • town-house arrangement, with other dwellings in the same structure;
  • white pillars in front;
  • concrete steps to the front door;
  • Mammy and friends playing bridge in the front room, visible from
  • the front porch, through
  • the window to the left.

The kitchen was behind the front room, I think, with front and back bedrooms to the right of the entry. My most persistent memory, though, true or false, derives from a recurrent dream that pursued me into adulthood. In which Aunt Jemima (from the box of pancake mix) would take me from my crib in the back bedroom, tuck me under her pudgy brown arm, carry me down the stairs between the kitchen and the front room, open the front porthole-door of the Bendix washer in the basement, insert me, and turn the Bendix on. Politically incorrect, to say the least…

In the event, I found not a row of town-houses, but a cluster of identical duplexes. The entrance to the other apartment in our building is around the corner to the left, facing north on 26th Street.

Whatever I remembered as white pillars seems to have been replaced by aluminum gutters. Still vertical and white, but may have been more impressive back during the War, when I was tiny.

Or maybe I fixated on the white verticals of the window-frames. Hard to tell, at this remove.

Knocked on the door. The current occupant couldn’t see his way clear to let me step in and photograph the basement stairs. His prerogative, of course.

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