The trailer on the full basement. We had some problems with water coming in sometimes at this place and would wake up in the morning with three or four inches of water across the entire basement. Dad moved the trailer furnace into the basement and set it up to blow air into a series of concrete blocks that were laid on their sides, a furnace repairman came once and he said he had never seen anything like this. A floor with linoleum was then built on top of this and we had a bedroom and living room down there with a utility room that had the furnace and washing machine.
I can remember crossing the driveway to my grand parents house for Christmas Eve with my fathers family. Everyone would bring something and we would hang out in the living room near the pot belly stove. Once when I was about eight or ten I ate so much pumpkin pie at one of these that I was sick all night and and still almost forty years later I avoid pumpkin pie.
My brother and I would ride our bicycles back in forth in the attached driveway and chase each other back and forth across the yard.
When they built I88 it took a small strip in the back yard and we had a chain link fence up there after that. I used to watch traffic on I88 sometimes and see the State Police practice making traffic stops there.
We would go up in the back yard and watch the fireworks in the Cobleskill Fairgrounds on July Forth. Aunt Anna’s husband Uncle Bob would bring his bee smoker and keep the bugs down while the kids played around the old wire spools that my grand father was saving up there. One year Uncle Victor got a bottle rocket stuck in his sweater, you’ve never seen a whale dance so light on his feet until you have seen this.
Grandpa Smith had a cannon that he made from a set of wagon wheels and a hollow post from a porch. He would take lighter fluid put it in a metal coffee can, point the cannon at the hill side across the road and light the fluid. The ensuing bang would echo back off the hill side and the kids would all holler and yell. This only made him want to do it more of course. We lived such a safe life back then.
Years ago we moved around a lot, sometimes because the rent didn’t get paid sometimes because there was a job some place that my father was chasing.
There was the trailer park in Randall and the park in Warnerville but they were both before I was old enough to remember them. There was the house near Hindsville that burned to the ground taking everything with it, I also was to young to remember this place.
The first place I do remember was Mineral Springs Road across the driveway from my Grandparents. Some sort of deal was struck and my parents had use of the land to put that trailer on. My father somehow got a full basement built and put the trailer on top of that. We had a picture window in the front of the basement that was a large 6’x6′ window from a barn. It had wires in the glass to reinforce things, not what the average family would have had. We lived here a period of seven years over two separate stays.
From there we moved to Route Twenty outside Carlisle, this place had a big walk in pantry and a dug well in the backyard that was about ten feet across and stuck up about four feet above ground level. We had two dogs there first a Sheltie that drove me nuts and eventually ran away, then a German Shepherd that walked into the yard one day and stayed. The shepherd was a great dog that would protect us kids from anyone it thought might try to hurt us.
We moved to Esperance next in the house next to Jim Gage’s law office and lived there until Dad got a job down near Hudson.
Next was a rented place outside Valatie with a big porch all the way across the front of the house. The back of the house had a seven room addition that was removed with a bulldozer and when we moved in there were still spots where you could look out through the wall and see daylight. There was a furnace that had been converted from coal to oil and my father converted it to wood with a grate and we burned scrap wood and trees to keep the place warm. There were five bedrooms and a bathroom on the second floor, as well as a door that opened to where the addition had been but was just a big step down to nowhere now. On the first floor we had a large kitchen and dining room with a breakfast nook. In the entrance way was a large metal grate that sat on top of the furnace and the heat gravity fed up from there to the entire house. There was also a living room with a fireplace in it and nice wood working throughout. Down front near the road was a set of slate steps and hitching posts for horses.
The next move was rented farm house, near Carlisle. We lived here for a couple of months and then moved again. The rent didn’t get paid and I think my parents church stepped in to help out, those were dark days.
Next was a house in Richmondville we stayed here for about three months, my mother still is upset about losing the deposit on this one because the oil tank was empty when we left, it was also empty when we moved in but they never checked it.
This time back to Mineral Springs Road, this was the shorter of the two stays here and we eventually moved one last time.
Dad talked a good friend into selling him an acre of land over by Carlisle. He then found a used double wide with three bedrooms and two baths. It was hauled up from Pennsylvania and some where along the way it changed to two bedrooms and a single bath. A slight conversion by Dad and it was three bedrooms again and we moved in. by this time i graduated school and moved out. My mom still lives in this house and it has become a very nice spot with flower gardens, a garage and a few sheds around for storage.