Monday, June 12, 2017

I Am An Adult

“I believe that everyone else my age is an adult whereas I am merely in disguise.” 
― Margaret Atwood

    It is Fall, 1962.  I am 21 years old, a graduate from University of Missouri, going to my first real job, teaching art to seventh graders in North Kansas City, Missouri. I have my first car...a 1962 Fairlane Ford four door sedan. My parents made a down payment and paid for my first year of insurance. If I remember right the price was $2,250.00...about half my annual salary.
My first car looked something like this.
     Heading to  Kansas City....I didn't  know very much about the city outside of a few visit to my friend, Beth's home.  She had also just graduated with a teaching job in Kansas City, Kansas.  Her parents offered to let me rent a room from them until I could get my bearings.  The Davises lived near Troost and Paseo, an old established area a bit South of downtown KC.
Like the Davises house where I first lived
    Each day I would go North on Troost and cross the Missouri River to get to North Kansas City. I had a choice of several bridges.
The Paseo
The Broadway

The Chouteau 
           Meanwhile, Dick is on his way to basic training at Lackland AFB, San Antonio, Texas.  On his way through Kansas City, he found me at Davises...he had come to KC by train from Carrollton, near his home town of Bogard, Missouri and called me from the station.  I picked him up and we spent many hours together before he had to catch another train to Texas.  We talked about many things and pledged to write to each other frequently.  It was early morning hours when he caught his train so when I got back to Davises, Mr. Davis was up and getting ready to go to work.  I don't think he approved of my being out all night, even though it was perfectly innocent so he was probably not too upset when I moved out. But before I moved, I recieved my first letter from Dick. And I made a very important discovery!  I had not known his last name!  I thought it was Dobbs and it is DoDDs.  Thus began a long distance romance vis mail!
        After a couple of months living with the Davises, one of the other new teachers at Antioch, a PE teacher and I, decided to get an apartment together.  She was also from out of town and living in a boarding house.  We found a two bedroom apartment in NKC and raided our parents' homes for furniture.  She had a dog...a mix who was a sweet girl and. since I had loved dogs all my life, that completed  the arrangement.  Knowing my fondness for dogs, Linda, my new roommate, brought me a present...a little Boston Bull puppy!
My first Puppy       
           So life as an adult is starting out pretty well...first job, first apartment, first car, first dog of my own,  and a pretty serious long distance romance going on!


  1. Lived in south KC and Brenda was born there in 1958. Our friends lived in north KC in cute little houses, but though their rent was cheaper, we couldn't afford to buy appliances, so rented a cheap apartment off of south Troost. Howard went to law school at night so we could have the extra $100 month , as the City of Kansas City was not paying us enough to live on.

  2. I love the Davis house. There are hundreds of these, I think they are called "four square" hoses in Kansas City. The tragedy is that starting in the 50s, I guess, "red lining" was the practice in Kansas City and Troost was the line. Everything east of Troost was designated for Blacks and west for Whites. Many of these houses are east of Troost and it is fairly blighted in many parts. By the way, Troost is a famous street in Kansas City and many miles long since KC is a linear city geographically. Allen Ginsberg, the beat poet, even wrote a poem, "Troost Street"

    1. Yes, Troost was a biggy! They did live East of but it wasn't too long after I lived with them they moved because it was getting pretty rough! That area went through some hard times during the riots of the sixties. By the we were married and living in Independence.

  3. I thought my husband's name was Bilge when I first met him.