Here's another arial photo from around 1960. Looking from bottom to top note the Government Way, 4th Street, 7th Street and 9th Street bridges.
Pretty sparce neighborhoods, you can tell which homes have been around that long. At 4th Street, about the only building that remains is Lake City Lanes (Auto Body).
On 7th Street is Borah School, which just had its first expansion on the west (near) end, and the 2 churches that are still there.
Above 9th Street is the brand new Monte Vista neighborhood. You can see a row of homes on 11th Street just this side of the tree line. From left to right, these were occupied by the Fossum, Robideaux, Walker (me!), Ashleby, Hubbard, ?, Scott and Cook families. You can't tell from this pic, but decades earlier a railroad line ran behind where these houses are. Behind Mike Scott's house there were still a couple old RR ties in the ground.
This was a great place to grow up. North of the bridge is Homestead and the angled street is Syringa. This little triangle neighborhood at one time had over 70 kids of all ages. There was plenty of room to explore, build forts, ride bikes and generally do all the simple things that kids of the 60's did. All my buds had HO slot cars and we'd combine our track to build huge layouts and race, when we weren't building model cars.
As Monte Vista was built out (the big field to the left) we had dirt streets to play "prisoner escape", which was just an excuse to ride our bikes like hell all over the place chasing each other. When houses were being built we crawled through them at night, when utility lines were being installed we climbed in and out of the trenches "saving" each other like we saw on the TV show Rescue 8. We'd pack lunches and climb "Big Best" and eat looking over the City.
And, being kids in those carefree times, our only rule was to be home in time for dinner. We'd ride our bikes all over town and at least once a month and would go to every store in town that sold comic books and stock up for summer reading, always making sure everyone bought different ones so we could trade them around.
Then there was the Diamond Cup hysdroplane races, which to us was better than Christmas. We'd spend all day, every day down at the pits where the big boats were in town, collecting booster buttons and every other thing we could get out hands on. You have no idea how big the spark plugs were for those giant V-12 engines. The mechanic's junk was our treasure. (More on the Diamond Cup in a future edition.)
Life was simple then. Kids grow up so dang fast now. Grade school kids think they are too mature to do some of the stuff we enjoyed into our early high school years. I don't want to go back but I do have some awesome memories of growing up with a bunch of great friends.