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A mid-century childhood in North Park

Having lived in my home in North Park for almost 10 years, sometimes I feel like an old-timer. I find myself more and more telling recent transplants on the block about the people who lived in their house three owners ago, and how different things were way back in the “aughts.”

I’m not the only person who is qualified to chronicle the heady, pre-recession era in the Morley Field area, though. Luckily there are a handful of real pioneers right on my block, with whom I have the pleasure of catching up on neighborhood gossip reaching back beyond the early 2000s, and sometimes as far as the beginning of the previous century.

I recently sat down to chat with one of my neighbors who first moved to her home in 1943, at age 5. She got married and moved away in the early ’60s, and then returned to her childhood home six years ago when her mother fell ill. I asked her what it was like to be a kid in North Park in the middle of the 20th century.

My neighbor – I’ll call her Sally – first confirmed something I heard before from other long-time residents of my block: my house had indeed been an honest-to-God shack up until the ’80s, when it was upgraded to a drab rental property with vinyl siding and iron bars on the windows. She added that when she was a kid, there was a mean old lady who lived in our erstwhile shanty.

Read the full column in San Diego Uptown News, a SDGLN media partner, HERE.