Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Conway and the Clifton....Home, Sweet Home

A little research today confirmed a suspicion. I have lived about 60% of my years in Sears Kit Homes.

Something about "Kit" doesn't sound solid or long-lasting. But my research yields a fascinating story about how the Sears Roebuck Company, from 1908 through 1945 manufactured (In Cairo, Illinois and several other locations) more than seventy thousand solid, well-designed houses that arrived in one (sometimes two) railroad boxcars with complete blueprints and and an 80 page leather-bound book of instructions on assembly.

For 17 years I lived in The Conway on Madison Street in Waukesha. Twenty years ago I moved into The Clifton on Easy Street in the same city. Both were (are) solidly-built, enduring (one built in 1928, the other in 1931) residences (homes, nests, what else can I call them?) that will last another 80 years--with just a little attention to maintenance.

There's something very appealing about a house that you could buy from a catalog, from a company that offered you a mortgage on that house based on ONE condition: that you had a job.

And--best of all--the goods were delivered quickly, efficiently and cheaply on a Choo-Choo train.

2 comments:

Joe Boxhorn said...

Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Pleasant View Avenue/Easy Street area had quite the population of albino squirrels. This things were snow-white. Do you still have them there?

Jim Bouman said...

The story on albino squirrels is that they show up often as a mutation.

But they don't last long without the camouflage of a grey or brown pelt.

And a new group of raptors have been at work. Red Tailed and
Sharp Shinned Hawks have proliferated. The Red ones nest high in light poles erected to make night football games possible at Waukesha North High School.

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Of the biblical allotment of three score and ten I have lived only three of them more than a bicycle ride from one of the Great Lakes. I grew up ten blocks from Lake Erie in the (once Irish/Italian ghetto, now newly-hip) "Near West Side" of Cleveland. I can still cycle to the Milwaukee lakefront in an hour and a half; but, a round-trip has always been more than I would (noror ever did) attempt. -0- I'm a "...somewhat combative pacifist and fairly cooperative anarchist," after the example of Grace Paley (1922-2007). -0- I'm always cheerful when I pay my taxes (having refused--when necessary--to pay that portion of them dedicated to war). -0- And I always, always vote.