Until just before my 13th birthday in 1957, my family lived in St. Louis, MO, near the corner of 10th Street & Park Ave.    All of these photos come from that era of my life.  I was blessed by God to have a wonderful father and mother who loved and cared for me and the Pineapple Man (my older brother). 

In this picture, I'm standing on 10th Street with Park Ave. at my back.  The buildings in the picture are still standing (in the Soulard district).  The store with the awning was Tony's Market, a neighborhood grocery.  We usually went to Ervin's Market which was directly across the street from our flat. (It looks like 10th Street dead ends into Park, but actually it just jogged to the left and went on).

Lokela about age 12.

Let's go back… W-a-a-a-y back.  Return with me now to those thrilling days of yesteryear.  To those days of highchairs and tricycles, scooters and bicycles.  When our heros were cowboys… (The good guys).

Looks like it's the Pineapple Man's 4th birthday (if I count the candles on the cake correctly) so I was almost 2.  That means that this was taken in October of 1946.  That's me (Lokela) in the highchair checking out the chocolate cake on the counter.  That's mom, of course, and the Pineapple Man.  Looks like the Pineapple Man is enjoying a beer, but I think it's a catsup bottle.  We always celebrated birthdays in a big way, but we never had beer.  Mom and Dad were teetotalers, a tradition that we kids have carried on.

It's another birthday for the Pineapple Man.  (His 8th, so I'd be almost 6.  You get the picture…)  In this great stop-action photo, he's just finished making a wish and is blowing out the candles.  Notice the ever-present coffee pot.  My dad loved coffee and drank it stronger than any human being I have ever met.  Later, after instant coffee was invented he used 2 HEAPING teaspoons full to a cup. 

This would have been 1950.  Notice the new gas range and the updated curtains and wall paper. I think I'm sitting in the little chair the Pineapple Man was using in the previous photo.

Talk about feeling safe and secure… Ready for bed, wrapped in mama's arms  with dad close by to take the picture, Lokela (L) & the Pineapple Man get a bedtime story.

Man, I remember this Christmas… We got our cool cowboy outfits.  Notice the TV… It was the biggest screen TV of it's time.  I remember when we got it.  The neighbors came by to see it.  The next photo show why it was such a big deal.  Dad was a radio & television repairman.

Here, Lokela holds a homemade styrofoam snowman.  (I think styrofoam was a recent invention).  Check out the screen size on that TV.  Also notice that there were cap pistols under the tree this year too.  I think that we asked Santa for cap guns every year.  Those were the days of the Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Lash Larue, Tex Ritter, etc., etc...

The Fishhook Club. Pineapple shows off his new bike while I stand by next to Eddie Pausch and his cute little sister.  Eddie lived two flats down, upstairs.  The backs of the flats shared a common courtyard.  We formed the Fishhook club, a secret society.  I think we held it together for two or three days before we moved on to other things.  (There wasn't anywhere to fish).  Although I do remember taking wire Christmas tree ornaments and tying them on a piece of string and a tree branch and catching sycamore leaves as they blew by on the ground.  I think that's where the Pineapple Man got the idea of the Fishhook Club.
   p,s, Eddie, if you're out there, sign the guestbook.

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