It was the first time in my life that I had a room all my own. It was the room with the window above the door. For the seven years prior, I had to share a room with either one or two of my brothers. So you can see that the house we moved to on Kimberly Lane in Houston back in the late 1960s was extremely special.
It was also extremely big from my perspective. I would go and sit in the corner of each room in the house, just to get another perspective of the room. It was my way of getting to know the house, and making it feel like I belonged there.
This brick beauty had five bedrooms, and 2 1/2 baths. The floors downstairs were marble and the fireplace had a mantle that was shipped all the way from Europe. It had a screened in back porch, along with an open porch, a carport, a 2 1/2 car garage and the extra wide driveway you see in the picture.
I hated that driveway. Every Saturday, my dad would give us chores to do around the house and my chore was to sweep that driveway. It seems like no matter how hard I worked on sweeping the thing, it was never good enough and he would make me do it again. I don’t blame him. He was simply trying to teach me to do things well and to have a great work ethic. Some of that actually stuck.
This house was also special because it was the last house we live in where we were a complete family. The joy of living there only lasted a few years and then our family was ripped apart because of the “accident.” After that, we would change homes every few years for one reason or another.
My mother sold the Kimberly house for the Wycliffe house, which was much smaller and darker, but more affordable. Then we would move to Lufkin, and move several times there. Then I left… well you get the idea.
I look back over my life and realized that the Kimberly house is the only house I’ve lived in for more that four years in my entire life. It may be one reason why I hate moving so much and one reason I look back to that house as something special. But then, I’m only looking back through the scope of my perspective. I imagine others in my family were probably sitting in another corner and saw a completely different picture.
So in reality, the house is just a footnote. I got to live in a big house as a kid. I had lots of fun with the neighbors out in the street playing one-out baseball, damning up the one gutter in the cup-de-sac on stormy days and watching it fill up for our very own “cement” pond. Playing in Rummel Creek, catching crawfish, jumping suicide hill on our bikes, running from the evil and wicked Garth, who lived on the other side of the creek and was probably a good guy. We even built a Garth escape latter out of the creek in case we saw him. I’m not sure why he became known as the scariest kid in the neighborhood, but I think it was just our imaginations running wild.
We walked to Rummel Creek Elementary school from that house. We rode our bicycles to both the Town ‘N Country shopping mall and Memorial City. We rode our bikes to Memorial Junior High School and anywhere else our bikes would take us. We never imagined it would end the way that it did, but that house on Kimberly was THE house of my childhood, and that is why it is special.
Here are some pictures from those days…
My brothers, John, Scooter and David.