Grandpere’s House”

"Grandpere's house"

"Grandpere's House"

My Grandpere grew up in France. His name was Edouard.  He came to America before World War II began.  He was married to my Grandmere whose name was Henrietta. He ultimately brought many of his cousins and family over to America, so they would not be harmed by the war, in Europe.  Grandpere owned cattle in the San Fernando Valley when he was a young man.  He married and had three children, one being my mother Leah, and two others, my aunts, named Rene and Marcelle.  Henrietta died at a young age.

My grandpere bought this house when I was a very young child.  Grandpere’s house still is beautiful.  The memories of this house are marvelous and sad.  The earliest I remember was three years of age.  The house was large for the time and even now.  The house had three stories, the top being a solarium, with tiny steps to climb to a round room at the top. As a child, I would get a creepy feeling as I climbed the round staircase to the top.  From that room, you could see over the west part of the valley, from Eagle Rock to the west.  It was a very long climb up the hill to the house.  In the summer, it was very hot.  There was no air conditioning.  There were sweeping lawns in front, with grand windows overlooking Los Angeles.    At night you could see the glistening lights of Los Angeles, many years ago.

During that era, there were air-raids in Los Angeles, after Pearl Harbor.  My father was an air raid captain, and so was my grandmother.  During the air raids, the entire city turned off their lights.  We would all gather under the portico of the massive driveway of Grandpere’s House.”  The back yard was filled with large Apricot trees,  which seemed to me, several acres.  When, I go back to take pictures, as memories, Grandpere’s house is still a symbol of triumph, goodness, kindness, and hardship of my childhood.  Over the large Garage, there was a Butlers Quarters.  When hard times came to my family in childhood, we lived in those quarters.

I have played the piano most of my life.  Grandpere finally decided to sell his beautiful abode, of which I thought was a small castle.  He sold it to my piano teacher, who had grand recitals overlooking that large picture window in the living room, overlooking the lights of Los Angeles.

I often toy with the idea of going back to that beautiful house, and knocking on the door, to see now what it is like.  Does it still have the massive carved furniture?  Does it still have that Grand Piano overlooking that big widow?

My childhood was difficult, with very fine parents, but circumstances were not good.  Interestingly enough, I moved very close in miles to that wonderful house, when I originally lived many miles from any thought of seeing Grandpere’s House.”

Maybe one day, I will not just take pictures, but leave a note in the mailbox of Grandpere’s house, to have another peak, at what was, compared to what is now.

With loving memories of my “Grandpere’s House.”


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