Shadeland Avenue—Early days in Pittsubrgh

(1952, age 5)

This is a collection of images from about 50 years ago, or earlier, as captured in photographs. Many of these scenes are in or near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Mother was by any definition a West Virginia hillbilly. That’s mother in the first picture standing in front of her house. The family did have a car, and Mother and her sister were proud of it.

But as she grew, she put away the West Virginia image. The next pictures show her as a teenager and then as a young woman who was to meet my Dad, shown as a cadet.

Their courtship was brief. Dad was determined to be an Air Force pilot, and he chose to get married wearing his military uniform.

Actually becoming a pilot meant training in small planes and later in jet aircraft. Here Dad has passed flight school and is beaming in his official graduation photo.

But of course there was a family to start. Back in Pittsburgh, Mother took care of her two little boys.

My brother, Robert, and I played together in Pittsburgh.

Sometimes we went for outings, perhaps to the Park. Here we’re walking with Mother and Grandmother Snider, riding in a boat, and having a picnic with our lifelong friends, Pete and Ann Forsythe.

There was more fun for little boys with tricycles, trains and toy guns. Look out, Lone Ranger!

Robert and I had our dress up clothes to visit Grandma, but we’d rather be bundled up and playing in the snow. Or even better, put on a cool hat and ride in Pete’s truck!

Pittsburgh was a magical place in the old house on 3461 Shadeland Avenue. Coal was delivered in the Champion Coal truck and sent down the chute into the basement for the big furnace. How long would it be before we would leave Pittsburgh? Only a few more years until the career of an Air Force officer would take us far away.