I stopped by Liberty Park United Methodist Church on Sunday. After the service, I visited with a group of parishioners some of whom have lived in the South Perry neighborhood for 70 years or longer. Among them was Frank Tobie who gave me two volumes of church history beginning back in 1905. The history has been compiled by many different people – among them Helen Mitchell and Reverend William S. Turner, one of the founders of the church. Last night, I paged through the history of neighborhood families and looked at 50-year-old pictures of homes I recognize from down the street.
One June 6, 1910, T.W. Mortimer got permission to hook the house I now live in up to the city water main. People tell me my sturdy, no frills foursquare probably is a mail order house from Sears or Montgomery Ward. In 1961, someone added a fallout shelter in the backyard, the top of which is now my patio. There’s just something about old houses: yes, they tend to be money pits (mine sure is) but they also feel comfortable and, well, lived in, just like an older neighborhood does.
What I really enjoyed about my Sunday visit was all the neighborhood stories about the ice cream parlor and the meat market, the grocery shops and the library. I would love to hear more stories like that – don’t be shy – tell me about ‘once upon a time on South Perry Street.’