Laundry Basket Move

    This is probably not the best story to lead off this section, as there is not much to it, and you may wonder why you would want to go on to any further stories.  Anyway, it may lay some groundwork for your understanding of the neighborhood I grew up in.

    Although the first house I lived in was the two story frame house on the southwest corner of 5th and Oak, it was not the first house for the Wells family in Hamilton.  That honor went to the house next door to the south.  I knew it by the name of the Porter house, as that was who was living in it as I grew up.  As the family began to grow and prosper, better housing was the desire, (or was the rent better?).  We were coming out of the depression, and there was still not much to go around.

    The Harris house, (the name I knew it by) on the corner didn't house the family for long.  Pal, (the family dog) chose to have her litter under the back porch and the pups were pulled out with much difficulty.  (That's someone else's story).  As the family grew and I made my appearance, Dad received news that the house at 421 Oak was for sale and consideration was being given by someone to turn it into a roadhouse.  The neighborhood would be headed for ruin.  Somehow, Dad made a deal with Don Gordon and was able to purchase the house and it's three lots.  Thus the family finally had a house with enough room to become a comfortable home.

Northwest corner before we bought it.

    There was work to be done to make the house ready for us.  Beautiful hardwood floors were installed throughout the first floor and the kitchen moved to it's present location from the area which, after knocking out the wall, became the garage.  I remember seeing patched areas in the walls where the stove pipes exited each room.  Check out the chimney on the garage side.

    Of course, most of the above information is second hand to this writer.  At six months of age, I don't remember much, personally.  My brother, Dick, wrote these words of wisdom some 71 years later; "1938 brought the first oriental to our house on the corner of fifth and Oak.  He turned out to be a Wells and a pretty neat guy".   As the family belongings were moved to the new home, it is reported that I was transported the distance in a laundry basket!  I have a strong suspicion that my parents named me after a close Unitarian friend, Robert Dale Richardson.  My middle name presents no mystery.

{This story may well be added to as I uncover other hidden facts...}

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