Archived Story

Cardinal Charlie: landlord left us with smaller porch

Published 7:07pm Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Recently I read in the paper an article about a lady and her front porch from years ago.

This took my mind back to my old front porch in the 1940s, before I had my child bride wife Peg.

At this time my folks just rented our house at 611 Orchard from H.B. Garrett.

It used to be his home years ago.

At this time there was a big front porch that went 20 feet across the front of the house five or six feet deep.

The door to get on the porch was from a little sidewalk from our front sidewalk and we entered it from the south end of our house.

I always thought it odd that there was no sidewalk to the house from the big sidewalk out in front, which would have been a short, direct route.

My father decided to screen in this beauty even though we were just renters.

A few years later our landlord decided to get rid of the big porch and replace it with a smaller one like we have now with a door from the front sidewalk, just 12 feet from our main Orchard Street sidewalk.

Our big, old porch had turned into a mini-front porch.

Having a lot of screens from the former porch, my father also screened in our little porch.

I had an old picture of my house with the big porch and sent it to Don O’Brien, a friend of mine, and he emailed me asking why we ever got rid of our large porch, as on his visits never knew about a big porch.

I’m sure there may be a few people who can remember my mother sitting on our little screened-in porch in an old-fashioned “love seat” given to her by her friend Sally Clynch, one of the two ladies who used to run our library years ago.

Years after my mother passed on, I and several of my friends used to play a lot of pinochle games on the old screened porch.

As I can recall as a small kid, there were a lot of Orchard Street porch sitters.

Lots of times you would be invited to come up and sit a spell.

Lots of people had swings and gliders to sit on.

I bet now you could walk from my house all the way to Division Street and not see a porch sitter in sight.

I think the last one Peg and I used to stop in and sit and visit was Clyde and Fern Reep, who were our neighbors just down the street from our house.

I wonder way back when Dowagiac had an A&P and a Kroger store downtown, were they open on Sundays like our stores are now?

I’m sure they were closed Christmas, but not sure if they closed on Thanksgiving.

I like to read the Amish Lady on Monday. I’d like to ride in one of those horse-drawn buggies on a small trip to town like the Amish Lady tells about.

According to her, the Amish people really like to eat — breakfasts especially.

I can remember when clerks at the post office were always men, and now we have just women.


Editor’s note: Do side porch swings count? We sit on ours almost every evening.


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