We six lived in a smallish two bedroom house in East L A.
There were a Ma and a Pa and we four kids. Living in a house of about 740-square feet. Teeny tiny for sure. How did we do that back then? I was born shortly after my folks bought this post Spanish colonial white stucco adobe hacienda. Yes born to Okie parents in cosmopolitan Los Angeles. According to our Okie relatives up in Bakersfield we lived in the wrong place. Most conscientious Okies lived in Bakersfield. Merle Haggard and Buck Owens lived up there. My mom’s cousins lived up there. Hundreds and even thousands of transplanted Okies lived in Bakersfield. But, not us. We didn’t know any better.
We lived just downwind from the B. F. Goodrich tire factory and Willard battery plant in quaint East L A. There the glossy orange evening sunset would colorfully frame the silhouette of the tall Willard Battery water tower and Pillsbury grain elevators. A pictorial postcard for sure.
But back to this miniature Okie mansion on south Simmons Avenue in East L A. From the time I was born and up to four-years old, I slept in a tiny bed in my parent’s room next to the side window and two feet from my mom and dad’s bed. My older brother, youngest and oldest sister slept in the second bedroom. Each bedroom was about eight-foot by ten. Not a lot of wiggle room. Just enough room for the older siblings to become most territorial. “Stay on your side of the room!” The bathroom was so small it would make a lavatory on a commercial jet look palatial. Then when my older sister needed her privacy my folks converted a six-foot by six breakfast nook in to a teen girl’s lair. Separated by a heavy curtain from the kitchen. Just two steps from where my mom disemboweled and processed our Sunday fried chicken. And just a teen girl’s freckled arm’s reach through the curtain to our only telephone in the house. Oh so handy late at night.
My parents bought this white washed adobe ‘Tiny flat roofed house’ back in 1944 for a mere six-thousand dollars. However it did have a large back yard where chickens roosted and peach trees produced peaches the size of a softball. Their eggs were laid and Rhode Island Reds were often dispatched and processed.
But here is what I suggest to do: Google
1318 So. Simmons ave, L A 90022 and notice the current appraised value. Backing up the house was built in the mid-1920s and as mentioned my folks bought in 1944 for 6K bucks. We sold it for 8000-dollars. Back in 1970 it sold once again for 20K dollars. But currently after considerable remodeling of the exterior with an added courtyard in front and remodeled interior it is valued by Zillo for over 700K huge bucks. Yes. No wonder there is so much homelessness in L A. Who could afford such a thing?