Monday, April 28, 2008

Growing Up in Venice Florida(part 1) Redux....from 2008
















Interesting weekend...somewhat! I did get my double header in at Hicksville on Saturday...couple of more injuries, sorry to say they were players this time. Hicksville's pitcher took a hard liner off his left shin in the 8th(extra) inning of the first game, ended up going to the local hospital for X-Rays...then when the Aces scored the winning run in bottom of the inning, an Archbold player got spiked in the ankle area, and off to the ER he went....hopefully both came out with negative results. Archbold split the day with a 6-0 second game win. Enough Hell was caught by me and my veteran partner after those incidents, that the beer when I got home was welcome....then with the Flyers beating the Canadians, all was well in the sports world....yesterday, I mowed for the 2nd time in 4 days, Sam did the same with mom's yard, her and brother Mike will be returning from the Florida winter stay around Thursday.....meanwhile we might get a touch of snow overnight tonight...a cold spell for a few days, then again next week, no surprise in Springtime Ohio.

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Venice, Florida 1954-1962
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My dad always had the wanderlust, guess it runs in the family...if you check out my genealogy blog:


You'll see my GGG-Grandfather Israel Houseworth and his father Jacob Hauswirth had the same....if taking a ship from Zweibrucken Germany at age 20 in 1751 to young America isn't the wanderlust, nothing is. Meanwhile Israel who was born in Bucks County, Pennslyvania in 1775, took his family on a tour thoughout his life, that went from Bucks County to Waldo, Ohio, where he passed away at the ripe of age of 88 or so....with stops in at least 2 more PA towns and 4 areas of Ohio....my Great Grandfather and mother kept the tradition going, settling in the Great Black Swamp of Paulding County, Ohio, in the early 1870s.

Meanwhile back to our direct family....Dad and his cousin Marty Poling's husband, got this burr back in the early 1950s to head south where the weather was warm...both men were in the auto repair business, Brownie Poling ran a body shop, Stan Houseworth worked on engines, back in Ohio.

The Polings and their 2 sons, Jack and Jim, headed south to the west coast of Florida, a few months later in the summer of 1954, Stan and Peg Houseworth, with Mike, Pat, and the younger sister Marty, headed the same way....If I recall the story correctly, Mom said dad had $40 in his wallet, with another $100 in a pouch on his belt....here we were, 5 members of a rural Ohio household, the WW2 veteran, his Wilmington, Delaware, wife(whom he met while in the Army Air Corp), boys 7 and 5, and a daughter not yet 2, heading for the unknown.

I don't recall much about that early trip down the byways and highways of the south, except I was prone to get car sick....back then there was no I-75, just miles of mountains through Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia...which I am told, I made a few "deposits" in. One flat tire, 2 nights in a motel, and 3 days later, we arrived in the town of South Venice, Florida.

For anybody that has ever been to Sarasota County, Florida, you must know, the Venice and Sarasota areas of 2008 have little in common with that area in 1954, except the heat, humidity, and Gulf water....50+ years later, it is nothing like those glorious days of the middle of the last century.  Today it is overcrowded and filled with diversity and frankly is not anywhere near what it was then....and don't let the PC Crowd tell you it's better now days...it is NOT!

We hooked up with our cousins in South Venice....and would live the next 2 years at a place in South Venice called Alston Cottages....the place, now that I recall, resembled a old fashion "camp"....but I would learn about snakes, gators, fishing, and what was then, wild and wonderful south Florida. Dad would quickly find work, mom would raise the 3 kids, until returning to the work force a few years later, when Grandma Houseworth would come in the winter from backin Ohio, and live with us....

As I write this, It almost seems like it was yesterday, but it was indeed a different life in these United States, we are all the poorer for those changes.


This story will continue on a daily or semi daily basis, mixed in with the usual daily 'rants'......back later>>>>>>>>>>>

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photos-----Alston Cottages in 1954...this post card was sent by mom to Grandma Houseworth in early 1955, the X marks our "Motor Cottage" which would be home for the next 2 years. Two views of the Beach Casino on Venice Beach, the older one, which also served as City Hall would be replaced in 1960. A classmate of mine, Jud Curwood's dad would do the contruction on the 'new' casino. As I said, I learned to fish when I lived in Venice....and if the truth is known, I was a much better fisherman at 10 than at 59....plenty of opportunities to salt water fish....the Venice Jetties(shown) was one of many places I learned to land them, and lose tons of line and tackle on the rocks.











8 comments:

Sarge Charlie said...

Hey man, that fish is as big as you, I love old photos like that.

Buck said...

Great pics...and narrative, Pat.

I recall the days before the interstates, as well, seeing as how I grew up in a military family. We criss-crossed the continent several times during my childhood and while there is a lot lost, traveling is also a whole lot easier today than it was back then. On the kids, anyway. Less so for us adults, who miss the old roads...

GUYK said...

I saw Florida my first time in the fall of 1962 when I got assigned to MacDill AFB. I married a Tampa girl in 1963 and have considered myself a Floridian ever since then.

But Florida is not as nice as it used to be..old Florida is just about gone except for some isolated spots. I was in one but it has over developed in the past couple of years. Too old now to move on so I reckon we will stay here for the duration.

The Hermit said...

I saw a news clip of a referee at a baseball game getting hit in the head with a pitched ball. They hauled him off in the meat wagon. I guess you earn your pay in that line of work.

~Fathairybastard~ said...

Love the pictures and the lead up to what I hope will be more cool memories. I really thinkk you folks were great for doing something like that. Just pick up and go. It's too bad those places and times are mostly gone. You were very lucky.

Lin said...

Wow, your family made GREAT time considering the roads to FLA back then!

I sure wish I had your handed-down lore to confirm the family research I had to do by records only. This is a truly remarkable legacy!

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