I ran across a photo of neighbors Bob and Mary Tinker in an American Gothic pose. The date on the side of the print – March 1955 – means it was taken just about the same time we moved into our house at 1618 Kingsway Drive.
Mary is holding something in her hand, probably something she grew in her garden. (Click on the photos to make them larger.)
Check out the spotlight
Lots of cars of that era had spotlights. Even our 1959 Buick LaSabre station wagon had one integrated into the driver-side mirror. I thought it would be great for reading street signs and addresses, but it never worked.
If you went the drive-in movie, as soon as it got dark, impatient patrons would fire up their spotlights and start playing fox and hounds on the movie screen. Shortly after that, horns would start honking to wake up the projectionist.
How I remember Mr. Tinker
I almost didn’t recognize Mr. Tinker in the top photo because he almost always had a hat jammed on his head like here.
Mrs. Tinker in 1976
The Tinkers and the Grays, who lived just down the street from them, were great neighbors. This was taken in back of the house.
One of the oldest houses
The house at 1617 Kingsway Drive, is the oldest on the block, and the only one still standing of the original ones from the days when we were outside the city limits.
The Boltons live there now
Bill and Rhonda Bolton live there now. The house still looks from the outside a lot like it did in 1955, but Bill and Rhonda have made a lot of improvements to it. No matter how long they live there, though, we’ll always refer to it as “The Tinker House.”
When Rhonda turned 50
Mother had a blast at Rhonda’s birthday party in 2014. We all took a lot of comfort in knowing they were up on the hill keeping an eye on her.
When we moved into our house on Kingsway Drive 58 years ago, Bob and Mary Tinker lived across the street; the Grays lived next to them, the McCunes lived in a small cottage down the hill, and the Hales and Heislers in their farm houses finished off the neighborhood. We were way outside the city limits and cows grazed in the field behind our house.
That’s Mrs. Tinker in front of her house.
Boltons came Memorial Day 1994
Bill and Rhonda Bolton moved into the house on Memorial Day, 1994. Even though they’ve been living there 20 years and have been the best neighbors you could want, we all still call it the “Tinker House.”
They keep an eye on Mother for us. When Brother Mark kept getting a busy signal on her phone one night, he called me and I reached out for the Boltons and Carla Jordan, who lives over by Food Giant. It turned out to be a false alarm: Mother had failed to hang up the phone properly and that’s why it rang busy.
When Mother’s mower stopped while she was massacring grass the other day, Bill came over to help her push it away from the street. It’s nice to know you have friends and neighbors who will come running if you need them.
Come over for Rhonda’s party
Bill stopped by Friday to invite Mother to Rhonda’s 50th birthday party on Saturday. I’m not sure if he used the phrase, “if you can make it up the hill,” but that would have insured that she would attend.
“A good time was had by all”
That’s a line that one of The Missourian’s country correspondents would tack on to any story involving more than two people, even if it was a funeral. In this case, it was true. There was a nice mix of family, friends and neighbors, good food and even a photo booth.
Birthday party photo gallery
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