I have broken my early years into three periods...
The very early years
I was born in Payette, Idaho (December 1934). We lived for a year or so in the
Owyhee country west of Nyssa, Oregon then moved into a small 'adobe' house just
east of Payette for about a year and finally into the adjacent 2-story
adobe house for another couple of years. My earliest memories, when I was almost three,
are of having fun with older brother Jim and younger sister Lillie in, on and around a
play house and sand box built by Dad from scrap lumber. Good sand was readily available
from the bank of the lane we lived along. When I was four, we were so diappointed when we learned that we couldn't take the play house with us when we moved to the Mercury Mine.
Oddly enough my very first memory was as a three-year old coming downstairs from the our bedroom in the 2-story adobe house with so much pus (I didn't know what it was at that age) in my eyes that I could hardly see anything - luckily there was a handrail to hang onto or I might have fallen downstairs that morning. Mom very patiently dipped a washcloth in warm water and carefully went about cleaning the stuff from my eyes and that is the last time I recall ever having that problem.
Our fabulous playhouse/sandbox. Jim and Don had trikes.
We were quite poor but Dad always managed to provide enough toys or other things to keep our lives interesting. I don't recall ever hearing the lament, "I'm bored!"
Mom in the side door of the big adobe house around 1936. Mom was quite attractive.
Lillie, Don and Jim alongside the big adobe house. Jim was 2 years older than me and Ann was 2 years younger. Unfortunately we boys ganged up on Lillie Ann with the goal of making her life miserable.
There was sagebrush to be explored just a few blocks away but, at this early age, I and my
siblings were more interested in trundling down the lane to visit Mrs Christianson.
She almost always had a bunch of fresh-baked cookies.
The Mercury Mine years (covered in more detail in the next section)
This period was a wonderful experience for a small lad who loved to run around
outdoors on the sagebrush hills from sun-up to sunset.
The Payette school years (see later section)
Although I spent the first year and one half of school at the Almaden Mercury Mine -
all the rest were in Payette.
We moved out to the edge of town while I was in the fourth grade
and this began a time of many adventures in the sagebrush hills east of town.
Growing up and going to school with the same kids
for this entire period made for some wonderful experiences and great friendships.
I'll have more to say about the earliest years in later segments... first here are some details about the pictures in the header.
Jim and I really loved our little terrier, Cricket, and our totally white,
fluffy cat, Snowball. Lillie Ann was only a couple of months old at this time.
While living at the Mercury Mine Dad took the family on a picnic up Manns Creek - 1941.
The old red house at 1625 6th Ave S was located next to the main irrigation canal
for Payette County. Everyone referred to this canal as the 'Big Ditch'. The patrol
road that ran along the 'Big Ditch' was the setting for this 'heist'.
Cast (from left): Ann, Mary (hard to see in stroller), LouAnne Brown, Jim,
Rex (rear end view) and Don