Friday, November 5, 2010


Fences helped to define our neighborhood at 25 Vine Street. Everywhere you tried to play or wanted to climb a tree, there was a fence. The longest fence ran north to south along the middle of the block between Smith Street and Vine Street. It was generally the tallest with 6 foot wooden post and metal wire fencing material. There were a few placed you could go under or over, but these were kept a secret. In some areas tall trees lined this fence (always on the other side). These trees did provide some shade on our side of the fence on hot summer days.

Perpendicular to this long fence was a series of shorter fences that ran west to the sidewalk on Vine Street. From Broadway northward up Vine Street, the first fence was the one that separated old man Elkin's back yard from the Frazer's side yard. This fence line had all kinds of vines, grapes, two mulberry tress, honey suckle, wild strawberries, red rose bushes and lots of poison ivy. Half way up this fence was the Elkin's chicken yard with chicken coop and hen house. When we played kick ball, from home plate in our yard, to over the chicken coop was a home run. [The Elkins still raised chickens and there was nothing like watching a chicken running around with its head cut off!]

Frazer's, our yard, and the Hill's yard shared a section with no fences between. The only problem here was that the upper third of the Hill's yard was a garden. Mr. Hill planted this garden every summer which just made our "home plate" back up to the garden. Between Mr. Hill's yard and the Rankin's yard was another tall fence which was not easy to climb. I am not sure who placed this fence, but it was a good boundary keeping the Rankin's kids out of Mr. Hill's garden. Immediately next was another fence which separated the Rankin's yard from the Powell's yard. We were never allowed to play in the Powell's yard, and we called Mrs. Powell "witch Hazel" due to here pleasant disposition. She refused to let anyone play in her yard! Of course there was a fence on the other side separating the Powell's yard from the Hatton's yard.

The Hattons, Rankins, Frazers, and Joneses play together most of the time. For the 18years I lived at 25 Vine Street, all the fences remained intact. We got use to them being there. They were part of life. Fences setting boundaries. Part of my growing up was learning to live with fences.

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