By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 8/19/2019
Occurred: 10/17/2009 4:00:00 PM
Topics/Keywords: #Eastchester #NewYork Page Views: 918
We visit the neighborhhod in which Michael and Barbara grew up.

My husband, Michael, and our friend, Barbara, have known each other since 7th grade. At one point they lived, literally, behind each other; and Michael could see Barbara wave from her bedroom window to his. So, since we were all in Eastchester for Michael and Barbara's 40th class reunion anyway, we of course had to visit their old neighborhoods.

Our first stop was the apartment complex in which Barbara had lived with her mother and grandmother at 14 Field End Place.

14 Field End Place, Eastchester, New York.

Here's Barbara standing in front of the door to her building. Imagine her doing the same thing as a perky 12-year-old! (She hasn't changed much! —Just lovelier.)

Barbara

Barbara then led the way around to the building's spacious back yard. Barbara's apartment was the one beyond the two trees.

Back yard of 14 Field End Place

I enthused over how much fun kids could have in that yard, running and tossing Frisbees and playing tag, but Barbara didn't really remember doing any of that. "I was pretty much of an indoor girl," she confessed.

It was from her indoors bedroom window that Barbara could see Michael's bedroom window across that yard, and he could see hers. They sometimes waved at each other.

Barbara, Michael and Derik.

Derik, Michael's best friend from high school, had stayed with us since the high school tour earlier in the day. He had lived in Yonkers, but his father had taught at Eastchester High School and he and Barbara had dated. "Everything looks smaller," was his assessment.

Michael's apartment behind Barbara's was the one he and his father and stepmother moved into after his mother had died. He was 17 or so when that happened. Michael's childhood home was a few miles from there.

Michael's childhood home at 242 Park Drive. The old oak tree.

The house at 242 Park Drive seems small considering his mother was an heiress; but remember people in those days felt less need to impress others with size. When she first bought the house, the lot to the left was vacant and she bought that, too. There were just woods in back and across the street. No neighbors (or HOA!) complained that Michael's father raised pigeons in a hutch in back, or that they had three dogs and 30 cats, two turtles, and three parakeets.

The oak tree on the corner was there when Michael's mother moved in, in 1945.

The picture I got from Michael of Eastchester in the 1950s was of a fairly rural town, but it wasn't long before stores, shops and restaurants were built just a couple of streets away from what had been a couple of houses in the woods.

We all left the neighborhood and spent an hour in a Starbucks now occupying one of those shops. But soon we had to go to return to our hotels and change for the big event: the formal dinner at Lake Isle Country Club (formerly the Vernon Hills Country Club).