It’s been cold and windy here now for almost a week. Feeling trapped indoors, I keep busy reading and creating CD's from old family albums. It's a time for nostaligia really. Having lived in rural Bluff Country (southeastern Minnesota) for over forty years now, today I'm harking back to the neighborhood where I grew up. It was the "East Side" of St Paul, also known as "Dayton's Bluff" or more simply as "The Bluff."
People here refer to "The Cities" as if it is one giant Megalopolis. It is but then for me growing up, and my father, and perhaps, even his parents it was made up of neighborhoods. In the days before suburban sprawl, families lived in the same St. Paul and Minneapolis neighborhoods generation after generation. My paternal grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins all lived within 5 blocks of each other.I was born in 1941 and we lived during the war in an apartment on Earl street. In 1945, we moved upstairs of my grandparents’ home near Indian Mounds Park. We're all dressed up in the picture on the lawn of my grandparents. Our neighborhood church was Daytons Bluff Methodist. We lived close to the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi and downtown St. Paul. I attended Mounds Park Elementary school thru 8th grade.
We played in the park and on the Indian Mounds (now forbidden out of respect) with games of imagination and baseball.
Girls and boys played equally, with no parental pressure or even supervision. It was called growing up. Living dangerously, we explored on the bluffs against our parents’ wishes and wondered about "Carvers Cave."
That was the location of a trading post in the frontier days of the city. Jonathon Carver was an early explorer of the area. It had been long bricked up after some children drowned there. This is my gang on the steps across from Grandma's. That’s me front row on the right checking out my weapon.
Apparently it was cowboys and Indians that day and it appears the Indians outnumbered the cowboys! Those were the days my friends....