Just a line to let you know we arrived home safe and sound. It was 1083 miles from you house to Lucilles in Gahanna [Ohio]. We drove until 10:10 PM Monday and covered 679 miles then started out again at 6AM from Yadkinville N.C. and drove the rest of the way home arriving at Lucilles at 4:50 PM We didn’t have a bit of trouble and the weather was all good except on the W Va turnpike where we had a light snow. The temperature here this morning was 25 degrees.
We found everything here O.K. so all I got to do now is get on the ball and get back to work, which shouldn’t be to bad after a nice vacation like we had. Lucille said that was the first real vacation she had ever had, one that she could remember for ever, and we all want to thank you
[page 2] for making it possible.
We left Ralph a bag of grape- fruit and some oranges. of course they wanted to know all about you and dad and how things were in Safety Harbor. We ate supper at Lucilles and then went up to Mom & Pop Krings where we had to give them all the news and we got home about 11 P.M. Ralph and the boys got along O.K. so Lucille felt relieved about them.
I called Dick Sheridan to night and he says every thing at the shop is O.K. so I suppose I still got a job. “darn it”.
Well I’ll sign off for now as I don’t know any other news to write. Love to all Ruth & H.O.
One major disadvantage to growing up as a military brat, is that you don’t get a chance to become attached to ‘place’ or know your relatives, because you aren’t around, or around long enough, to do so. But I am glad that in my case I do have a some great memories of extended family.
Because my dad was stationed at McCoy AFB in Orlando in the late 60s, we were able to visit with my great grandparents, Dick and Dad, several times over the few years that we lived there because they weren’t too far away. My fist real connection to family other than mom and dad.
Although their earlier years were spent in West Virginia, Rachel ‘Dick’ and William Shepard, Sr. ‘Dad’ lived mostly in Ohio raising their family of two boys, until Dad retired from his supervisory job at the post office in the 1950s.
They had had a cottage in Thessalon, Ontario, Canada that they went to often, as early as the 1940s. (I don’t know yet if they bought it or rented it.) Below is a photograph of the cottage in Canada that gramps is always mentioning in his letters to his parents, where the fishing was fine.
When Dad officially retired, they went down to Safety Harbor in late 1956 where they rented a place in the area until they could find the perfect winter retirement home. (We know this because their son Herman wrote a letter to them in Dec of 1956 asking how they were liking their temporary accomodations.)
By December 26, 1956 they had found their spot, and it was at this time they purchased their second vacation/retirement home at 305 7th Ave N in Safety Harbor, Florida, near Tampa. The place that we visited several times in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
So in this post I thought it would be fun to do a sort of slideshow from past to present on the house I remember visiting in Florida.
In the above second picture you can see the tree is much taller, there are awnings added to the windows, and the front entrance/patio area is now enclosed. Everything else is pretty much the same.
Dick passed away in 1986 and the house was sold sometime later that year by her son Herman.
Now for the shocker, here is a 2014 image of the property from Google street view:
These are images posted in 2002 when it was for sale and the outdoor shots look pretty close to the 2014 images:
Quite a difference from the 50s though! That kitchen sure doesn’t look the same. The property sold for $74,000 in 2002, and it is currently valued at about $185,000, for 916 sq. ft. of living space. I like the improvements, although the carport/garage doesn’t look like it has been worked on at all. (It looks like someone tried to sell it in 2015 for $225,000, but it was only on the market for a couple of months before they unlisted it.)
Because the city used crushed shells, instead of gravel, in the driveway, when we visited I would go looking for cool shells when I got bored with all the adult talk. I still have some great finds in my shell collection.
Interesting fun fact: According to the 1959 directory for Safety Harbor, Lois and William Shepard, jr. were also living at this address. My grandparents. (Hey Mom, I don’t remember you mentioning this.)