The Golden Age on East 49th Street: The big moves

This series is about a part of my life in the 1950s. It was fun, it was exciting, it was scary, it was about bad behavior. It was about an introduction to other worlds and in so many ways it was about realizing that life was not always going to be like it was then. —Ralph Horner

When I was about 12 years old, my family moved from our first home in Cleveland, an apartment on East 55th Street and Whittier Avenue to a house on East 66th Street.

I don’t know why—I was happy living on Whittier. Life was interesting there and full of adventure.

There must have been some reason beyond my young comprehension as to why we moved to the quiet and mundane neighborhood of East 66th Street and Superior Avenue.  I guess it was because it was a real house and not an apartment. Okay, I was willing to give it a chance.

It turned out that life on East 66th was a little boring, compared to Whittier, but it was not bad. I had just started junior high and there were other issues to be concerned with. You know, hormonal issues, girls, and the onslaught of teenagerhood.

I guess I was adjusting to my new location, but much to my consternation, my parents all of a sudden decided to move again. Why so suddenly? Were they bored with the tranquility on pleasant and quiet East 66th? We had lived there for less than a year! Why did they want to move to a ramshackle four-apartment big monster of a house on East 49th Street?

Oddly enough, we had lived in that same apartment house on East 49th Street once before­—and it was no jewel.

 hen we lived on Whittier, World War II broke out and my father was drafted into the Navy. So, my mother and I moved to that same house on 49th to be with her sister, Lorraine, until the war was over. My aunt had married my new uncle Joe across the street. During our second stay at that house, it turned out to be quite an adventure.

Ralph Horner
Ralph Horner

About the Author: Ralph Horner

Ralph Horner grew up in the 1950s and 1960s on Whittier Avenue in the Central and Hough neighborhoods. In the 1960s and 1970s, at the age of 19, he managed a French Shriner shoe store on Euclid Avenue, where he got to know many of the people who hung out on Short Vincent.  A self-proclaimed juvenile delinquent living in the inner city, Horner observed the characters who were regulars in the neighborhoods he lived and worked in. Now in his 70s, Horner shares the stories of some of his more memorable experiences on Short Vincent with the FreshWater series, Rascals and Rogues I Have Known.