My Childhood: 1949 – 1963

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Click image for ‘how to make jello eggs’.

​When my brother, my only sibling, who is two years older than me, had a life threatening severe asthma attack in 1957 in San Francisco. The doctor came out to the house and gave him an adrenaline shot directly into his heart. He was saved from near death.

After a month of testing which involved the “scratch” test with common offending allergens, the doctor found that my brother was severely allergic to eggs, milk, chocolate and a host of other items.

The day of his attack he had an angel food cake that Mom made with chocolate frosting. I am sure he had other chocolate as well as gifts. So that was the cause of the severe asthma attack. This revelation restricted his diet. The alternatives for foods were yukky! We used Loma Linda soy milk which was the only thing available then. I tried all the foods and like all but the soy milk by itself.

loma linda soy milk

Mom found alternatives for him and we adjusted the family meals to suit him. He liked the macaroni salad with just an oil and vinegar dressing and veggies with no eggs. Potato salad was made with my Dad’s recipe.

However, my brother did not want to have that adjusted, so we did not alter Dad’s recipe, and Mom created a potato salad without mayonnaise or eggs and lots of veggies. I liked it as an alternative in my life, but always enjoy my Dad’s original formula.
Mom found an awesome idea for eggs for the Holidays for us! I loved these Jello eggs. She made them several times a year, not just for Easter.

She used the regular sugar Jello and real egg shells carefully washed and dried so there was not egg product left. She poked a hole in the end just as you do with the plastic eggs in the link above. Very eye appealing and yummy for kids who can have Jello.

You can also use unflavored gelatin and use natural colors from fruits and vegetables and add your own sugar substitutes if you are not able to have cane, beet, raw, brown sugars or synthetic sugars such as Aspartame or NutraSweet types. I have used Stevia as a natural sweetener. I have not made the unsweetened gelatin in quite some time. However the trick is to use boiling water to dissolve thoroughly the unsweetened gelatin first before adding anything else to it. A glass bowl is another trick to keep the boiling water very hot whilst the gelatin is dissolving.

Now changing to another nostalgia food


Breakfast back in the 1950’s – the dry cereals were limited. Also my Mom disproved of the dry cereals that had too much sugar in them. My brother and I loved this variety package of small boxes of individual servings of Kellogg’s dry cereals at the time.

One could slit the box along the perforated lines on the box face, open and you could add the milk right in the little box and eat out of the box. We thought that was grand! Less dishes for Mom, too!

My favorite nostalgia story.

My chenille bedspread that I used at three different houses from 1957 to 1966.


The photograph shows a chenille bedspread similar pattern to the one I had. Mine had pink ballet flats in the center, but the rest was nearly identical with more pink than blue. Mom got the bedspread for me when I was about age 9.

Here is my story:

My chenille bedspread from 1961

I found a diary entry about my Chenille bedspread that I used for a report in 1961. The report was for credit for a girls group at church.  I had to make a goal on how to redecorate my bedroom.

I got permission from my Mother to change my room around. Mom was always after me to keep my room clean. I valued the pretty bedspread Mom got for me in 1957 and wanted to keep the room nice. I previously did not do a good job about keeping my room clean much.

The assignment:

I drew a floor plan of before and after. I explained what I wanted to do and how I was going to do it. It was not a very long report, after all I was only 11.
The good news is I have the report still, I saw it last summer when I was going through my keepsake boxes.
The copy of the handwritten report is in my storage in California. As soon as I get those boxes I will update this story with a photo of the actual report.

This was a brand new house that was built in 1959


We were the second owners. It was in San Francisco in the upper Mission district on a hill. In fact it was Hill Street!

You can see in the upper floor the bedroom on the right has a tree in the window. That was my room. The room on the upper left was the master bedroom. The lower right is the living room with a tree in the window. The window on the left bottom is the kitchen.

Mom had decorated all the rooms for a decorated house contest all three years we lived in that house for Christmas. She won a prize and ribbon two of the years. This year she had made the Madonna with the paper snowflakes she cut out by hand. Then she used that fake snow spray over the top of that. She hand drew the Madonna and baby as well.

The tree in my room had tin plates cut out as snow flakes. Tins from the bottoms of frozen pies and frozen pot pie dinners. Mom loved the strands of foil on the regular tree as well. One year she used the same Madonna and child part with clear Monokote type plastic as a stain glass window for her dress and veil. She used black tape between the colors. It looked awesome at night, like a real stain glass window. She won that year as well.


Trees in the living room as well as my room. Aluminum pie tins cut into snowflakes by  Mom and put on a fake silver pine tree. We moved there in the summer of 1959 and moved out in July 1963. It was my parents second home they purchased.

This house had 4 levels.

  1. The garage with the laundry area and entry was at street level.
  2. The second floor was a living room, a half bath, full all electric kitchen with dining room, living room with a real fire place that was a brick face. The chimney to the roof went between the two kids bedrooms. Throughout the house was a intercom system. The kitchen had the control panel where you could pipe music or call any room including outside the front door, but not the bathrooms.
  3. The third floor had the two kids bedrooms as I mentioned; a full bathroom with a shower/tub with glass doors; and a master bedroom. All bedrooms had a walk in closet with double sliding wood doors.
  4. The fourth level was a wooden deck and more stairs to the back yard. We had a lot of flowers: Fuchsia bushes, roses, bachelor buttons; succulents and ice plant on the cliff area. We had vegetable garden as well.

The windows on the four rooms on the face of the house were huge 5 foot tall windows. They had two side windows that could open with screens. The third floor had a window on the back door and the bedroom that faced the back had a two foot window with one side window that could open. All windows had screens except the back door. There was a window near the first floor landing that was next to the door there. The front door had a window also. Dad set up a mirror at the top of the landing angled so you could see who was at the front door with out going down stairs to the door. Between the mirror and window and the intercom, it was a very secure house. I did have a key so Mom did not have to come down the stairs.

My bedroom:
So I got to use the both kids bedrooms. I would get to trade with my brother for the other room. We would exchange rooms about two times a year.

Two Schools

I was in the 5th grade and attending the second Grammar school in San Francisco. The grammar school was about six blocks away. All down hill for 4 blocks and that meant 4 blocks uphill. After all I lived on Hill Street.Three streets around the two schools has steps on it. I remember I used to count the stairs and sing songs while I walked up and down the stairs.

I walked to my Grandmother’s house on the 400 block of Diamond street between 22nd street and 21st Street. Part of both streets had stairs. So I had to walk one set of stairs or another to get to Grandma’s house from Hill Street.


Maps of the Stairs

When I fist moved to the Hill street house I went to the rest of the first part of 5th grade at my first Grammar school, Alvarado. I lived on the border between the two districts. So after I made friends with the kids on my block and my class at the new grammar school, Thomas Edison, I transferred to Thomas A. Edison school.

The History of Chenille Fabric

“Chenille” is French for “caterpillar.” It’s an appropriate name, since chenille is a fuzzy fabric that had a metamorphic development. Three distinct “chenille” products emerged between 1754 and 1895 in France, Scotland and the United States.” More Chenille information and a link at the bottom of this story.

my 22nd street house san francisco

1951 my brother and I – That car was a 1948 Century Buick – The first new car my Dad ever bought

My 22nd Street House

Before I moved to the new house on the 400 block of Hill Street, I lived at the 4200 block of 22nd street. That house was one half a block away from the Alvarado School. I started Alvarado school in kindergarten and stayed like I said until the first half of 5th grade. That is a long time for a kid!

It was sad to move and that is why I continued to attend the 5th grade there. I was just starting to make friends with the kids on my block of Hill Street.

They said “Why don’t you come to Thomas Edison school with us?” So My Mom asked the school district and they said I could go to Edison at the mid term, about Spring of 1960.
So 22nd Street house and Alvarado school was a great neighborhood. I will always feel like that is my first home.
I moved to that house when I was 18 months old. I do not remember the place we lived before that house on Cuvier Street in San Francisco, which was later demolished for the freeway.

The 22nd Street house belonged to my aunt on my Dad’s side and she sold it to my parents. It was a very small house. The downstairs had a garage area, and three small rooms. One room was storage, one was a play room and the third was the laundry area. Before we moved out my parents made stairs from inside the 2nd bedroom of upstairs so we did not have to go outside to get into the rooms downstairs. It was all fixed up but my brother was allergic to the sheet rock that was put on the walls to finish off the room.


My Hill Street House with the Madonna Mom made

Looking out the huge kitchen window from Hill street house. This photo is a decorated window in the kitchen of the Hill Street house. Mom is an artist and entered the contest for window decorations of houses in San Francisco for the winter holidays.

You can see how huge these windows were, that was one of the features of the house, it had great views!

The 22nd Street House 2015

22nd street houseThe house I live in is the 4th house from the left. The one between the 2 and the n.22nd stree 2015 close up


So they added an upstairs 3rd floor area.


Another similar Chenille Bedspread

So Hill street house was where I had the bedroom that I decorated with the Chenille Bedspread. I do not recall if Mom asked me to look at several bedspreads or not. I think she saw it and decided to get it for my bed. This was before Mom started to make quilts and crochet afghans.

By the way, my Grandmother was born in San Francisco as well. My Grandmother attended one of the grammar schools that my Mom went to and had the same teacher.

I went to two of the same schools my Mother went to and had one of the teachers she had. Small world, eh???


hill street

The neighborhood and the Pink Hill street house as it looks in 2015 – just above the ‘t”.


cropped hill street 2015

Hill Street 2015

My Hill Street House

Here is a photo of the house and the backyard. You can see how the house to the left is the same model as my house. The house to the right is higher than our house.

I babysat a few times for a lady who lived there. You can see how big the backyard was. Mom had it filled with all kinds of flowers and we had vegetables growing as well.

In 1967 I was referred as a great babysitter to a family up the Madrone Canyon in Larkspur. The father in this family was the contractor who built my Hill Street house and the one next door as well as 4 houses up the street on Hill Street. Small World, eh??????

San Francisco Statistics

  • I used to live in this neighborhood when I was a child until I was 14.
  • The population of 94114 is ~32,020 in 2015.
  • That’s #2623 out of all 42,305 zip codes.
  • 79% of the population is white, which is 5 points more than the national average.
  • The average household income in 94114 is ~ $75,727, which is ~$46,029 more than the typical average.
  • This contributes to the average house being worth ~$672,300. When the survey was done in 2000, that represented a difference of 754% from the typical value.

Cost of the two house we owned in San Francisco

My parents bought the 22nd Street in 1950 for $6,000 sold for $14,000 in 1959.
They bought the Hill Street house for $24,000 in 1959. I don’t see a record she wrote of how much it sold for.


Stats about: San Francisco, CA

  • Population: 32,020
  • Number of Households: 17,325
  • Average House Value: $672,300
  • Average Income per Household: $75,727
  • Elevation: 63 ft
  • Men make up 57% of the population, and the typical age in this part of CA is 37.7.

More Nostalgia from my Childhood


The phone I had in 1961 Crosley Kettle Classic Desk Phone CR62-Black

Here is a retro looking phone. The white dots were circles where you placed your finger or pencil and rotated the dial to the right to click on the number.

You put your finger in the first number of the persons phone number, such as Mi 83164. The letter M is number 6 and the letter I is number 4. Then you dialled the other numbers.

That was my real first phone number.

Invention of the Chenille Looms

Catherine Evans Whitener 1880 – 1964

Visiting a cousin in McCuthey, Georgia, Catherine saw an old tufted bedspread that was considered a family heirloom. She admired the craftsmanship of the spread and vowed to replicate it so she could have one of her own. Her own ideas led to the modern tufted or chenille bedspreads.

Did you ever have a chenille bedspread or chenille product?



Sherry Atbutterfly enjoys crafting with Plastic Canvas and yarn to make all kinds of decorations and fun items for the home. Many of her craft articles feature detailed tutorials and lengthy instructions. This is what she loves to do, She is a teacher. She is also involved with Early American History, Family History and genealogy. Sherry is legally blind.

Author: Jackie Jackson

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