Saturday, May 14, 2011

52 Weeks of Genealogy: Bedroom (Three's Company)

My two sisters and I shared a bedroom in our family's 2-bedroom apartment in the Bronx. (At that time, everybody we knew--everybody--lived in an apartment.)

Three's company in one crowded bedroom: Three beds, a standing closet, a bureau, and three active girls.

On a rainy day, we'd push all the beds against the walls and march around to the music of "Zulu Warrior" blasting from the record player. Stomp, stomp, stomp, it's a wonder our downstairs neighbors didn't go ballistic!

On summer nights, the windows would be wide open to let in the breeze. This also let in night-time sounds, such as the distant rattle of trains on the elevated subway line, one l-o-n-g block to the east. Although there was a bit of street noise from the occasional car driving along Carpenter Avenue, where our windows faced, traffic was pretty sparse in those days.

Our bedroom was painted one of two colors: Landlord beige or landlord green. Every three years, the landlord was required to repaint, and those were the "standard" colors for everybody. (Want something different? Tip the painter privately for paint and special treatment.)

This photo of we three sisters in the summer of 1960 is unusual because my twin and I (I'm on left, she's on right) are wearing matching dresses, and our younger sis is in a special dress, as well. Usually we all wore pants so our tomboy antics wouldn't ruin our clothes. Plus, my mother--a fraternal twin who, as a child, was often dressed exactly like her sister--was determined to dress us as individuals. That's why I think this was some occasion when matching twin dresses were in order. Wonder what it was...


  1. Thanks for sharing your memories of your apartment and the bedroom that you shared with your two sisters.

    When I was little girl, we lived in an one bedroom apartment above our corner grocery store. I shared the tiny bedroom with my brother and sister. My parents slept in the living room. I don't remember what the colours were like in our place.

  2. Hi Janet,

    So your parents operated a grocery store? My maternal grandparents did the same, although they didn't live above it. I'm glad you stopped by and were kind enough to comment! Thanks,


  3. AnonymousMay 15, 2011

    What wonderful memories. Your childhood memories are fascinating to me because, growing up in the rural South, I never knew any kids who lived in apartments, and would probably have been envious of any who did.

    Dee, from Shakin' the Family Tree

  4. Dee, Many thanks for reading and leaving a comment. Until a few years ago, I didn't think I had any Southern relatives--then (through a surname message board) I learned that I have two 2d cousins who were brought up in the South. Their experiences are entirely different from mine! No apartments for them, either. Thanks again--and keep shakin' that fam tree.