Church Street

When Jessica was born, Becky and Bob were living in a big old two-story brick house on East Church Street in Frederick, MD. The house had been divided up into two apartments; Jessie's family lived in the lower one. Jessie's grandmother, Genevieve, lived in the upstairs apartment for a while.

Jessie and Zeke on Church StreetThe house had a big shade tree in the front yard. At the time the house was built, architects sometimes chopped off the corners of the living room and placed windows in the facets that remained. This design provided a wider view of whatever was outside, but reduced the interior space. At the Church Street house, the size of the living room was further reduced by the front porch, which took up a third of the front.

The layout was quaint, attractive, and probably comfortable for turn-of-the-20th-century munchkins, but Jessie was bred from large stock. The living room was light and airy, but only big enough for a smallish sofa, two chairs, and a couple of end tables. It got mighty crowded in their when Jessie's lumberjack-sized relatives clomped in.

Jessie and Zeke in the back yardThe back yard was suitable for a little girl to explore with her cat, Zeke, an attentive long-legged part-Manx fellow who had moved to Church Street with Becky and Bob from Braddock Heights. Zeke was well-adjusted for a cat.

Zeke's sister, Ethel, also came along from Braddock Heights. Ethel was crazy, and not in a good way. She was always jumping on the kitchen counters and she always got hollered at for it. She would sneak around the house acting furtive until she did something that got her tossed outside.

Eventually, Ethel changed her name to Suzy and moved in with a lady who lived down the street, which seemed to suit everybody.