Victoria Heights, The Early Years [* Still under construction]


Based on the apparent age of youngest brother Cam (held by Mom on the right), this would be the summer of 1955.  Victoria Heights was just developing as Alex’s first “suburb” – we were two miles out of town!  That made us the first group of young’uns to go through the school system as neither townies or farm kids.   We were in the Twilight Zone?  The empty lots across the street all were “housed” within just a couple more years.  We’re looking toward the NW here from our front yard, toward the Runestone Park at the top of the hill, photo center.  And probably because of our “isolation,” and all the kids being the same age after-war babies, everybody knew everybody else, including the parents, the kids, and the family dogs.


[Our house, likely the winter of 1950-51.  We were the 3rd house built in the Heights (as I recall).  So you can see why Mom, who was a Minneapolis girl, thought she had moved to the moon!]


[The same house, subsequently completed, and not in the winter.  There appear to be munchkins gamboling in the front yard!  This was everyone’s standard rambler – living room, kitchen, 3-bedrooms, one bathroom, one-car garage, a well, a septic tank, and a partridge in the pear tree.  And every family had at least 4 kids – how did we do it?  OK, OK, I know peers who didn’t have running water or electricity in the early 50’s.]


[In 1962, the folks added a 2nd floor with 4 more bedrooms and another bathroom!  The life of luxury.  You will note the tree of the left forms a “Y” – I would place kick field goals from the top of the steps through that “Y.”  We moved East in 1966 – Larry and Laura McCoy have lived in the house since then.]


[And with our 1954 Buick Century, the yellow rocket!]


[The stairway to the new 2nd floor.]


[Mom & Dad, before children invaded their lives.]

Grandson 001

[I was first, with Grandma and Grandpa Obert.  We weren’t in Alex yet.]




[But she was on the way!  😉 ]


[We were in Alex (Gretch was born here), but not yet in the Heights.]


[Ditto, though 1st-runner up, Douglas County family-of-the-year.]


[Ditto.  I’m guessing the basement of Moen’s on Hawthorne.]


[Christmas 1950, still living downtown.]


[Ditto.  Mom never much cared for shoes.]


[Still just the two of us, but we’re in the Heights now.  I have no recollection of cowboy boots?]


[We still have that Santa, though some the worse for wear!]




[It was always idyllic between my sister and me.  It was my firetruck and I wanted it back!]


[Happy again!]


[Award winner!]


[Mom behind the screen door, and, if memory serves, that’s Seim’s cocker spaniel, Katy.]


[I won that minnow bucket from a Cowing-Robards fishing contest for my monster sunny!  That’s some bad hat, Tom!]


[A dog and his boy!  Sounds kinda Jack London-y.  Well, he was Buck.  And we’re in the Heights.]


[Lake Victoria was notoriously not a swimming lake – so we all ran through the sprinklers to cool off in the summer.  Still has to be 1955, so I’m kinda surprised to see Brandenberg’s house was there behind us at the time.]


[I was an early proponent of not exposing one’s navel in public.  Of course, that gets worse as you age.]


[Cam appears to have something devilish in mind.  Hide your valuables!  Chris models an early Speedo.]]


[The next year in Reading, Massachusetts.  Dad had a one-year Harvard fellowship.  We returned to Alex and the Heights the following year, 1957.]


[“Our” house in Reading, taken on a return trip 30-some years later.  The residents came over and challenged me as to why I was photographing their house.  I explained I used to live there, which I guess made it OK.  We went back later and TP’ed the house!  😉 ]


[Somebody’s 5?  Is it the HQ?]


[Sister Gretch, Buck, and me.  Could be a book title?  I think the going rate for a tooth in those days was a nickel.]


[Gretch in her gypsy phase.]

About tomobert63

The Journey Begins Thanks for joining me! This is the follow-up to the original, “,” which overwhelmed the system’s ability to handle it any more. Thus, this is “Part 2.” As the original was initially described: 10-26-07-4 “It all began in a 5,000 watt radio station in Fresno, California” . . . wait a minute, that was Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore Show! Let’s see . . . oh yeah, it all began in 2003 when retirees, i.e., old people, in Alexandria, Minnesota, who had no desire to become snow birds, went looking for mid-winter entertainment here in the frozen tundra of West Central Minnesota. We discovered girls’ high school hockey, fell in love immediately, and it remains our favorite spectator sport to this day. Initially, and for several years, reports on these games were e-mailed to those who were actually snowbirds but wanted to keep abreast of things “back home.” It was ultimately decided a blog would be more efficient, and it evolved into a personal diary of many things that attracts tens of readers on occasion. It remains a source of personal mental therapy and has yet to elicit any lawsuits. ~ The Editor, May 9, 2014 p.s. The photo border around the blog is the Cardinal girls’ hockey team after just beating Breck for the state championship in 2008. It’s of the all-tournament team. The visible Breck player on the left is Milica McMillen, then an 8th-grader – she is now an All-American for the Gophers. The Roseau player in the stocking cap I believe is Mary Loken, who went on to play for UND; and the Cardinal player on the right, No. 3, is Abby Williams, the player we blame most for making us girls’ hockey fans who went on to play for Bemidji State. *********************************************************************************** Photos contained herein are available for personal use. All you have to do is double click on any of the photos and they will become full screen size. You can then save them into your personal “My Pictures” file. They make lovely parting or hostess gifts, or holiday gifts for such as Uncle Ernie who wants to see how his grand niece is doing on the hockey team. If any are sold for personal profit, however, to, for example, the Audubon Society, National Geographic, Sven’s Home Workshop Monthly, Curling By The Numbers, or the World Wrestling Federation, I only request that you make a donation to the charitable organization of your choice. You have two hours and fifteen minutes. Pencils ready? Begin! **********************************************************************************
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1 Response to Victoria Heights, The Early Years [* Still under construction]

  1. Taryn says:

    Love the photos of early Victoria Heights. First the ones where you are wearing shorts at Christmas. Very daring, and could explain why you enjoy shoveling snow so much, and staying the winter in Alex.
    Also, Victoria Heights was the place to be in the early 50’s. My Aunt and Uncle bought a lot, and then, with a change of heart, he bought a lot on Lake Le Homme Dieu for $800. They sold the Victoria Heights lot. The Le Homme Dieu lot was so far out of town, the bank wouldn’t give him a building loan to put a house on it. No one would want a house out there.

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