Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Let's Gather on the Front Porch

If only the porches and verandas of Irvington could sing a tune. The tales those pillars, railings, and stoops could tell would be longer than any ancient saga.  In the case of the small bungalow at 5024 East New York Street, the porch featured prominently in lives of the White family.  T. Newton and Pearl Seymour White moved into the dwelling in 1915. Soon, soldiers including T. Newton's brother, Glen, marched off to Europe to fight the Germans in World War I. Their two daughters both born in the 1910s came next. Mr. White operated a candy company and likely spent some evenings on the front porch with his wife talking about their prospects.  Their daughters, Virginia and Vivian, grew up in the house and spent many summer days on the porch with neighborhood friends.  As they dated, their beaus came by for a visit and at least one--Fred Azbell-- married Vivian White.

After the girls married, they frequently came home and in the case of Vivian she brought her new baby Barbara over for visits.  During World War II, Mr. White stepped in to help Fred Azbell with his auto parts distribution business while Fred served in the European sphere of the war. One can imagine the worrying conversations and letters read on the porch during that turbulent period of history. The photos throughout the 1940s and 50s show the grandchildren growing up and visiting their doting grandparents.  Sadly, by the 1950s the patriarch of the family, T. Newton White started suffering from health issues. One of the last photographs ever taken of him was snapped on the front porch of 5024 East New York Street in 1956 with two of his grandchildren, Barbara and Ricky Azbell. Mrs. White would continue to dwell in the house for another fifteen years.

The White family's front porch looked quite inviting with wicker furniture and a tasteful awning to keep away the summer sun.  Would you like some iced tea?  Let's gather on the front porch and catch up on the news.

Inviting porch:  The White home at 5024 East New York Street c1940

Stylish hat:  Vivian White Azbell and her daughter Barbara Azbell dropped by the White house at 5024 East New York Street on September 19, 1943.

Pensive Granddaughter:  Barbara Azbell sat on the front porch of 5024 East New York Street in 1945.

Pearl and T. Newton White posed on the front porch of 5024 East New York Street in 1956. They had dwelled in the home since 1915.  Mrs. White would continue to own the home until 1971.  

Proud Grandpa:  Ricky Azbell posed with his Grandpa T. Newton White on the front walk at 5024 East New York Street in 1955.  

The Last Photo?:  With his health failing, T, Newton White posed with his beloved grandchildren, Barbara and Ricky Azbell, in 1956.  He would pass away in the same year at the age of 64.  
You may learn more about the White home by clicking on the link below.  The historic images are courtesy of Barbara Azbell Sanders (seen above).

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