Sunday, April 19, 2015

Memories of Julian Avenue

Can you hear the laughter of children?  Can you hear the call of the train?

Steve Lawton moved away from Irvington in 1945 when he was three years old. He remembers little about the neighborhood except his mother's warning to stay away from the railroad tracks.  Burrell and Emma Lawton moved into 5915 Julian Avenue in 1939. Their two sons, Bill and Steve, frequently played with many other children along the avenue on warm summer days.  The Pennsylvania Rail Line was located only one block south of the Lawton home and could easily be accessed by the children by walking down an alley.  Other kids in the neighborhood had been struck by trains so Mrs. Lawton's fears were well-founded.  The Lawton family dog, "Patches," met his untimely end along the tracks sometime in 1944.

Edward and Georgia May Lollis and their son Ted lived next door at 5919 Julian Avenue. Young Ted (also known as Edward Wesley Lollis II) frequently played with Bill Lawton. Photos from the Lawtons reveal that many young families dwelled along Julian Avenue in the late 1930s and early 1940s.  Ted Lollis, who can be seen in some of the Lawton photographs, recalled leaving his second story bedroom window open on summer nights and falling asleep to the sound of the trains passing nearby. His family would soon leave the large American Four Square at 5919 Julian Avenue for other homes further west at 5866 and 5872 Julian Avenue. (more on this story in a future post)

After the Lawtons moved out of Indianapolis, the young boys never spoke again until seventy years later for this blog post. All three of these Julian Avenue kids went on to complete advanced college degrees and have successful careers.    Mr. Lollis now operates a website devoted to peace monuments. I have included that link below. He was a former American Consul in Bordeaux and has operated two successful businesses. Bill Lawton, who passed away in 2011, earned Ph.D in Statistics and worked for Kodak for many years. Steve Lawton earned his Ph. D in Education and taught for the University of Toronto and the University of California, Berkley.  Not bad for three guys who began life along Julian Avenue in Irvington...

Bill Lawton and Ted Lollis (5919 Julian Avenue) helped Burrell Lawton wash "Patches" in the backyard of 5915 Julian Avenue in 1940.  

Sandbox Fun!  Bill Lawton and Ted Lollis in the backyard at 5915 Julian Avenue in 1940. You can see the trellises that hosted Mrs. Lawton's roses.  

"Patches" Gets a Bath:  Ted Lollis and Bill Lawton "assist" Burrell Lawton in the backyard at 5915 Julian Avenue in 1940.

Backyard Dog Wash:  Ted Lollis, Bill Lawton and Burrell Lawton in 1940 (5915 Julian Avenue)

Bill Lawton and Ted Lollis played in the sandbox under the shade of a tall apple tree in 1940. Behind the kids, you can see both the Lawton home at 5915 Julian Avenue and the Lollis home at 5919 Julian Avenue.  

Bill and Steve Lawton played in the backyard of the Lawton home at 5915 Julian Avenue sometime in 1942 or 1943. Behind the brothers, you can see the rear of 128 South Arlington Avenue.  
I am indebted to the generosity of both Steve Lawton and Ted Lollis for sharing their memories and images of Julian Avenue.  To access Mr. Lollis's Peace Monuments website click on the following link:

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