Saturday, April 30, 2016

Time for Play and Time for School in the 1920s

Dick Palmer grew up at 333 North Audubon Road as the nation and the neighborhood "roared."  His parents, Walter and Mary Fee Palmer, built a house in the decade as did hundreds of others especially north of Pleasant Run Parkway. Many Irvingtonians purchased cars during the 1920s so toy automobiles became popular gifts for children. Dick Palmer received his special present in 1925. He remained a car enthusiast for the rest of his life. In an image below, you can see him "driving" around in the backyard.  Two years later he received a toy airplane. Behind him in that photo, you can see the double at 338-40 and the dwelling at 344 North Audubon Road. His family had no way of knowing it in 1927, but  later during World War II, Dick flew B-25 Mitchell aircraft and even taught other pilots how to fly.

The 1920s were also important for Dick as he started school in 1927. Children along North Audubon Road attended School #57. Visiting the family in September of 1927 was his Aunt Nell Fee.  The Fees hailed from a prominent farming family near Clarksburg, Indiana in northeastern Decatur County. Nell and Mary Fee's grandfather, John G. Fee, was one of the founders of Berea College in Kentucky. Aunt Nell's timing for her visit could not have been more perfect as Dick was afraid to go to school. She told him that she would escort him to the building and she gave him a dime to put in his pocket. As young Dick walked up the stairs of School #57, he turned back to give his Aunt the dime, but she told him to keep it and he was to show it to her upon his exit later that day. Dick Palmer thrived at school. He later graduated from Arsenal Tech High School and Miami University in Ohio.

Dick Palmer received his toy car gift in 1925. He "drove" it around in the backyard of his home at 333 North Audubon Road. 

Dick Palmer and a friend posed for this photograph in 1927 after receiving his new airplane as a gift. Behind the boys, you can see the double at 338-40 North Audubon Road and the residence at 344 North Audubon Road. The Karns family dwelled on one side of the double and the Johnson family lived at 344.  The 1927 city directory noted that one side of the double was vacant.  

Dick Palmer posed for this photograph in 1927 in his front yard at 333 North Audubon Road on his first day of school.

Dick Palmer posed for his family in 1927 in the backyard of 333 North Audubon Road in 1927. His  supportive Aunt Nell Fee walked  with him to school that day. 

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