On Vernon Avenue!

We lived at 7031 South Vernon Avenue from about 1967 to 1970 in Chicago. One sister had already flown the coop and the other two were married in 1968 while living on Vernon Avenue. Of course, we partied and celebrated both of those unions.

And then, there was just me with the parents. I graduated from high school in 1968 during the turbulent 60’s and that’s where we lived as several historical and tragic moments played out. But on a lighter note, it’s where we were when I bought my first car, a mint green 1960 Ford Falcon. I had saved $87 and Daddy gave me the other $13 to purchase the $100 car. Unbelievable.

I was working as a cashier at the High-Low Foods about a block away which was on the corner of 71st Street and King Drive. {Then called South Park Way). There were many shops along that stretch of 71st Street such as Harvey Collins BBQ place or his laundromat. We could walk about two blocks east and get a small bag of hot shrimp of White’s Shrimp. Or, if me and my friend, Corliss walked west across King Drive, we could buy Mod watches with the interchangeable faces and straps to match our outfits. What fun!

During my last year of high school at Hyde Park High, I drove to school after having to catch two buses for a brief period of time. After I had the freedom of wheels, I shot west to 68th and Stewart to Chicago State College. It became a university right before graduation in 1971. (Hurray!) Sometimes, I drove with one eye open because we had been out dancing all night at the Concept Ballroom at 79th and Halsted. Then, we would go over to the White Castle at 79th and Stony Island and hang out into the wee hours of the morning. My mother said, “Fine. As long as you make that 8:00 AM class.” I always did.

I advanced from the locally owned High Low Foods to the nationally known A & P Foods which was located on 71st, far east close to Jeffrey Avenue. I rang the register all the way through college. I sped past the Oak Woods cemetery wall every time, never dreaming that it would one day be the resting place for both of my parents. Selah.

I missed out on many weekend out-of-town trips because I was always studying or working, but I was on a mission. But for fun, we often went in carloads to the movies or even to the US 30 drag races to see the races and the funny cars. Our favorite eateries were driving up to get hot fish from Lawrence Fisheries off of 18th Street. Or we’d jump on the Calumet Expressway (Now the Bishop Ford) and go for food at the Tollroad Oasis out off of I- 80/294. We were young and fearless and thought nothing about hopping on the Dan Ryan to get where we wanted to go.

The stories are endless but reliving even small bits of those years give me warm, fuzzy feelings. How glad I am to have had those great memories of days gone by!

Lynn M.
April 24, 2023

4 thoughts on “On Vernon Avenue!

  1. Lynn, it was a joy to read your Vernon post! Your high school experiences take me back to my own. You were blessed to have a dad to help you obtain a car at such a young age!


  2. Lovely, Lynn. I do so enjoy these memories of yours. This gives me a real flavour of your youth and how you spent your time. You’ve had a life well lived, my friend!


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