Evergreen Park! Definitely not fourth place in my heart, however. I always loved my cousins’ home, and was happy to live there for a short while. My childhood memories start to become a little clearer – we lived there from 1955 to 1956. There were two, out of a future five, Heneghan cousins at that time (now collectively known as the “Henegirls”), and my uncle’s job took them to Baltimore for a year or so. While they were gone, and while our neighborhood in Chicago was being built, we lived in their beautiful home in Evergreen Park.
While living in this house, I started kindergarten at the ripe old age of 4. I had my tonsils out. I remember when I came home from the hospital, I was allowed to sleep in the big bed on the first floor. Someone presented me with a Jack-in-the-Box that scared the hell out of me.
The years that followed included family parties and sleepovers, running through the “prairie” when we were told to stay away from there (it was actually just a vacant lot between houses, but we thought it was wonderfully exciting and dangerous), running away from snakes (there were a lot of garden snakes in Evergreen Park!), playing all the usual outdoor games, standing outside my friend’s house yelling, “yo-o-o Maureen” in that universal sing-song voice. At this house, we had our combined eighth-grade graduation party.
My favorite memories of this house are of my cousin’s teenage bedroom, which included the dormer in the front of the house, and a “secret passage” behind the paneling. We sang into our rat-tailed hairbrushes, and danced to “Walk Like a Man” by the Four Seasons. I learned how to do the stroll and the cha-cha. I learned how to smoke. We were both in the Brother Rice High School senior class production of Oklahoma, which meant I was able to spend more time sleeping over, since they lived a few blocks from the school.
My uncle designed this home, and it was sad to leave it behind when he moved the family to Wisconsin. But the memories never fade.
Next stop, 80th & Kildare in Chicago…