At home on Iroquois Avenue, Margate, NJ

17 Iroquois Avenue in Margate, September 2012

17 Iroquois Avenue in Margate, circa 1967. Notice the “Sale” sign in the front of the house.

Some places undergo much change and some places seem to stay the same.  Upgraded, but gently upgraded.  This is true about 17 Iroquois Avenue in Margate, where our grandparents moved to in 1967 (or maybe 1966).  They made the big move from Georges Lane in the Wynnefield section of Philadelphia to Margate, and this was a big win for Robin, Dale and me.  Come to think of it, dad probably bought the house for them, but they didn’t move in right away.  Maybe it existed as just a summer home for a year or so before Mom Mom and Pop Pop were ready to leave Philly.  We now had a place down the shore.  We could continue our tradition of spending our summers in Atlantic City (Margate being a “suburb” on the same Absecon island), and we could now visit our grandparents

the current owners take great care of “our” house. The sign for the house number looks unchanged from the old b&w shot. The windows are new, but keep the integrity of the original design. It all looks so inviting.

year round (on the weekends).  I shared a room with Pop Pop: two twin beds.  I have distant memories of the house: building a Frankenstein model on the dining room table; getting “Sgt. Pepper “- my very first album – for my eighth birthday in July 1967 (It remained my only album for about a year until I got another one); finding a toy machine gun in the garage shortly after we moved in.  It had some kind of rubber band device that replicated a bootleg “ratatatatatatat” sound.  Dad quickly disabled it, but let me keep the gun.  I think it was the only toy gun I ever owned.  Yea for me.

I’ve always found the grassy center strip in driveways appealing. Maybe it all stemmed from this house? In fact, the day of this visit – before we came upon the house – I photographed a driveway a few blocks away for the simple reason that it had a grassy center strip!  Some things linger. 

The house looked relatively unchanged as Dale, Robin and I approached it.  Except for the beach block, a lot of Margate and Ventnor has stayed the same.  On this block on Iroquois, there are some new homes (and one thing you notice is that the homes of newer construction have their electrical wires submerged).  Being by the house brought the three of us a lot of joy: it looked so particularly like the Margate we remembered.  Many houses had the awnings covering their porches – and lots of porches!  We thought back to those few years we lived here.  Robin was a baby, but Dale and I went to day camp, “Camp by the Sea,” which was located on Jerome Avenue a few blocks away (maybe it’s still there?)

Robin, Dale and mom in the front of the house, in the enclosed porch-like room (with windows on three sides). Looking at this shot, it all comes back (especially the chairs). Black & white tv was all there was.  This room always felt very cozy to me. 

I love this shot of Dale and the record player and stacks of records behind her. Allen Sherman records? Eddie Fisher? Mitch Miller?

I never remember playing baseball, but here I am wearing this dorky get-up Why do all boys this age act like they hate their picture being taken?

Memories of the house linger, but what is more memorable is time spent out of the house: on the beach, on the boardwalk, riding my bike on the sidewalks around and around and around the block.  These memories will continue onto our next move to 8206 Atlantic Avenue, just a few short blocks away.

The current owners seem to have a great sense of humor. The Lazaroff spirit still prevails. Mom Mom used to get so annoyed when dogs would poop on the lawn of their next house at 8206 Atlantic.


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