I grew up in southwest Minneapolis, 3 houses from Richfield and 2 streets from Edina. I remember as a small child playing in the huge dirt piles which were to become the future freeway Crosstown/Hwy. 62. Our houses were close together which meant all my friends were just a few steps away. My Mom would have coffee dates with the other Moms while we played in the backyards ~ dodgeball and Annie Annie Overs over the garages. My parents always let us play outside at night until dark and even then, there were so many street lights we could play forever in the summer. They would drop me and my friends off at Southdale Mall for an afternoon so we could have fun going up and down escalators (cheap entertainment). It was the first totally enclosed mall in the country opening in 1956 and 5 minutes from our house. We felt pretty darned special. As a high school student I was about as far away from Southwest High School as a student could be but I have very fond memories of walking home with my friends around Lake Harriet, stopping at the 31 Flavors for ice cream and enjoying summer days at the lake. We played tennis at Armatage Elementary and many other courts close by and bowled at the Lariet Lanes bowling alley. Our favorite haunt for girl chatting was the Bakers Square where friends were always waitressing.
I never noticed the sounds from the freeway (we were 3 houses from it) or the airplanes until I was much older and purchased my childhood home from my parents as they retired to a lake home in northern Minnesota, and even then it never really bothered me. I quickly got used to being back in my friendly neighborhood where I still called my friend’s parents “Mr. and Mrs.” even though I was over 30 years old. I never knew their first names but I always knew they were there to help if I ever needed it like trying to start my car, lawn mower or my snow blower. As an adult, I so appreciated living there because everything you could possibly want was a 5 minute drive away. Shopping at Southdale and many more shops in the area, several wonderful restaurants, movie theaters, and the beautiful lake strolls and bike rides along Lake Harriet, Lake Calhoun and Lake of the Isles.
Great memories of my old neighborhood will always be in my heart!