Monday, April 24, 2006
Knotty Pine Basements
My daughter and her husband recently purchased a house and moved out of our home and made us real empty-nesters. It is a nice cape with a garage, 3 bedrooms up and a Florida room attached to the living room. Really nice, older neighborhood. Behind them is a home built in the early 1700’s. Their house was built in the late 1940’s. I did the inspection on the house before purchase and when I went down stairs I almost fell over. The basement was finished off and all done with Knotty Pine Boards. I immediately harked back to 1958 and a sock hop one of my girl classmates held in the basement of her house. It looked just like this basement. I must have been in a hundred of those type of basements and all looked identical. Some were finished in paneling and some with Knotty Pine boards. My father finished ours with blue stained Knotty Pine. Back then, no one built family rooms but finished off their basements instead and we all had some type of party in them. It was great as the parents were upstairs and we were downstairs. Occasionally mom and dad would come down bringing more snacks but usually they stayed upstairs and yelled down, ever so often, to turn the record player down. They were record players then, spinning out 45RPM’s. If a girl hosted the party they were called Sock Hops and if a guy hosted the event it was called a Make-out Party. Sock Hops were in the same era as clothing with buckles on the back. First it was mainly pants from the Ivy league colleges and then everything followed. There were socks, shirts, shoes, caps, you name it and they put a buckle on the back. A closed buckle meant you going steady with someone and an open buckle meant you were available
We never had any parties at my house because I thought my Mom and Dad were to straight-laced to let me have one. In my Junior year Mom wanted to know why I never had one? In typical teenage fashion I just shrugged my shoulders, looked at the floor and said “Golly Jeeze, I don’t know”. She insisted and I had a pretty good one. Don’t remember who brought the bottles but it sure made an interesting party. Mine was pretty lame compared to my little brother Gary’s party, when he was my age. Mom and Dad were gone, out of town, and he lost control of the party. I knew it was a good party when he called me the next day wanting to know what electrician [to fix the light] to call and what plumber to get to unplug the toilet. He cleaned up and hauled out all of the beer bottles to the alley for pickup. He thought they would never know about the party. They knew because all of the neighbors ratted him out, because the plumber and electrician both gave the folks a bill, because the folks had reason to go to the alley with trash of their own and saw all of the bottles and the finishing touch was finding that their bed had been “Slept In AIYEEEE”! As I said “My party was pretty tame compared to his”. Gary should have kept his party down in the basement like I did. Big brothers know best.