Remember When: ‘On the Street Where You Live’
Published 2:00 pm Friday, June 30, 2023
Much has been talked about concerning the upcoming sidewalk project about to take place on the block around the Andalusia High School campus. Mayor Johnson stated that the entire neighborhood in the residential vicinity would benefit from the construction of this 1.1 mile walking path that should be completed possibly by the end of the summer. There will be joggers, walkers, bicyclers, runners, and talkers enjoying the trail. Neighbors will greet neighbors. Students will make memories as they exercise for their sport or just make the trek for fun. Teachers might even unwind after their day in the classroom.
In 1956 the popular Broadway musical “My Fair Lady” featured a song with music by Frederick Lowe and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, “On the Street Where You Live.” The song became a big hit, and many people today still remember the words and recognize the lilting tune.
Here are some of those lyrics – “I have often walked down the street before, but the pavement always stayed beneath my feet before. All at once am I several stories high knowing I’m on the street where you live. Are there lilac trees in the heart of town? Can you hear a lark in any other part of town? Does enchantment pour out of every door? No, it’s just on the street where you live. …People stop and stare. They don’t bother me for there’s nowhere else on earth that I would rather be. Let the time go by. I won’t care if I can be here on the street where you live. Let me be on the street where you live.”
At one time, the Covington Historical Society charter president Joe Wingard, dreamed up a project where he assigned members to uncover stories about the citizens who lived on certain streets in Andalusia in various eras. He called the project, “On the Street Where You Live.” All kind of stories emerged like the milliner who decorated women’s hats who lived on the curve on River Falls Street, the adventures on the Lorraine curve on East Three Notch Street, the street with a city park that no longer has a church but is named Church Street, a Model T Ford wreck on one of the main streets, the residential street near Andalusia High School that once staged a 16th birthday “twist” party in the 1960s, or Prestwood Bridge Road where endless accounts of Conecuh River picnics and other social functions were remembered.
How many of us have fond memories of the street and the neighborhood where we grew up? As a native Andalusian (been here since 1899), am I the only person who rides by the house on Baker Street where my parents lived for a short time after I was born? Am I the only one who rides by our post World War II home where I learned to ride my tricycle up and down the sidewalk on Doyle Street? The street was not even paved then. Am I the only one who rides by the old homeplace on East Three Notch Court where my family lived for 43 years and where I learned to ride a bicycle and roller skate on that sidewalk ? A mule who during construction of the residence was delivering building materials to the site in the 1930s is buried in the front yard. It must have been in the summertime. Probably not is the most likely answer.
It has come to my attention that some readers of mine have asked me to write in my Remember When column about the neighborhood where they grew up. “So many stories and such good memories,” they state. These nostalgic friends are not only “lost in the 1950s”but also are vying to be the first neighborhood to be featured. Holy smoke!
I understand that they have invited their old childhood neighbors to come home for a weekend visit – kind of a reunion of neighbors. Pictures will be made with each resident standing in front of their former home. A group picture will also be taken as directed by (I’m going to call her) the “head neighbor.”
“The cat is going to be let out of the bag” now just so you readers will know. Sixth Avenue has won out. Dunson Street will be next and Third Avenue is a close third in line. By the time all of these tales are told to me and then written about, I may be run out of town! Help, where is Mr. Rogers? “Won’t you please? Please won’t you be my neighbor?”
Some of these stories are sure to be interesting. So stay tuned and reminisce with the former residents of these sidewalk neighborhoods when we Remember When.
Sue Bass Wilson, AHS Class of 1965, is a former choral music teacher and real estate broker. She is a long-time member of the Covington Historical Society and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.