Fernwood.

This was my Grandma Hedy’s house in Westland, Michigan.

We stopped here today.

This is a sacred spot for our clan McKolay.

My dad is the third born of 15 children. The home in the above shot was where these 15 kids (and their kids) came up. Backyard parties and baseball games  and swimming in the pool…. and Grandpa Steve sitting in the kitchen cooking- eggs and bacon in an electric skillet.

The stories I could call upon are endless. As I looked at the house today I could mentally trace the interior-.

Upper level = Annie’s room (used to be Peter’s room), Madeline and Sally’s room (closet full of clothes)- Grandma Hedy’s red room, the bathroom….What used to be uncle John and Charlie’s room with the guy in the barrel, (we’d stare at the wooden barrel guy’s wooden shwang)- the laundry shoot and the twisty staircase with green carpet- .

Then there is the livingroom- all of the kid’s senior portraits are placed throughout. There’s the old hidden stereo cabinet thing that I think eventually went away.

The kitchen was separated from another sort of TV space by an metal fence- (it was black) and an open counter space- you could do the dishes and watch TV. Hanging in the kitchen were measuring cups that looked like red peppers and a stocking sort of thing that had the wooden carved saying of “Las Vegas Fund” hanging from a dish rack. In the TV room space was is a fireplace and a coo coo clock and a GIANT red-ish-orange sectional.

The TV of the TV space was big, the kind with the big knob you had to use to change the channel- we watched (a room full of aunts and uncles and cousins) Steel Magnolias and An American Tale on VHS in this room. There was a sliding glass door that led to the backyard-, which my Grandmother- (mother of 15) had decked out with walking stones and flowers- it was amazing!

There was an above ground pool with a deck off the side, we’d jump off this deck into the “deep end”….we would dive for pennies. The house butted up against a big baseball diamond, which butted up against St Richard’s Catholic Church- where my parent’s were married.

And there’s more! I didn’t even get to the basement – not to mention stuffed cabbage and coco puffs(!) morning candy bar runs and Robert Goulet(!),

but like I said- I could keep going and going-

this part of my memory is endless… FERNWOOD! XO.

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4 responses to “Fernwood.

  1. John M Mckolay

    The family reunions at this house were epic. How lucky was I to have a dad who had a brother with 15 kids. I was pretty young but I will always remember my aunt and uncles house with the pool , ball diamond,and army of cousins

    • What is UP!!!!????? How are you? As you see I was just in d-town…. I know- Fernwood was HUGE. My dad has old reels of film that document it all- I am sure you are in there!

  2. JOHN M. MCKOLAY

    LEIGH- Hey I am great. My daughter is 2yrs old and is thriving. I’m in the process of buying a house(macomb twp.) and a possible engagement ring for my girlfriend(who happens to be the mother of my daughter). I still work at childrens hosp.(14 yrs) and just being busy at home with the 2 princesses. How have you and your son been? I hope all is well. If I get the house you guys have to come and see us. all the best cuz J

  3. John- how do I get ahold of you? I am starting a grandpa steve/ mckolay blog. I want everybody to contribute! You could be the conduit for reaching that portion of the family? any tales? memories? of your dad too? pictures, news? etc.
    Here’s the web address…
    http://www.stevemckolay.tumblr.com

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