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Saturday, October 23, 2010

SHOTGUN HOUSE

The shotgun house at one time was very popular, if you wish you can visit the shotgun house in Tupelo, Mississippi; that was the birthplace of Elvis Presley.

These types of houses were built through out the United States, and there were many variations of them.

You entered into the front room and then proceeded down a hallway on the side, with two bedrooms on the left. At the end of the hallway there was a kitchen and the bathroom. So the house consisted of a living room, a hallway two bedrooms, a kitchen and bath.

Two of my aunts and uncles rented one of them and it was crowded.  After awhile the closeness of the two families became an irritant and arguments followed, necessitating one family to move.

My other aunt and uncle lived in this house for many years, and if they had bought it instead of renting they would have owned it.

The house was built with an upstairs and the people up there also rented for a long time. The land lord was a black woman and was glad to collect the rent for all those years, for she never did any thing to upgrade it at all.

It didn’t have a water heater per se, but it had what would now be called an instant water heater. You would light it and make sure you turned it off before it blew up, but it did put out hot water as fast as you could use it.

My uncle usually had a good garden and he also raised chickens, this was a holdover from his youth in North Carolina where he was brought up by his mother. I don’t think living in the city for most of his life ever got the country boy out of him; for ever where he lived, he tried to do a little farming even if it was only a few square feet of land. There were two children born to them while they lived there, and I’m sure they continue to have memories of the first home they knew.

There were mostly good memories of the old shotgun mansion for it took good care of whoever lived there. You couldn’t say it was a fancy estate, but yet it had a charm of its own.

It doors were always eager to welcome strangers and many took advantage of its hospitality. We learned much from the old shotgun house for even though it wasn’t the most ornate of homes it was the best it could be and gave one hundred percent of itself to all who entered its portals. What more could you have asked of it?

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