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Home / Neighborhood / San Gabriel Valley / Pasadena Independent / Dorothy’s Place: Neighbors

Dorothy’s Place: Neighbors

by Pasadena Independent
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By Dorothy Denne

We moved from the farm into town when I was seven. I wasn’t altogether happy with the move but we did have some great neighbors.

George Stegner and his wife, Della, lived across the street from us. I thought they were special. They had a front porch with a swing where George sat a lot and kept an eye on things. He was sitting there the day I set our house on fire.

I had ironed my hair ribbon before going to school and forgot to unplug the iron. It did not have a temperature regulator so it just kept getting hotter and set the ironing board cover aflame.

Daddy had worked the night shift so he was sleeping upstairs. George saw the smoke. He knew our door would not be locked so he tore across the street and into the house hollering at the top of his lungs. He and Daddy grabbed the dish pan and a bucket and had the fire out in no time.

I was not allowed to iron my ribbons before school again. I learned to wet them and wrap them around a drinking glass, where they dried nearly wrinkle free.

Next door to the Stegners lived two “old maid” sisters, Ida and Marie Brauning. Ida was a short, pudgy woman who wore heavy metal braces on her legs and a perpetual smile on her face. Marie was tall, straight, slender and as sober as Ida was smiley. I loved them both.

Even better than sitting on the porch with George and Della was sitting in the kitchen with Ida and Marie. You see, they ran a business in their home. They made and sold candy. They worked long hours making batch upon batch of delicious chocolates of every sort, crispy peanut brittle, and beautiful pink and green after-dinner mints. I sat in the kitchen and munched on all of them.


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