I was born Stephen Brooks Winter. 1956 in New Orleans, Louisiana. At the Southern Baptist Hospital. I came home to 5343? Chestnut Street, 1st house on the left when you turn East off of Jefferson avenue. A two story duplex. I remember the phone number started with TW9 (TWin-brook-9).
How did I end up being born in New Orleans. My daddy (William Brooks Winter) and mother (Melba Joyce Langston) both are from Calhoun County in North East Mississippi. My brother (Michael Ray Winter) was born with a large percentage hearing lose. I'm not sure if they knew that at the time or found out later that was the reason he was “slow”. Mother's brother (Herbert James Langston) and his wife lived in New Orleans. They suggested that he would do better down there in a special school. That ended up being the Magnolia School. Mother told me after they tested Mike, she was told her son was not retarded. She told them she knew he was not retarded. That was when they realized the Magnolia School was a school for the mentally retarded. So I guess that may be when his hearing lose was found to be causing him to be slow in school. Michael finished 12 years of “schooling” in I think eight years. At LSD (Louisiana School for the Deaf) in Baton Rouge. From there he went to Delgado trade school in New Orleans. My oldest brother (Billy James Winter) stayed in Mississippi with Mawmaw (Edna Pearl Langston) and Pawpaw (Gilbert Lee Langston) to finish highschool.
I'm trying to remember and record real memories and not what I might think are from old photos too much. One of my earliest memories is me playing under the quilt that Mother was sewing at the time. Also being pulled in a wagon around the uneven terrain in front of the school on Jefferson Ave, McDonogh #14, (now Benjamin Franklin Mathematics and Science School). I'm not sure if it was my brother Billy or Michael doing the pulling. I can remember Michael “playing” dead a lot. I would slap him as hard as I could, and he would not move. He always tried to get me to drink coke with peanuts in the bottle, I never would. Billy used to fold my stroller down and make a car out of it, complete with a steering wheel, and push me around the house. I'm not sure how old I was during these events. I have a photo with me in diapers in the “stroller car”. Bosco chocolate milk drink mix was a favorite beverage. A favorite toy of mine, tricycle with a two wheel trailer comes to mind. Daddy added a motorcycle style windshield. One of the older kids up the street tore the clear plastic screen. Daddy thought I did it. The train set was very popular with Billy, Michael and Daddy. The first wreck (maybe the only one) we had was going to get more train tracks. It was raining, a city bus cut in front of us. We had a storage area under the stairs that I was not allowed to go in. Billy had a rebel soldier hat stored there that I would get out and play with. The stairs were in the 2nd room, then Mother and Daddy's room, after that was the kitchen. The first bad dream I remember was when I saw a large black and white worm with a hat and red bow tie on at the foot of my baby bed, just setting there smiling at me.
The man next door was very strong, lifting weights and such in the back yard. Maybe his name was Mr. Robertson I'm not sure. Back then some radio stations would go off the air at sundown. I always thought you had to turn them off or it would burn up the radio when the tone ended and static would come on. Daddy had to build a picket fence around the TV to keep me from turning the knobs. Mother took a picture of me by-passing the fence to get to those knobs. I guess that may be why we did not have a TV later on. Perhaps I tore it up.
My kindergarten teacher was Mrs Erickson. I got in trouble the first day of school. Our classroom had a bathroom with special size sink and toilets. I had no ideal one was not to go to the bathroom when a girl was in there. We would stay in school for half a day. Some of my classmates were Norman, Cindy, Janice lived on the street right behind the school. A girl that lived a house or two away from our house was Yvette. She may have baby sat me. Billy's girlfriend Bonny lived up that way also.
I think “The Major” lived near here. He gave us some old furniture ( a secretary, small wooden “icebox”, Rex statuette and vases to name a few). Mother said he did that cause he knew we would take care of that kind of stuff, and his kids would not.
This house had a sidewalk on the west side that leads to the backyard. The window in the living room was the one I fell out of on to that sidewalk. I would sit on the back of the couch and lean back on the screen. I guess it gave way and out I went. Now that I think of it I remember mother telling this story, and the house painters took the screens off. The back porch “shed” had an old toilet with the tank up high. To flush you would pull a chain, I guess this was the original bathroom for the house or maybe the servant’s bathroom. I had a sandbox. I don't remember any type of swing set. The first dog I remember was a beagle. Tina was her name. I guess we lived here until 1961. I think we had to move because the house was being sold. The new owners didn't want to rent it out. I can't imagine a 4 1/2 year old knowing that.