I'm not sure how old I was, maybe 3 1/2 or 4 years old. My Uncle Chuck was building his own house and work had progressed far enough that the family was able to move in. Mom and Dad, along with Aunt Margie and Uncle Stan, decided to go visit.
I don't know what was required to get a C of O back in the mid to late sixties, but I do know that not everything was totally finished. The town had come along and found the family "camping" on their own property just about the time they were ready to move into the house. No finished flooring had been laid and it seemed like years to me before any linoleum was put down. The basement door had not yet been put in place and a curtain hung over the empty space.
I remember it almost like it was yesterday, seeing the curtain hanging there, and then for some reason known only to a four year old, I leaned on it. The immediate trip to the bottom of the steps is a bit of a blur, but I suppose it was back then too. Mostly I recall the sudden stop at the basement floor and how completely and utterly foolish I felt. It must have hurt at least a little, and was certainly frightening, I know I cried, and for a time had the attention of every adult in the house, which only made matters worse.
My Uncle Stan tried to comfort and distract me with a bag of Hershey's Kisses but the still childlike introvert inside couldn't stand all the attention. (And just like we would do today, someone thought to grab the camera and record the moment.) Poor Uncle Chuck must have been terribly embarrassed too, and I'm sure he felt responsible, but I never blamed him. I may have been silly enough to lean on a curtain, but I was old enough to know it too.
5 hours ago