Right after Google Earth was released in 2005, I thought that it would be interesting to see if I could locate all of the places that I lived over the past 50 years (1955-2005). I collected snapshots of satellite pictures of the places that I resided and schools that I attended as kid. Six years later I finally got around to putting it all together in a presentation that documents these shots. In each of the shots the pictures are oriented facing the front of the structure. On most of the pictures there is compass rose showing the orientation of the map. If you hover your mouse over some of the maps you will see tips regarding some of the features.
Washington, DC (1955)
I was born in Washington, D.C. in 1955 at the Georgetown University Medical Center on the banks of the Potomac river. On this image south is in upper part of the picture; so that Roosevelt Island and Arlington, Virginia are at the top of the picture. Embassy row is on the left-hand side of the picture and the Naval Observatory (the veep's house) is just off the bottom of the left-hand side of the picture. Hover your mouse over the image tips on features
Fort Worth (1956-1960)
We lived briefly in St Louis after leaving D.C., but by September 1956 we were living in Ft. Worth. We lived on Fuller Ave from 1956 to 1960. There are two photos on below. The first is at a higher altitude because I want to point out a significant feature in the neigborhood that I clearly remember.
Down the street from our house on Fuller avenue was a park. I clearly remember that one evening in 1959 when I was about or four or five years old that my mother, I, my brother and another woman and her children took a walk over to the park. We followed the path in the park all the way to back of the park where it ended at an embankment that went up to a street. Up above us between two hills I could see a railroad trestle. I remember being very excited to learn that right down the street from my house was this railroad bridge. I thought to myself any moment now we would see a train coming across that bridge. I waited and waited while my mother and the woman stood chatting, but a train never appeared. Finally my mother said that it was starting to get dark and that we should go home. I was not at all happy about this and I proceeded to throw a temper tantrum that I was by now infamous for.
In the picture on the right you will see six streets running right to left from the right-hand side of the picture. Fuller avenue is the third street from the top. Towards the middle of Fuller avenue you see where the park begins and looking at the upper left corner of the picture you will see the train trestle.
In the second picture below, Fuller avenue is the middle street running right-to-left. Our's was the 4th house from the corner.
Wharton, Texas (1960-1963)
In 1960 we moved to Wharton, Texas and lived in a big white plantation-style house on Fulton Ave. On the left is the Colorado river (the one in Texas). Behind the house you can see Wharton County High School - Go Tigers!
Below is a street-level view of the Fulton street house
Pech Road., Houston, Texas (1963-1964)
In 1963 we moved to Houston, Texas where my father took a position as the administrator of Sam Houston Memorial Hospital. We lived in a small wood frame house on the grounds of the hospital. When I first looked at this picture I thought that the house was longer there, but upon closer examination I found that I could see the foundation of the house which appears to have still been there when the picture was taken. The house sat directly behind a K-Mart (larger structure in center of picture). If you hover your mouse over the picture it will help in indentifying where the house was.
Pech Road is at the lower part of the picture, Hillendahl Road is in the upper part of the picture and Long Point Blvd is on the left of the picture. On the corner of Hillendahl and Long Point was one of the first Jack-In-The-Box resturants which appears to still be there. The large building in the center of the picture was a K-Mart in the 1960's, but judging by the lack of cars in the parking lot it may no longer have been a K-Mart when the picture was taken. On the corner of Pech Rd and Long Point is the grave of Mister Hillendahl, the farmer who originally owned all this property. Below this is a second picture that shows the detail of the house's foundation.
This second picture shows the foundation of the house in the left of center of the picture. Again hover your mouse over portions of the picture for help in indentifying the structures.
Valley Oaks Elementary School (1963-1965)
In the center of the picture is Valley Oaks Elementary where I attended school from 1963 to 1965. The school sits on Westview Dr. To the left of the school is Pech Rd and to the right of the school is Hillendahl Rd. If you follow Pech Rd down to the bottom of the you can see that it ends at a foot bridge that crosses Spring Branch creek. When I was in the fifth grade I was a crossing guard and the best crossing guard assignment was to guard the foot bridge and make sure that no kids messed around over there.
Suburbia Street (1964-1965)
In 1964 my Dad left Sam Houston Hospital to work for St Joseph's Hospital in downtown Houston. My parents decided to have a house built and while the house on Cedarbrake was being built we lived in this scarry little house on a dead-end street called Suburbia. It is hard to tell from this picture, but it appears that the house is no longer there. I remember that when we lived here my favorite television show was The Munsters and I thought that our dark house in the woods was as scarry as Mister Munster's TV house on Mockingbird lane. Back then Westview Dr (right/left) ended at Wirt Rd (up/down) and on the other side of Wirt was the dead end street called Suburbia. On the southwest corner of Westview and Wirt was a Unitarian Church (right center). Across Wirt from the church and next to our house was a large wooded lot. The wooded lot now has an L-shaped building on it. Sometime in the 70's Westview was extended and Suburbia street ceased to exist. The red roofed buildings on the right of the picture were part of a Montessori school next to the Unitarian church.
Cedarbrake Street (1965-1973)
From 1965 to 1973 we lived on CedarBrake street. In this picture you can barely make out the street because the foliage of the trees hides most of it (Houston is a semi-tropical jungle). In the upper part of the picture is Voss road running left to right and on the bottom of the picture is Bingle road running left to right. Cedarbrake is a dead-end street off on Bingle road that ends in a cul-de-sac and our house was at the end of the cul-de-sac.
In the upper center of the picture is a U-shaped structure. This is an apartment building on Voss road that sat right behind our house. On the right third of the picture you can see see Merlin street that runs between Bingle and Voss. Because of the foliage you can not see Cedarspur street (left third) which enters from Voss but below Cedarspur you can see what appears to be a relatively new black-topped cul-de-sac coming off of Bingle. This street was not there in the 1960's. At the time there was old abandoned farm house known as Old Man Bingle's house. Across Bingle road was a large heavily wooded tract owned by Howard Hughes.
Spring Branch Jr. High School (1966-1969)
This is where I went to school from 1966 to 1969 (6th thru 8th grade). This picture must have been taken in the winter when all the grass in Houston turns brown (California dreaming?). That is Interstate 10 (Katy freeway) on the left. In this picture east is up and west is down. I knew back then that I-10 eventually ended at the pier in Santa Monica, California and most days back then I would dream of the day when I could just get on that freeway go all the way to Hollywood, California.
Spring Branch High School (1969-1973)
From 1969 to 1973 I went to Spring Branch High School. The school is located on Westview Drive in Houston, Texas. Across Westview is the town of Spring Valley which along with six or seven other little towns is completly surrounded by Houston. In the 1960's Houston was the largest city in the US in terms of area and not population. It has since been beat out by other cities such as Jacksonville, Florida and Indianapolis, Indiana.
Nassau Bay, Texas (1973-1974)
After I graduated from high school in 1973 we left the Spring Branch area of Houston and moved to Nassau Bay, a small community situated on a bayou across Nasa Road One from the Johnson Space Center. My dad work for the Space Center Memorial Hospital a few blocks away and we lived on Caprice lane in the smallest house in a town where a lot of astronauts lived. I remember one night meeting Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon.
Friendswood, Texas (1974-1975)
In 1975 when the Space Center Memorial Hospital went belly-up we could no longer live in Nassau Bay and moved southwest of there to a community near Friendswood, Texas. Friendswood is in Galveston county and this tract was just over the county line in Harris county. I only lived here for a few months and moved out on my own for the first time to share an apartment with a friend in Webster, Texas.
Webster, Texas (1975-1976)
In 1975 my girlfriend & I had broken up and things were not going well at home. So I left my parents home and move into an apartment in Webster, Texas. Webster is a small town just off the Gulf freeway (I-45) and was un-officially the gateway to the Johnson Manned Space Craft Center (NASA). When the astronauts landed on the moon and said "Houston we have landed" perhaps they should have said "Webster we have landed". On the left of the picture is Old Galveston Hwy. Southeast is in the upper part of the picture so if you were to follow that up it leads to Texas City and eventually to the bridge to the island at Galveston bay. Those strange looking "trees" in the upper part of the picture are high tension power lines.
West Palm Beach, Florida (1977)
In the winter of 1976 my parents moved to West Palm Beach, Florida. I could not take living in Houston any longer so I decided to follow my family to Florida. In West Palm Beach we lived on a canal on 42nd street. I really loved south Florida! There were alligators in the backyard, there was a Jai-li stadium down the street and I could walk around the corner and buy beer at anytime of the day or night. The only problem was I had no job, I was running out of money, and I was driving my mother crazy. So after only four months in paradise I decided to leave and join the army. Little did I know that while I was gone that my parents would leave Florida and move to California.
This is on the upper northwest side of West Palm Beach facing south. In the upper right of the picture is Lake Magonia. The large bluish ball in the picture is a huge water tower that looms over the area.
Fort Gordon, Georgia (1977)
In March of 1977 I entered the US Army and was sent to Fort Gordon Georgia for basic training. I spent the spring and early summer of that year there.
Fort Gordon, the training center for the the US Army Signal Corps, is just outside of Augusta, Georgia and near the Savannah river. This is a high up aerial photo that shows the entire base and surrounding area. You can clearly see the enormous 1.5 mile parade field that runs through the center of the post.
Fort Lewis, Washington (1977-1978)
In the fall of 1977 I drove across country from south Florida to Washington state making an almost diagonal zig-zag across the continental United States. My then destination, Fort Lewis, Washington, is located off of I-5 just south of Tacoma and about a 45 minute drive from Seattle. There I was stationed with the 9th Signal Battalion, 9th Infantry Division. We did most of our training in the large green area east of the fort. In March of 1978 we did go down to Fort Irwin, California and spend 28 days training in the desert. That is when I fell in love with southern California and especially the high desert.
This view shows Ft Lewis in the lower left. Interstate-5 runs diagonally from left to right. Steilacoom inlet is just north of Ft Lewis
Mangilsan, Korea (1978-1981)
In December of 1978 I was sent to South Korea and after spending about 4 months at Osan airbase south of Seoul I was sent to the Air Defense Command Post at Mangilsan. Mangilsan sits on a finger of a larger pennesula that sticks out from the east-central region of South Korea. There are two photos on this page. The first picture shows Mangilsan mountain (or Manil-san) and the nearby village of Taesan and the second picture shows the same only closer. The first picture shows that Taesan has grown considerably since Susanne and I lived there in 1979. You can see the salt farms that look like dark blue spider webs along the coast. Here the Koreans have built levies that allow the salt water to flow in and then evaporate to allow the sea salt to be collected and processed. You will notice that the water is so shallow along the coast that you can see the deeper channels below the water. This area has the one of the most extreme tidal flux in the world. I believe it is second only to the fiords of Norway.
I find this second picture of Mangilsan to be amazing. This is something that would not have been published in 1979. The white area in the center of Mangilsan mountain is a large radar complex at the top of the mountain (aprox 900 ft above sea level). This facility was at the time operated by the US Air Force & Army and its mission was to watch each and every aircraft flying over entire Korean pennesula from the tip of Japan to a far north as the Yalu river on the North Korea / Soviet border. I spent many a night from April of 1979 through to the end of 1980 sitting on top of Mangilsan mountain watching the skies above Korea.
Frontage Road, Southgate, California (1981)
When Susanne and I first came to California we lived for a few months at the lovely Thunderbird Villa mobile home park situated between the Long Beach Freeway and the Los Angeles River on the edge of beautiful Southgate, California. The mobile home park no longer exists but you can see the foundations of where it once was.
4th Street, Downey, California (1981)
We then moved into a tiny apartment on 4th and M a few blocks from Firestone Blvd. in Downey, California.
Artesia Blvd., Torrance, Calfornia (1982-1983)
Because Susanne and I both worked in south Los Angeles (she in Redondo Beach and I in Gardena), we moved into an even tinier apartment on Artesia boulevard in Torrance. The odd looking, 'F' on top of an 'E', structure in the center of this picture is the apartment building that we lived in.
Greenstone Ave., Norwalk, California (1983-1988)
As our daughter Christie was on the way, we decided it was time to buy our first house. In 1983 we bought a house in Norwalk, California just off of Rosecrans Avenue. That is the Santa Ana Freeway in the lower right corner.
Garretson Ave., Corona, California (1988-2005)
In 1988, just before Aaron was born, we moved to Corona, California and bought a house on Garretson Avenue just off Magnolia. We lived here for 18 years.
Bonsai Circle, Corona, California (2005-2011)
In 2005 we decided to buy a new home and moved three miles away to the south side of Corona to a new housing development at the base of the Santa Ana Mountains. That sandy colored half circle area at the top of the picture is a flood-control basin.
Las Vegas, Nevada (2011-)
In 2011, we moved to the Spring Valley area in southwest Las Vegas. Hover your mouse over the map to get tips on features of the Las Vegas area.