Jim Sheahan Remembers
My parents bought a new house at 2420 Tunlaw Road in 1940 for $7,500. At the same time, my mother’s brother bought the house next door at 2418 but he never lived there. He rented it out until he sold it in the late 1980s. My parents bought the house on the other side of ours at 2422 in 1960 for $18,500. It was rented out until it was sold in the late 1990s. I lived at 2420 Tunlaw until 1967 when I got married. That house stayed in the family until it was sold in 1994.
Jim Sheahan in the front yard of 2420 Tunlaw Road, 1947.
Jim’s brother Jack, 1947.
Hannah Sheahan, with her sons Jim and Jack.
John P. Sheahan and Hannah, with Jim, Jack and Sheila, in the backyard, 1946.
John and Hannah, with Jack and Sheila.
Easter at 2420 Tunlaw Road.
There was an alley across the street from the front of our house that led to 37th Street. I probably walked through that alley at least twice a day every day going to “the Avenue” (Wisconsin). In the back of our house was an alley that led to Observatory Place on the west, to Beecher Street and to Calvert Street on the north, and to Benton Street on the south. There was a lot behind our house where we played stickball, hide-and-seek, dodge ball, etc.
We built Christmas tree forts on our lot every January. There were three Jewish families near us on Tunlaw (Porton, Gross and West) and their boys enjoyed the fort as much as anyone. Mr. West ran a clothing store in a building next to Dixie Liquors on M Street.
The Calvert Theater was the place to be every Saturday afternoon for the double feature movies. Sometimes there were serials, newsreels and cartoons too, with previews of next week’s attractions, all for a quarter.
Occasionally, the boys at the Industrial Home School (now the Guy Mason Recreation Center) across the street would be marched into the Calvert Theater on a Saturday and sit in a section with guards around them. You had to move if you were in that section and we hustled to get to the other side of the theater.
I certainly remember “Bow-Wow”. All the kids were afraid of him even though he never gave us any cause to be afraid. There was another black man in the neighborhood and he was the maintenance man at the small apartment building at the corner of Benton Street and Observatory. His name was Charlie and he lived in the basement of that building. These were probably the first two black people I ever met. Of course, we played with whatever kids lived in the apartment house, but nobody seemed to stay too long.
I went to kindergarten at Stoddert in September 1948 and Miss White was the teacher. In comparing notes with Frank Walker, it appears we were in that class together along with Frank’s sister Judy, since we were all born in 1943, and Frank remembers being in Miss White’s class. I still have my kindergarten report card, signed by G.S. White. From first grade on, I went to Holy Trinity Grade School, where I met my lifetime buddies Joe Saour, Jimmy Porter and Johnny Bodson.
Yes, these are fond memories and they come full circle with the weekly reunion of the ROMEO Social Club at the Quarterdeck Restaurant every Tuesday.
The citation and acknowledgement of my research is greatly appreciated.
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The support of the Advisory Neighborhood Council (3B) is gratefully acknowledged.