Monday, March 24, 2008

Goodbye, 1661 Capistrano

1661 Capistrano Avenue in Glendale is a special place. It sits very stately on a corner in one of the most desired and charming neighborhoods imaginable in Southern California. Frank and Dottie Harasick (Rich's parents) had been married just a few years when they bought this little cabin home over 60 years ago. They soon remodeled and expanded it to make room for children, and they had three: Jamee was born in 1956, Kristen in 1959, and Rich in 1961. They were all raised here in this one place, and as the years went on, eventually moved out and onto a life of their own. The grandchildren then started to come around: Jordan (1984), Amy (1986), Brady (1989), Drew (1991), Kyle (1992), and Emma (1993). As empty nesters, Frank and Dottie enjoyed hosting many holidays and family events here, and all of us have many good memories of so much time spent here. From our photo collection, there is the shot of Rich riding his tricycle circa age 3, him climbing a tree as a young boy, and posing before the senior prom (ruffled shirt/brown tuxedo). There is the picture of him standing proudly besides his 1960's VW bug, and then later standing up inside the jeep we had when first married (also wearing a tux for some event). Then there are the precious photos of our children there with their grandparents: lean and lanky Brady playing basketball in the driveway, pudgy toddler Drew picking tomatoes in the garden with Papa, and little Emma running around the spacious park-like yard in a summer dress. There are tons of holiday photos of kids opening Christmas stockings and opening plastic Easter eggs full of goodies. Much took place at 1661 Capistrano.

In 1998, Frank passed away; Dottie continued to live here on her own quite independently for over 9 more years. Dottie and Frank were true sweethearts, and she was, understandably, never the same without him. But, she loved her home and desired to stay in it. Then, last summer, after a brief illness, she passed away as well, leaving the house to her three children. It was agreed that it would be sold, and we all spent many months going through a house full of things - some that had been there for 60 years. Decisions were made, possessions were divided, and slowly but surely the house was cleaned out, cleaned up, and readied for sale.

We recently listed and sold the house. A very eager buyer came forward after the house was on the market just a few short days. The offer was solid and the house is scheduled to close escrow this Thursday, March 27, on interestingly what would have been Dottie's 86th birthday.

So, last week, we made one last trip to the house to retrieve last items and to share lunch together with some family. We took pictures and shared both laughs and tears. It was an emotional time. I have to say, that I got very choked up upon finding my husband sitting alone on the wood floor in his empty old bedroom, for the last time. He was just looking around at the barren walls, and I wondered how he felt. He had spent his whole childhood in this little back bedroom, complete with green/metallic striped wallpaper and shag carpet. In later years it had been a storage room for extra furniture, and in more recent years, transformed into a neat and tidy little guest room, but it will always be Rich's bedroom to him. It was definitely the end of the Harasick family's time in this house, and it was profound to see him in his room for the last time.

Below are some photos of our day. As you can see, the grandkids are pretty grown up now.

1661 Capistrano no longer belongs to us, but the memories we have will always live in our hearts.

Mickelson clan L to R: David, Lindsey(Jordan's wife), Amy, Jordan, Kyle, Kristen

Harasick Fam

Grandkids L to R: Jordan, Emma, Drew, Amy, Kyle

Amy Leigh and Emma Leigh - same gene pool?

Rich - last time in his room.

1 comment:

French Green Bean said...

Oh my goodness Karen! I am chocked up reading this. That last picture of Rich...I am teary. It is so beautiful to see what Rich's parents built together. I know their spirit of love and home is carried on in your home.