|Houses were built so fast that it is said a man could go to work and upon returning home, not be able to identify his home’s location due to newly constructed, identical houses.
What was it then, that would set one house apart from another? Sometimes, the husband would take possession of the house and leave it to the family to create the home. With these wives and children having a house to come to, they would bring seeds, plant clippings and soil as they knew they would have little resources for this type of thing. The individuality of the gardens is what set one house apart from another and helped to make the house a home.
I have a photograph of my grandparents’ house circa 1934, the Godbey’s home at 609 Avenue L with a beautiful hollyhock in the front yard. From Erma Godbey’s garden, the seeds were transferred to Joe and Laura Kelly’s yard. They shared them with Lisa Bereny, another resident of Avenue L. The hollyhocks in my yard are from this same source. Over the years it is impossible to know how many other neighbors these seeds were shared with. I can’t say for sure.
So what does this have to do with Spring Jamboree? At the 31’ers Educational Outreach Post at Spring Jamboree, the 31’er Team will have a station for children to plant hollyhocks believed to be from these original plants. Children will hear the story of how people brought their seeds, clippings and soil to start gardens in Boulder City in the 1930s.
It is with educational outreach like this that the Boulder City Recreation Department acknowledges the theme for the 2010 National Preservation Month in May, which is “Old is the New Green.” You can’t ask for a more grassroots movement than this to educate Boulder City about the importance for Boulder City historic preservation and to keep the 31’ers stories alive.