The Seabaughs and Sitting on the Roof in the Summertime

 

The Seabaughs were our next door neighbors on South Sprigg. The parents were Virgil & Maggie. Virgil was a stout man with brown hair and a round face who seemed to always be smiling or else concentrating on his thoughts. He was always kind and welcoming to me. Maggie was a woman with light brown short hair and she seemed always to have her apron on. She was working in the kitchen most of the time when I was visiting their home. She, too, treated me warmly and had a nice smile.

The Seabaugh children were Donnie (I think he was the oldest), Lonnie, Jimmy, and Linda (nicknamed “Luke”). I never could figure out why they called their sister Luke. The boys were always off doing whatever boys do and Linda and I were busy checking out the neighborhood.

Linda and I decided that we needed a club house (those Little Rascals really impressed us, didn’t they?) There was a perfect hide-out under the Seabaugh’s back porch, not high enough to stand up completely, but high enough to walk with a stooped back. It was dirty, had spider webs, and, of course the floor was dirt. We wanted to upgrade it so we found some plaster of paris from somewhere, mixed it up and started spreading it on the ceiling and the walls. It was looking lots better in there. But still, the floor was dirt and we needed to sit most of the time in there since we couldn’t stand up straight. So, we decided to plaster the “floor” also.

As you can imagine, plaster spread on dirt does not hold up well. But, we were kids, and we were happy with the look of it when we were finished. As time went by, our “floor” began to crack but we just lived with it. It was a pretty good clubhouse for us and we made our plans in there. I don’t remember what our “plans” were but I am sure they were exciting to us at the time.

Linda & I spent lots of time outside together during the spring, summer, and fall. We loved to pretend that we were riding horses; we galloped around holding imaginary reins and whinnying a lot. In the winter, we roller skated in her basement. We had those old metal skates that fit over your shoes, with a key to tighten up or loosen the clamps depending on how wide your shoe was. Back then, the furnace burned coal, so there were cinders all around the basement floor. When the metal wheels of the skates would hit one of those cinders, there was a gritty, grinding sound, and often I would find myself on the floor picking cinders out of my knees. But that did not stop us. Linda and I skated and sang songs while we were skating.

One of our favorite things to do was climb out the second floor window of Linda’s house in the summer evening. The window was just above the porch roof, a perfect place to sit and watch everyone going by on Sprigg Street on a warm summer night. Something about that seemed magical. We could see them but they didn’t notice us. I am sure we had little girl conversations up there but I don’t remember a single thing we talked about. I only remember how the humid summer air felt, seeing the lightning bugs all over the neighborhood, and watching and hearing the cars and trucks going by.

The Seabaughs were religious people and they often took me to their church with them on Sunday. It must have been a new congregation because they met in different buildings and the numbers in attendance were small. But, they could sure sing! Especially those Seabaugh boys. Jimmy later went on to work at Ford & Sons Funeral Home and sang at most of my family’s funerals; grand-parents, aunts & uncles. He had a beautiful voice. My mom had always said that she wanted Jimmy to sing “How Great Thou Art” at her funeral. Little did we know that he would pass away before Mom did.

The Seabaughs were great to live next door to and provided me with many happy memories of those days in the late 50’s and early 60’s on South Sprigg Street in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

If any of you know one or more of the Virgil and Maggie Seabaugh family, please let them know about this website. Thanks.
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2 Responses to The Seabaughs and Sitting on the Roof in the Summertime

  1. Mark Stuart says:

    Darla, a friend and I purchased the Seabaugh house in 1979 after it had had a fire and remodeled it. We were going to resell, but interest rates went real high at that time, so we rented it out. Over the years, it slowly deteriorated and I finally donated the house and lot to Habitat for Humanity in 2009. They tore the house down and plan to use the lot in the future to build a small house on it. The Seabaugh house was large and the rooms on the main level were large, but the rooms upstairs were quite small. I remember your house before it was torn down. I believe it was green if I remember right. I am enjoying your blog, even though I did not grow up in the Sprigg area. Mark Stuart

  2. darlajune says:

    Thanks Mark for visiting the blog. I am sorry to hear that the house is gone but I am not surprised. The image from Google maps showed how it had deteriorated. When I checked Google Earth, the house was not there so I thought perhaps it had been torn down or burned down like our house did. Our house was very small inside. It had asbestos siding when we lived there and I think it had originally been white, but the dirt and age had turned it a grey color. The siding would crack off if anything hit it very hard. Imaging anyone living in a house covered with asbestos now! I hope you continue to visit the blog. I have lots of other posts planned.

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