M is for Monterey

 This post continues a series using the Alphabet to go through streets that were significant in my life as part of the Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge.  I can’t believe we are half way through the alphabet already and that I have found a street for every letter so far.


Today I’m going to write about living on Monterey Street on the west side of Detroit. The house was between LaSalle Blvd and 14th street and in the same area as the Black Conscience Library’s Linwood location. Unfortunately by the time I lived here the library had moved to Grand River which was a bus ride away. Living here is one of those situations where I am thankful we made it out of there unscathed. It included living with supposedly reformed junkies who turned out not to be, a wandering wife, explosives in the basement and finally a beating of the wife. That was the day I left that house never to return.

The house as it looks today on Google maps. It wasn’t in quite that bad shape in 1971.
Daughter Jilo on the front porch.
I’m holding Jilo on the way to my sister’s graduation from Spellman College during the time we lived on Monterey.

This song always reminds me of that couple and the spring of 1971.

13 thoughts on “M is for Monterey

  1. I love your “blueprints.” Can’t imagine having the skills to create them. I know what you mean about the house looking much better in 1971. The house my Dad grew up in is about to fall down. In fact, it and the surrounding houses are currently for sale by a developer who intends to tear them down. I can’t fault them — they are in really bad shape.

    1. I just use photoshop and make a lot of squares within squares. you could do it. It’s a lot easier than matching the old and new photographs! It’s good to be able to have photographs of them before they fall down. I was not good about taking photographs as I lived in most of these houses. I’m better now.

      1. I just queried my source for information and he says that a radical group had come into some dynamite and they divided it up among other groups so they would have some “just in case.” Did I say it’s lucky we got out of there in one piece?

  2. While obviously not happy memories at this place, they are still memories. I am seriously amazed that you’ve found a street for every letter so far … bring on the second half 🙂

  3. oh boy you’ve had some adventures Kristin. I can’t believe you’ve got to M with the streets you’ve known so well. We seem to have lived in streets with repetitious letters: B, M, P.

    1. I’ve got repetitious letter streets that I’ve had to leave out! I didn’t live on all of them, some of them just had important places in my life on them too.

  4. I just love google maps for allowing us to walk the streets our relatives did. It’s a shame that the house you remember hasn’t been kept up, but so wonderful that you are able to “visit” it again.

    1. I do find myself “walking” my old neighborhood via google maps. I appreciate the opportunity, even when they are many times falling to pieces.

  5. Hi Kristin,
    I’ve been away from visiting my genealogy friends for a while–involved in other projects this summer, but was so happy to see your comment on my repostings that you hadn’t seen before. I was hoping that would be the case for those who came to my blog a few months after it had started. I’m trying to decide my next move on the blogging front. I LOVE “Ain’t no Sunshine…” by Bill Withers. Thanks for posting this classic recording of his performance back in 1971–bringing back my young adulthood and the Saturday night dates when this song was on the radio. Your pole-vaulting daughter is such a great post for this Olympic time of year, and the baby pix are so sweet.

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