Current homeowner Steve Krom (from left), with former home owners George and Joe Shaughnessy, Joe’s wife Dorothy Shaughnessy, Georgi Krom and dog Maggie. Photo courtesy of Georgi Krom
Current homeowner Steve Krom (from left), with former home owners George and Joe Shaughnessy, Joe’s wife Dorothy Shaughnessy, Georgi Krom and dog Maggie. Photo courtesy of Georgi Krom

 

A March 25 gathering in a north Queen Anne home included its original owners, George and Joe Shaughnessy. They met with current owners Georgi and Steve Krom and childhood friends Charles and Marion Wright of Magnolia.

George was 5 and Joe was 1 when they moved to 3267 Conkling Place W. in 1931. Their family had to move from Green Lake during the construction of the Aurora Bridge.

Their father, Joe Shaughnessy, worked for the Seattle P-I and the Seattle Star as a web press-man, always active in union politics. He passed away in 1966.

His wife, Helen, only drove once in her life. Most people had one car per family, and every-one took the bus in those days. 

The ‘30s were a time of great poverty. It was not uncommon for families to provide meals to other families on the street.

In the early days, the main-floor bedroom of the home was rented out to Joe Guerria, a Navy man. 

There was no refrigeration in the ‘30s. There was an icebox to keep food cold and regular deliveries of ice. The original sink in the kitchen was much lower to accommodate Mrs. Shaughnessy’s height.

The house originally had a pond in the south corner of the backyard. There were few houses on 10th Avenue so the boys played badminton in the vacant land above the house.

When they were younger, George tried to drop his younger brother down the three-story laundry chute. Luckily, Joe was too big and did not fit.

Joe remembered when Skippy, the family’s wire-haired fox terrier, heard a dogfight on the street. He jumped out of Joe’s arms onto the bed in the second-floor bedroom, went out the window onto the turret and fell onto the driveway. He walked funny for a week but recovered.

The boys had lots of fun with other kids on the street. They used the basement of the house as a dance floor and spread Ivory soap on the floor to glide more easily. There was no wall between the laundry room and playroom, so the space was bigger back then.

In the time of Prohibition, their parents made bathtub gin in the basement. 

George was in the Navy and an accountant later in life. His first wife lived at Eighth Avenue and Bertona Street and later moved to 3220 Conkling Place W. when she dated George. Sadly, she died of cancer in her 40s. 

George then married a woman he met in Italy and moved to her hometown of Naples, Fla. 

He is now back in Seattle and living in a retirement community.

Joe was an Army intelligence officer in World War II and the Korean War. He gathered intelligence in the Far East and lived in Japan. He worked in sales later in life before retirement, and he and his wife, Dorothy, now live in Orting, Wash.

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