In the fall of 1958, after getting back from our great vacation that summer, my father announced that we were moving to Columbia, SC. I was very upset. I had to say goodbye to best friend Paul. I had to leave the only place I knew. No more going to the zoo. No more playing in the park. No more putting my toes in the lake. No more riding on the rides at the park. No more Mardi Gras. No more N.O.
We moved to Columbia around Thanksgiving. We rented a house on Burney Drive. There was a kid next door named Jim, who was my age. So, we joked about Jim Walter Homes. I guess it was funnier back then. My parents got me a dog, which we named him Brownie. He was a cocker spaniel. Brownie liked to eat things like my teddy bear and me. I didn't like Brownie, and it made me fear dogs more.
We had a basement in our new house that filled up with water every time in rained. It was like having an indoor pool. It also collected cats, and when my Mother would open the door to the basement, a cat would scare her.
The house was about three blocks from my kindergarten, run by Mrs. Pow, but she pronounced it "pew". No, I didn't understand either. She was a very strict, religious woman. We learned the Beatitudes and the Ten Commandments. At Christmas, we put on a pageant at the main library. I played a Wise Man, dressed in my father's bathrobe.
After nine months in the rental, we moved to Belmont Drive, where I would grow up.