When we moved out to the Sunset area, I felt that I would never want to leave. It was very much like the Pukekohe area that we now live in. There were parts of it that had been large farms - many of which were still there. There were new housing developments built after WWII and a new shopping centre about ten minutes away that had a large Safeway grocery store. Beaverton itself was twenty minutes away and it had everything: indoor swimming pool with a high diving board, "The Dark Horse" - a new women's clothing store that was beautiful, a movie theatres - one indoor and one outdoor, a number of churches, and Beaverton High School where I would have gone when I was older, and of course, a lot of businesses were beginning to open up in the area. I loved going into Beaverton with my father on Saturday mornings. After doing errands, we would end up at a coffee shop - he would drink coffee and eat a piece of pie and we would have cokes and doughnuts - totally healthy, of course. This was about 1955.
The first house we lived in the Sunset area was on Cornell Road. It was on the country side of the area and was very established with a large yard, a garage that had a large workshop, a large glass house that my mother spent quite a bit of time in and just beyond a white wooden fence in the backyard, there was a large playhouse with a front and back door. I can remember spending summers in the playhouse with the doors open for a breeze, the radio playing "Queen for a Day" and my sister and I eating lunch together.
The next door neighbours were friendly. An older couple lived on one side in a two story building which they used the main floor of for making Christian movies. I don't remember too much about it except that my sister and mother were asked to be in some of the movies. I got to go and watch them and later we saw the movies they had appeared in.
I will never forget that down the road from this house was a meat slaughtering business. There were large barns and many trucks. My mother wanted a dog as we had the area to keep one and she felt it would be good as my father was often gone on business trips.
A couple of days after we got the dog, we got up one morning and heard my mother yelling for us to look out the front window that faced the lawn. It was an awful sight. The dog had been down the road and somehow got hold of cows heads and brought them home. There were a number of them on the lawn. Yuk - my mother was going nuts.
She got us in the car and we drove down to the slaughter house - we had never been there before - she told someone what had happened. They came up to the house and got the cows heads - and we thought that was the end of it. They said that it wouldn't happen again - they didn't know how the dog got the heads - but it did happen again.
We ended up giving the dog away. My mother didn't want to keep the dog tied up all the time and obviously the dog liked the slaughter house. Not a good combination.
Across the road from us lived Dr. Stalder and his sister on what was left of their family farm. Their home had been in their family for a number of generations. I can remember going in there and thinking it was like something I had seen on TV or in the movies. Everything seemed very old, very well kept and beautiful. Eventually they sold the property and Sunset High School was built on it.
If we were sick, my mother would ring Dr. Stalder and he would make a house visit. I think that he did that for many people in the area.
We lived in the Cornell Road house for a couple of years and then moved to a housing development in the area named Marlene Village. It was on the other side of Sunset Highway and I can remember it quite clearly.