By Aleene Sexton Queen “Queenie”
My aunt and uncle, Ruth and Frank Martin, owned 1022 Park Place from the mid-30s until the mid-50s. My dad, Skip Sexton, worked for Uncle Frank and his shop was in the garage behind the house. My mom, Billie, cooked and served lunch to the paint crew. So it was a second home to me as a little girl. My Auntie Ruth was a seamstress for the wealthy ladies in town and had her sewing machines in the second floor room with many windows in the front of the house. She always cut a pattern carefully to make a little velvet dress for me. I loved watching her sew and looking out those windows and I thought I could see “forever”. She had ceramics classes downstairs in the den in the late 40s about the time Uncle Frank opened Martin’s Home Furnishings. He decorated the furniture store with many beautiful ceramic pieces made by my aunt.
Their daughter, Peggy, was an entertainer with the USO during WW2 and flew in rickety planes to far off places like France and Africa. She returned to the U.S. after the war ended and married the manager of some of the Big Bands. Many of them visited 1022 when they entertained in San Diego. My favorite was Woody Herman because he invited us to visit his home in Hollywood Hills, and there, I really could see ‘forever.’ Woody would ask my dad to sing the old tunes and l loved to hear his rich baritone voice. I felt so proud.
One night my aunt heard a baby crying and there were no babies in the house at the time; she went to investigate and found a confused Dusty with a newborn baby. Dusty didn’t know she was pregnant! Am sorry to say I never saw the baby nor did I see Dusty again so I don’t know if the baby lived or not. It wasn’t talked about in those days, but I remember the story well…hmmm …
Maureen and I found each other while commenting on the picture of 1022 on Facebook’s Coronado Kids. I recognized her maiden name because our moms played cards together in the 40s and 50s, and her mom came to my first baby’s shower! We started sharing memories. Then Helen also commented on the house as she’s also a former owner. In addition, our mothers were best of friends for many years after Helen’s mom, Mallie Nichols, came to Coronado in 1937. They also worked together at the Coronado Pharmacy for years. I also worked for Mallie at the old and new Coronado Pharmacy’s soda fountain in the early 50s. Maureen, Helen, and I continue to share many memories about 1022 Park Place and this wonderful little town we were so fortunate to grow up in — Coronado!
Art continues on at 1022 Park Place, as the present owners, Don and Kay Hubbard are very gifted as well as good folks. Don is a published author and a marine artist of Gyotaku. Kay is a water-color artist and has a shop in Spanish Village. They have invited the three of us to revisit 1022 Park Place and we all met for lunch at the Brigantine in December when Mo visited for Christmas in Coronado. They invited my granddaughter to visit their home to see their art when she visited us in January because Tiara was studying Don’s marine art while in college in Edinburgh, Scotland. It really is a small world; especially if you’re from Coronado!
Ten Twenty-Two Park Place — a home that holds memories for all of us.
Don Hubbard is the author of Neptune’s Table “Cooking the Seafood Exotics” and “Gitmo: The Missile Crisis” a Kindle e-book available at amazon.com.
GYOTAKU (The Japanese Art of Fish Painting)
Don Hubbard, Marine Artist, P.O. Box 180550, Coronado, CA 92118
Tel: 619/435-3555, e-mail: email@example.com
Kay Frances Hubbard, Gallery/Studio 2
Spanish Village Art Center
San Diego, CA 92101