Our brick house on Nicholson Street in Richland was built by a contractor, James
Bingham, who resided in nearby Columbus. He built countless houses in Muscogee
County beginning around the mid-1940s, specializing in designing residences for
veterans returning from World War II.
He and daddy met during the search for a contractor to custom build our house
but during the process they developed a great friendship and stayed in touch for
years after the house was completed. It is possible that his company built
other homes in Richland but I do know that he built the brick home nearby that
belonged to Dr. Earl Mayo and family.
In addition to the generous floor space upstairs, there was a full basement that
added a lot of living area to the residence. In the center of the basement was
a humongous sized furnace that heated the entire house, central heating systems
were a rare commodity in our hometown; the system was so huge that I remember it
as the gigantic beast that resided in our basement. Momma painted it and then
finally draped it with curtains but she was never able to disguise that monster.
The original plans were plaster walls throughout the house but our parents
upgraded what was originally David's bedroom to ponderosa pine boards instead.
The wood was beautiful but the location of his room was not desirable, either
you had to go around through the dining and living room to get to the other
bedrooms or pass through David's bedroom, which of course he opposed. When he
became a teenager he pleaded with our parents to relocate to the basement and
build his own room; one that people could not pass through.
For unexplained reasons, I rushed when I climbed from the basement to our
kitchen; I always sensed that something was following me up those stairs.
Whenever I was alone at the house I made sure the door to the basement was
securely locked, and I never considered going down to the basement. The stairway
was at one time painted a happy shade of yellow but I never enjoyed going up
When we were teenagers, daddy moved the family console television to the corner
of the room and transformed the area by installing a professional pool table.
The pool table replaced a ping-pong table that we virtually worn out with
constant use. He purchased several pool accessories to include a special
pool-cue for himself and most weekends we were involved in a tournament of
The stools that were purchased for the beverage area were relocated and voila,
we had our own personal pool-parlor. Daddy was the reigning king of the pool
challenges until I started dating Otto Brown; then the real competition began.
Otto played pool for years so they had some lively rivalries; he and daddy were
competitive, and both being left handed, it was interesting to watch them.
So, who became the champion pool player, I had better not answer that question.
Brenda S. Brown