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Post# 129368   3/28/2011 at 03:02 (4,716 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

When my family lived on Leicester Terrace in Hampton, Virginia, our neighbors two doors down from us had two sons, Greg and Tim. Tim was about my age and Greg was a bit older. They were both my friends and we played together all the time both outside and inside both of our houses.

Their Mom had the first Electrolux Model E that I ever remember seeing, and even as a three-year-old I was utterly obsessed with it and realized, even at that young age, the differences between their Model E and my Mom's Model E-A. And I can still recall it very clearly to this very day.

I have always remembered Greg and Tim all these years and think about them often. And I especially wondered what ever became of the Model E. Every so often I'd google their names, hoping to find their names and, if I get ballsy enough, ask about the Electrolux -- but nothing ever came up for them that I could connect a direct link to them.

Then last night, on a whim, I started looking on Facebook. There are a zillion Tim and Greg Strouds of course, but then I was looking at the friends on one of the Greg Stroud pages and saw that one of his friends was named Tim. I looked at the photos of the two of them closely and saw a resemblance to the two little boys I remember (see attached photo from my 1960 birthday party -- that's Greg just to my right and Tim just to my left and slightly in front of me).

And by the way, for many years I had a birthday card tacked onto the wall of my office at home. The card was from my fourth birthday in 1960. It was signed "from Greg and Tim" in, probably, their mom's handwriting. I only took it down a year ago (almost to the day) when I moved. I packed the card away in a box of "sweeper stuff" and it's still packed away. As soon as I unearth it I'm going to scan it and send it to Greg.

So I sent them both the following message via Facebook:


Hello, my name is Charles Lester. I live in Los Angeles but from 1957 to 1961 my family lived on Leicester Terrace in Hampton, Virginia. We had neighbors a couple doors away named the Strouds. There were two sons who were around my age (b.1956) and were my friends. I see in your friends list you have a Tim Stroud listed and am wondering if he is your brother -- especially since the same Tim Stroud has you in his friends list, and if, so, you might have been our neighbors!


Almost immediately, I got a reply from Greg:


Yes, Tim and I were your neighbors in Hampton. We knew you as Chuckie back then. It's nice to hear from you. I have lived in St. Louis since 1963. Tim currently lives in North Carolina. I'm surprised you remember us. I thought I was the only one who remembered that far back in my childhood. What have you been up to all these years. I am currently a teacher but am retiring this year after teaching for 31 years.


So I wrote back:


Hey Greg, well, what a delight to hear from you! I have often wondered whatever became of your family. Do you remember your house number? Ours was 114 Leicester Terrace. I think you lived two doors down from us. My Aunt Dabney (mom's older sister who passed away last year) lived just up the street right on the corner of Yorkshire Terrace & Northhampton Boulevard.

We moved from Hampton in 1961 to the Roanoke area, then from there in 1965 to a little island not too far from Williamsburg called Gwynns Island, then after moving around that area for a while, we moved to Annapolis, Maryland in 1970. (My dad had a bit of gypsy blood in him, I think!) I "ran away from home" in 1980 to seek fame and fortune in Los Angeles. Never found either one, heheh! My parents are now both retired and live in Yorktown.

I am going to give you my email address -- I think it will be easier to catch up that way.

I'll send you a Friend request, and you'll see a photo of you, Tim and me from my fourth birthday party in 1960!! See how many people you can remember!

Really looking forward to catching up with you!!

Oh, and P.S.: Does Electrolux mean anything to you?!


I received the following reply today from Greg:


Hi again. Here is a little bit more about my family. After leaving Hampton we moved to Newport News for about a year and a half. My dad then got transferred back to St. Louis. He was working for McDonnell Aircraft. He retired in 1982 and he and my mom moved to Illinois and built a house on the farm where my mom grew up. My dad died of a heart attack on Dec. 5, 2006. My mom is 81 and still lives in her house and is doing well.

I got married in 1981 and my wife, Kathy, and I just celebrated our 30th anniversary last Monday. We have 2 children. My daughter, Julie, is 24 and just got married last July. She is an art teacher. My son, Michael, is 22 and will be graduating from junior college this summer. He works in the early childhood program at one of the local school districts. My wife just retired last year from being a principal. However, she is more busy now than ever. She teaches at 3 different universities and also teaches for an online university, which she loves because she can do it in her pajamas.

As for Electrolux - It was my mom's old vacuum cleaner, which she still has and it still works! I'm guessing you asked about it because I see you collect old vacuum cleaners as a hobby. I also see you are pretty good on the theremin. I always thought it would be interesting to try to play one. I just play the piano. Not quite as exotic an instrument. Well, that's about all I've got. I hope your having a great birthday!

Greg Stroud


Well, just go ahead and knock me over with a feather.

Because we moved around so much, any ties I had with anyone or their vacuum cleaners dissolved long ago. And I remember many of them -- I actually remember more people's vacuums than the people themselves!

But everyone whose vacuum cleaners I remember from childhood has passed away or else I've lost contact with them. I just never imagined I'd ever find someone who still has the vacuum cleaner they had when I was a little kid.

So imagine how even more astonished I am to find that the "Holy Grail of Vacuum Cleaners" -- the one that started it all, is still around and still in use!

I would just absolutely be in Sweeper Heaven to have it! So of course I am going to ask Greg if there might be any chance in all that his mom might want to sell it to me. I just can't imagine a greater thrill than to have the one that really started it all.

Stay Tuned.......

Post# 129439 , Reply# 1   3/28/2011 at 13:08 (4,716 days old) by kirbylux77 (London, Ontario, Canada)        

kirbylux77's profile picture
Charles, congratulations for finding your childhood friend on Facebook! I bet it must have made your birthday hearing from Greg, and reliving old childhood memories.

I hope you do get the old Electrolux! That would be AWESOME! I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you....


Post# 129451 , Reply# 2   3/28/2011 at 15:03 (4,716 days old) by luxman107 (USA )        

I have also found some great childhood friends via Facebook..Turned out to be a great tool I was orginally reluctant to sign up on..

Post# 129461 , Reply# 3   3/28/2011 at 15:56 (4,716 days old) by BrianKirbyClass (Eudora Kansas)        

briankirbyclass's profile picture
Wow,,thats just awsome,,good for you Charles! Would be great to have the Electrolux that started it all for you, hope you get it!
My Grandma's Model E (equipped with a PN socket down by the front wheel) and new PN1 started it all out for me. I had it for a little while and then gave it away to a friend, which im kinda kicking myself for, but it was a dear friend that appreciated it, so not too sad. Anyway, what a great story, so happy for you. I too have found some old friends on Facebook,,people that i never thought id ever see or hear from again. Sure is fun,,we never know what life is going to thow our way!

Post# 129462 , Reply# 4   3/28/2011 at 15:58 (4,716 days old) by normvac (COLUMBUS, OHIO)        
Awesome Charles

If you were to get the Model E back into your life. You would never have to plead or beg for another vacuum the rest of your life. It would be the Angel on the tree of Vacuums. LOL !

My buddy that I played with, lived across the street from me. His parents had a lux E in 1953, when our Air Way 66 was
brand new. Oh how I wished and hoped that air way would turn in to a new pop out bag electrolux. LOL


Post# 129554 , Reply# 5   3/28/2011 at 21:34 (4,715 days old) by djtaylor (Salt Lake City, Utah)        
Found an old flame...

djtaylor's profile picture
Charles, I am glad that you had good luck finding your old friend. I am sorry to say that I did not have good luck. When I joined Facebook I looked up an old flame from my senior year of high school(1990). After high school he surved a mission for his church. When he came home he was 'cured' of being gay and that's when we lost touch. I think that was 1994. Flash forward to 2011, I got in touch with him(nothing dirty, just wanted to reconnect with someone from my past) did not go well. I won't bore you with the details, but it's safe to say that I won't be emailing him again.
So, now I'm wondering IF I should try looking up anyone else or cut my losses and accept that the past is THE PAST.
Oh, well.
Justin(the old Justin, not to be confused with the 'young' Justin)

Post# 129566 , Reply# 6   3/28/2011 at 22:04 (4,715 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

Well, whenever we contact someone from our past, the likelihood is certainly there that it may not "go well."

Someone told me, who has resisted Facebook, "If I haven't had any contact with a person for decades, there's probably a good reason for that."

That may well be so, but I am glad I did take the risk to contact Greg and Tim when I finally found them. Even if nothing ever comes of it in terms of obtaining THAT Electrolux, it has made me feel really good to have made this reunion with them. It's as if a stray piece of my "life-puzzle" has found its place. And that's really, really cool.

Post# 129701 , Reply# 7   3/29/2011 at 13:15 (4,715 days old) by Johnnyb59c (13240 n 3980 rd dewey oklahoma)        
awesome pic of you and your friends, however-

johnnyb59c's profile picture
but no smile? however I'm sure you were very happy- wasn't the model E the one that came out right after the model 60? May I talk to you on facebook?

Post# 129731 , Reply# 8   3/29/2011 at 17:43 (4,715 days old) by BrianKirbyClass (Eudora Kansas)        

briankirbyclass's profile picture
DjTaylor in Salt Lake,,,i would encourage you to please continue to contact old friends on Facebook,, please dont think that just because one reunion went bad, means any others will,,infact ill bet several more will be awsome, if you chose to do it.
Here's proof,,(will try to make a long story short),,i went to a large public school system, over 400 in just my class in HS alone.
Not being in the "In" crowd,,i had very few close friends, and knew a few other people, but not many,,all thru the school yrs.
( i was the geeky kid with the curly perm and glasses!)

I was fortunate to know what i wanted out of life at an early age, and graduated early, leaving the town, and what few friends i had behind.
Fast Forward 30 yrs.
After getting on Facebook, and finding a few old HS friends, i was thrilled that they had been looking for and wondering about me too!
We had a small "Reunion" of our small group,,that to my supprise grew to include some of the "IN" crowd that wanted to come! (which supprised the heck out of me,,they wouldnt have given me the time of day back then!)
We had a wonderful time catching up, and seeing and visiting eachother again, we all couldnt stop hugging eachother,,i even got teary eyed.
We are now all on Facebook,,, and its been ALOT of fun being with old friends again. We are planning another little reunion again this summer.
So, the moral is,,,DONT give up just because of one person,,alot of joy can come from reconnecting with old friends,please dont let one bad apple spoil it for you.

(Sorry, didnt mean to hyjack the thread,on with regular programming!)

Post# 129783 , Reply# 9   3/29/2011 at 22:07 (4,714 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

I received a very nice follow-up email from Greg today. It was pretty long, so here are just the relevant bits:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

My, you have certainly lived an interesting life! I think it's neat that you knew Stan Kann. He was always one of my favorite guests on The Tonight Show. I always wondered if when his gadgets didn't work right he had messed up on purpose to be funny or if things really didn't go the way he planned.

I haven't had a chance to talk to my mom yet about her vacuum cleaner. I'm not sure whether or not she would be willing to let it go.

[Vacuumlanders, keep your fingers crossed for me!!]

I always liked her Electrolux, too. The thing I remember the most about it is its smell. It was kind of metallic, I guess.

I just got finished vacuuming my house about ten minutes ago. Vacuum cleaners have always driven me nuts. Everyone I've ever had would do well for a few months and then stop picking up the dirt. I think the dog and cat hair might have been too much for them. I finally broke down and shelled out over $600 for a Dyson. It has been one of the best investments I've made. After several years it still cleans as well as the day I got it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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