Growing up in Charbonneau (just outside of Wilsonville, Oregon) was one of the happiest and most memorable times of my childhood in the 1990s. The carefree, innocent summer days of swimming at the community pool and going on bike rides down to the community convenience store are the memories one wishes to relive once again. But very few people know that one of the actors from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 classic Rear Window once lived in the same neighborhood as I did.
Was it James Stewart? No. It certainly wasn’t Grace Kelly (Princess Grace of Monaco), for she lived and died in a couple of years before I was born. Thelma Ritter? No, because, well, she died in 1969. Thanks, IMDb. As for Raymond Burr? That’s a definite no.
That famous resident was Frank Cady, better known to my parent’s generation as Mr. Sam Drucker on the 1960s television show Petticoat Junction. Cady was in other classic TV and films such as Perry Mason, Billy Wilder’s Ace in the Hole (1951) and many others. In Rear Window Cady was the other half of the fire escape couple with the little dog and basket elevator. This talk about a famous resident had reached the ears of my mother from a fellow neighbor passing by one day in 1995. As you can imagine, when told this, the 11-year-old me that day said, “Who?” It was also later discovered that Mr. Cady was living on the other side of Charbonneau near the community pool – about a 2 to 3-minute walk from my house. However, during those fun years living in Charbonneau, neither my mother nor I ever met Mr. Cady.
In the late spring of 1999, my family decided to move out of Charbonneau to the neighboring town of Canby. This decision came down to the idea that my sister could be closer to her friends and extra-curricular activities while I could be closer to my friends too. Being closer to friends sounded great, but I was not in favor of this move. Charbonneau was, to me at that time, my forever home. I didn’t want to leave this slice of suburban paradise, even if it meant putting up with others outside of Charbonneau calling us “rich kids,” “Snobville,” you get the idea. Unfortunately, being 14 years old at that time meant my early-teen objections would do very little to sway parental authority on decisions regarding living situations. So, after the big move in 1999, life went on.
Fast forward to today, June 8th, 2012, when I learned that Mr. Cady had passed away in Wilsonville, Oregon. Probably in the same Charbonneau home he was living in when I was a resident of Charbonneau. Great times in Charbonneau.