For over 20 years Shep told stories of childhood events. Along with the Steel Mill, the house on Cleveland Street were constantly referred to in these. He even mentioned the neighbors on each side, The Bruners whose coffee grounds always found their way coughing up into the Shepherd's kitchen sink, and the mysterious Emde house which Shep described the building of on his May 5, 1966 show - "Emde's Folly"
Although it has been widely accepted that Shep spent his childhood at 2907 Cleveland St, it is a fact that he lived at 2913 from sometime in 1928 to 1935 or prior. The 1930 US Census lists the house number as 1421 and was rented by Shep's parents for $40 per month. In the next year the postal service had renumbered the houses and 1421 became 2913. 2907 was formorly 1417. The two houses are separated by 2911 (1419) in which the Bruner family lived. The 1931 Hammond directory shows Shep's address is 2913 (1421) Cleveland Street. The 1935 Directory shows them living at 2907 indicating a move for some reason.
The 1940 US Census, shows at some point the Bruner family moved to 6549 Arkansas Avenue and confirms that the Shepherds had moved from 2913 to 2907.
Still in the attic of the house at 2907 are Shep's and his brother Randy's 'autographs'
"17 yrs. old. Jean Shepherd. 2/18/39,"
"15 yrs. old. Randall Shepherd. 2/28/39"
(See photo below)
Mentioned in many of his stories, the 'back alley' is what the kids used to travel to and from school.
6-25-60 - Car/Plane Races
7-4-63 - Old Man's Fireworks Stand
9-17-66 - Dirty Magazines
4-1-67 - Haunted House Medicine Chest
1-16-71 - The Camel and the Coat
12-31-76 - Gingerbeer