Chuck Berry's St. Louis Homes and Properties Before He Was Rich and Famous [Photos]
|This former boarding house, once owned by Berry's uncle, served as the first home to a newly married Chuck and Themetta.|
Chuck and Themetta Berry have been married now for 66 years. But in early 1949 the couple was newly hitched and looking for a place to call their own. They found that first spot in a rooming house owned by Berry's maternal uncle at 4352 Delmar. The couple would stay there for less than a year -- eventually moving back in with Berry's family at 4319 Labadie. Still for a short while, the happy newlyweds had a place of their own and felt that they were really making it -- even if they were not. During this time, Berry was earning $80 a week at an auto assembly plant and another $35 a week doing handyman work with his father. Themetta, meanwhile, brought in another $20 a week working at a cleaners. Writes Berry of their short stint at 4352 Delmar:
We had a 1941 Buick, a refrigerator and were on our way to riches. We were living like the best of the white folks until one evening we were dressed in our "Sunday clothes" on our way to a movie. All the tenants were on the porch chatting as we noticed our parking space. There was no '41 Buick parked where we'd left it at the curb. I boasted about calling the police but knew it had been repossessed by the finance company.Up next: Berry moves to the home where he'd pen his greatest hits. The now-vacant building was recently placed on the National Register of Historic Places.