Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Reminders of the past

Pictures of my past evoke all kinds of reminders and remembrances. This picture of my sister, brothers, and myself just gets my mind wandering to that time so long ago -- well, over 55 years ago.

Here we are all decked out in our Sunday dress, and my brother, Mark, is the one that is holding the train engine. I think he had this thing for trains and fire engines. I have a wonderful picture of him in one of those pedal fire engines that were popular in the 50s, and he is smiling like he owned the world, and I'm sure he did when he saw that on Christmas morning and then was allowed to ride up and down the street in it all day long. No matter he was freezing and his nose was running, he was having a blast.

It must have been cold on this day as well because we're wearing our winter coats. I loved that coat. It had a fur collar -- not real fur, but it was soft, but fuzzy. And I loved it. Deb is wearing a hand-me-down from me. I almost wore that coat she's wearing out. And it looks like it's a little small on her. I'm sure that was the last winter anyone wore that coat. It was a dark green with some red threads randomly running through it. Also you can see our "Mary Janes" on our feet. How Deb and I adored those shoes which we religiously "polished" on Saturday night so they'd be shiny for Sunday morning.

To polish patent leather Mary Janes you dabbed a little vasoline on a cotton ball and rubbed the vaseline into the leather. It shined up so well you could see your face in it.

You can see the view UP the street. Down the street was in the direction of the pike. Also down the street was down hill, whereas, from the pick to the end of our street was a very slight upgrade, which wasn't really noticeable unless you were in a bicycle race and had to peddle really hard to get ahead.

The houses you can barely see on the street are still there. And the tree we're standing in front of is still in front of the house. That was our "picture" tree. It seems that so many of our pictures were taken in front of that tree. It's a sycamore tree, just like the kind of tree Zacheus climbed so he could see Jesus. He would have had a difficult time getting up that tree, though, because Zacheus was short, and the lowest branch was at least 14 feet above the ground.

I printed out these pictures today so I could put them in my childhood album. Alan was looking at them and I commented on how cute I was when I was a kid. Too bad that cuteness went away when I hit teenage years and I got my teenage nose which was all out of proportion for my face, and I got my teenage lips that were huge, and I got pimples, which always makes one attractive.

Do they (pimples) ever go away? I still get zits from time to time and I'm 66. Well, this is just a little bit about Runnemede. And for your Runnemede residents who are looking at the picture, that Second Avenue, the east end.


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