Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Merry-Go-Rounds on trucks?

Yes, yes, yes.  I remember thanks to a reminder from the FB group, "Growing up in Ole Runnemede, NJ" that during the summer a man, whose name escapes me, would drive down Clements Bridge Road, a sound being amplified from his truck, announcing to all within hearing distance that the merry-go-round truck was nearby.

What's a merry-go-round truck?  It's a truck that had a very small merry go round on it.  And for a nickle you could get a wonderful ride on this MGR for probably two minutes.  Who knows, when you're a child somethings are longer than they seem, and some are shorter than they seem. 

Well, this truck would park in front of the church on Clements Bridge Road, and the line would grow.  This driver was no dummy.  No siree.  There were a lot of kids that lived in that vicinity.  Just our family and the Lutheran Church's pastor's family would give him 8 children to ride on that thing.

 I wish I could show you exactly what it looked like.  The picture at the top seems to be a pull-behind bed with a MGR on it.  Below is a truck, like the one that came by our house at least once a week in the spring, summer, and early fall.  It's a pretty good replica.

A nickel a ride.  That was what you got back if you turned in a quart-sized soda bottle.  That was 10 candy cigarettes, two Mounds bars (two came in a nickle package), one frozen Three Musketeers. 

A child had to have priorities even at those early ages.  Did we want shleck, (junk food) or did we want to ride the Merry-Go-Round?  I usually opted for the MGR, as did my sister and brothers, and apparently a lot of other neighborhood kids. 

I wonder what ever happened to my MGR riding mates:  Janet and Butchie Britton, David and Linda Wallace, Eddie Hopkins.  I found his sister Faye, who was my sister's best friend.  Phil Musimeci, Sue  and Donna Youngblood, Linda, Barbara, Weezi (Mary Louise) Lott -- the list goes one. 

I miss those days, but I don't dwell on them.  They were good, happy times, and I once again, thank God that he blessed me early in my life by settling me in that small town in South Jersey and surrounded me with a wonderful family and many, many friends.


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