Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Thursday, October 9, 2014

82 Hillview Drive, Springfield, Delaware County, PA

Aunt Annie lived here and I visited as often as I was allowed or as often as the family was picked up by one of the Uncles Joe to get us there.  There were times, before I was permitted to travel by myself to Aunt Annie's that mom would take me and whoever else wanted to go by way of subway out to 69th street and then get on the train or trolley to Media where we got off in Springfield.

We loved going to Aunt Annie's.  She had all the pictures of her family in albums; you know, the old black pages with corner stickers to keep the pictures in place.  We loved looking at those pictures and she loved reminding us who all the people were.  After many years, we finally knew them all by heart and she didn't have to help us any more.  But, the first thing we'd do when we got to her place was to sit down on her sofa and look at the picture albums.

Then some of us would go downstairs and play Ping-Pong.  Yes, she had a Ping-Pong table.  What fun we had on larger family get togethers playing round-robin Ping-Pong.

My cousin Betty lived with Aunt Annie and Uncle Joe from the time she was a pre-teen until she got married (I think that's correct) and she was so much fun.  And she kept us laughing.  She would walk us to one of the parks in Springfield, not too far from Hillview Drive after she got home from school.  I can image her thoughts:  Oh, no, the Drexler kids again and I HAVE to take them to the park.  Ugh!
She never let us think that.  She was always attentive, making each of us believe we were important to her and that she enjoyed our romps in the park.

If I could get my picture loader to work, I would post a few pictures of those days.  Alas, it doesn't want to work today (or any other day in recent weeks), so you, dear reader, will have to imagine what we looked like back then.

For Throw Back Thursday...ttfn.


I have written so many times about Autumn in Runnemede, but this year, being out of Runnemede and in Kentucky I noticed something different out here.  Whether what has occurred here happened in Runnemede this year, I don't know.

I noticed that our trees turned all shades of red, yellow, purple, and dark green in early September, which was earlier than I remember since I've lived in this tree house (13 years) where I have a personal relationship almost with the trees in our "yard".

Now, it is early October and the leaves are mostly shed and that doesn't usually happen out here until November.

I remember late September as a girl.  And it was almost always cool in the evenings.  After dinner I would walk down to the pike, hang a left and walk to Clements Bridge Road, hang another left and walk to the church driveway and cut through to home.  About a 10 minute walk, unless I dawdled along the way. 

I really enjoyed September and October in Runnemede.  November was okay and I remember some before Thanksgiving snows.  Not deep snows.  But enough to cover the ground and having to be swept off the sidewalks.  I loved kicking the leaves that were unraked and those that were raked.  And I remember falling into the piles of leaves that were left until the weekend  and the leaves were reraked and put into the gutter so that the street cleaner could gather up the leaves.  What I never understood was why the leaves were raked up since it was such good mulch.  I think my mom kept a pile in the corner by the back of the garage for mulch to use in the Spring for her new plants and her annuals.
Autumn was and is the time for high-school football.  I was thinking the other day that Triton was brand new when I walked into those halls for the first time.  That was over 50 years ago.  Triton isn't a new school any more.  But I still think of it as new.  And, where did the time go?

I have a question.  Out here high school football is played on Friday nights.  When I was at Triton and for many years after I left, the football games were played on Saturday.  Are they still played on Saturday, or did they move to Friday night?  I just wondered about that.

I know the predictions for this year are a cold winter and a snowy one as well.  "Winter" meaning the colder months,  which December and November are included.  Let's hope the squirrels and wooly worms are wrong.


Old friends

When I think of old friends, I am not thinking in the present, that is in terms of my friends being of an age where we don't move as fast as we used to.  I am thinking of friends of years past, old friends.

I was recently thinking of my first friend, her name was Linda.  She lived up the block from me.  I think her dad was a carpenter because he built such neat things.  Linda was very smart and her birthday just happened to occur in the month before school started, whereas my birthday was six months later.  So, she wasn't so mucher old than I (I put the word "I" there for my younger friend Stacia, even though "than me" sounds better sometimes, no always), but she did get to go to school the year before I went and so she was ahead of me all through school, but we did other things together about the same time. 

I'm thinking about piano lessons which after a lady in our church taught us for a couple of years we went over to Hegeman's School of Music and were pretty much on the same track.  Then in high school she took up viola and I took up violin.  It was Linda's suggestion that in the summer we go early in the morning for our piano lesson because it wouldn't be so hot walking to and from there.  Smart, eh?

I remember in either her junior or senior year we practiced together so she could play for a recital, I think it was.  All I remember is practicing.  Her part was different from my part so it was a duet, but I don't remember playing it before any people.  Maybe there was much terror on my part at playing a violin duet and I have blocked it out.  Maybe Linda will read this and correct me and say it was all a dream.

As I mentioned her dad was handy -- better than handy -- with tools.  He built a wooden sliding board -- before there were the aluminum type slides and plastic slides, there were wooden slides.  It was quite tall.  So that we could slide very fast, we would from time to time get some wax paper and slide on the wax paper to make it very slippery, and then we would really zip down that thing. 

He (Uncle Ben, I called him) built Linda a play house.  It looked like a house it had windows, a door, and wasn't that small for us small people.

I glad that Linda didn't forget me as a youngster and we played together after school as long as mom let me go outside before it got too cold, and before I got too old to play with dolls.  I was glad when I was on the same time schedule as she was and that was when I started school the next year.  That year she was in Kindergarten was hard for me because all my other church friends were on the other side of Clements Bridge Road, a relatively busy street which I was not permitted to go near, so I had to play by myself until she got out of school for the day.

Thank you, Linda, for being my friend.