by Richard J.

I think the sewers went in the new section in 1950 or '51. Some of the streets got raised up above the level of the entrances to the houses and you had to go down a few step to get to the front doors. I guess this had something to do with the elevations need to make the sewers flow properly. I seem to remember that many of the streets were unpaved, or in very poor condition before the sewers went in.

Did anyone go down to the end of their avenue on fireworks night at Coney Island to watch them from a distance? What night of the week was it? Wednesday? I remember Schaffer Beer was the sponsor. I think fishing "party boats" like the Elsie K used to take people out for a closer look. The Elsie K was moored at the head of the canal.

Did you ever go to Steeplechase at Coney Island? My friend Linda Good who lived on Noel Avenue in the old section always got free tickets from her dad, Mason Good, who worked for Con Edison. I looked forward to going all Spring. Would her dad get the tickets this year or wouldn't he? Remember, the tickets were round and of different colors and values? They punched holes at the edges of the ticket as you used up value ride after ride. I always liked the huge wooden slide and the "horse races", although at first I think I was too young for the horses.

Now that you mention it I remember Paddy Macken's bar. Everyone said it was a "bucket of blood", a tough guy place. Was Tim Golden at Ralstons also? Why do I remember that name? I do remember someone named Swede.

Anyone remember the blizzard of '48? I've got pictures--somewhere in storage.

I remember thinking how different the avenue looked when all the gates went up. They really changed the look of the whole place.

What year did the "barracks" go up on the other side of the avenue, and what year did they tear them down? I think they came down before the '50's were over.

Everyone knew Charlie. We would wave at him when we passed "his corner". It was a sad day when he was killed. I didn't really know him, but he seemed a very nice person.

I remember the Deli owned by a German fellow named Ernie. My buddy Lars Larsson worked there part time in the early '60's. Lars and I sunk shallow wells for a number of people including Ernie one summer when water was very short and you couldn't water your garden or lawn. We used a well point fitting on a length of pipe, a driving cap on the top end of each new 5 or 6 foot section, and a larger diameter pipe with a heavy elevator test weight to make a cap on it. We pulled up and dropped the larger pipe repeatedly on the inner pipe until we had about 10 to 20" of pipe in the ground. We made a good few dollars. We were both saving for our first car. I think we started saving for cars when we were 14!

There was another pharmacy on the corner of Florence Avenue. In the early '60's a fellow we all knew worked there part time. He was studying pharmacy at one of the city colleges. He had a very unstable and severe asthmatic condition. One day he had a very bad attack and died. He was only a few years older than me. I can't remember his name. I'm surprised no one remembers Jean TUCKER or the SATO girls. They were a good 8 to 10 years older than me. TULKE'S (sp?) also had an older son. I think DUFFY'S children were older still. Another neighbor was Mr. and Mrs. KOPMAN (sp?). They had a daughter, older than me, but I don't remember her name. I know she was married before my dad died in '55. Kopman's lived next door to "Dr. Johnny" MEINDEL (sp?), the neighborhood dentist on Celeste Court. He had dental equipment that I was convinced had been "electrified" at the turn of the century. Heaven only knows what powered it before then! It seemed that old. He only did one filling at a time, one per person, no more than one a week. He had a machine that looked like a metronome, but much faster which he made up the silver amalgam just before filling a tooth. Before the days of fluoride you could dread going to Dr. Johnny's for months on end! An averaged sized cavity could take 10 or 12 passes with that old drill. You had to rinse your mouth between each pass. I can still hear him saying in his low, mild reassuring voice, "Rinse-em".

Keep thinking. More is bound to come back. I can smell wood burning here in front of the computer this evening as the old brain cells are coming on line!

Submitted 9/7/98

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Last changed: March 09, 2005