Thursday, August 26, 2010

Trip Back To Richmond Hill, Aug. 25, 2010

I was in the old neighborhood and had my camera with me so I took a few shots of some things you might remember if you grew up there. Sorry this may not be of much interest to you if you weren't from the area.
(Click on any photo to enlarge.)

The corner of 127th Street & 95th Avenue, with the Youngs' house on the corner.

A full view of Youngs' house with Mc Cauley's house to the right of it.

Youngs' house from the front.

My old house at 127-04 95th Avenue.

Hattie & Nettie's old "general store" has been renovated again;
looking really nice!

Hattie & Nettie's place with Walsh's old house on the left.

Jones' Candy Store is now a deli/bodega.

Smokey Oval Park is now officially
"Phil 'Scooter' Rizzuto Park" because
he played a few high school baseball games here (!?)

Looking along the walkway at the park,
looking west toward Jones' candy store corner at 125th Street & 95th Ave.

The basketball & handball courts.

We used to play stickball on this large flat area
in front of the park house; it's been planted over for many years.

The north side of the handball courts, looking toward the park house.

Looking at the ball field from the handball courts.

Chuck Johnson's old house stood on the corner of
127th Street & 94th Ave.
His address was 127-04 94th Ave.
even though it took up two lots and faced 127th Street.
(Above photo copied from Google Maps online,
which still has the view from about the late 1990s or early 2000s.)

These new homes have just recently been built on the site of the
Johnson property and are still unoccupied
(at the time of this post)
but the addresses are 94-01 through 94-11, 127th Street.

These two houses were built on the vacant lot
we use to play in next to Chuck's house, on 127th Street,
but they've been there for many years now.

There is another new house a little further up the street
on the right in this photo.
I don't know if it's on the site oif the old Dowd's place
of if the old Dowd's place is the house next to it, on the left.

Below is a video of the park, taken from the corner of 95th Ave. & 126th Street.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

From The Vaults of the Museum

I love old stuff, especially things I remember from my childhood or earlier. First of all, they're historic in their own way and, most often, much better made than things are today. Many items in my Nostalgic Museum are from the house I grew up in; other things I found at garage sales, flea markets or eBay. Sometimes, I receive gifts from people who know how much I enjoy these old objects.
Let's take a look at some of the stuff in the Museum's Vaults
(click on any photo to enlarge it):

An old friend and neighbor of mine had been a postal carrier (mail man) and came home one day, telling me about this great old stand-up radio that someone on his route was throwing away and had put it by the curb for trash pick-up. I asked him where it was, because I really wanted it, but he had anticipated that.
"I asked the homeowner to move it to the side of his house, in the driveway, because I knew you'd want to go and get it."

I was at a flea market in Pennsylvania many years ago when I spotted this item on somebody's table. "It's a tail light lens from an Oldsmobile," the guy said.
I replied, "No, it's from a '55 Buick... how much do you want for it?"
Later, when I met up with my wife, she looked at the lens and asked, "What did you buy THAT for?"

I replied, "For twenty-five cents!"

This Boraxo can was a recent gift from a friend who knows how much I appreciate this kind of stuff. He found it at an antique shop where he was doing some work and bought it for me. It brought back real memories; it's just like the can we used to keep on a shelf in our kitchen when I was growing up in the '50s & '60s.

Back in the days when you'd bring your shoes to the shoe-repair man in your neighborhood, he would use Cat's Paw heels to make them like new again.

I found this not TOO old stamp machine at a flea market in Cape Cod. The guy selling it wanted sixty bucks for it; there was no way I would have paid that much for it. Besides, all I had in my pocket was a twenty. Just before leaving the market, I went back and offered him the twenty for it.
"Make it forty and it's yours," he said.

"Nope," I replied, "twenty bucks is all I've got and all I'd pay for it even if I had more."
I guess he was tired of carting it back and forth to the flea market 'cause he finally said, "Take it away."

My older brother bought this TeleTone Model TV220 portable television sometime in the early 1950s; it was manufactured in 1949. It still worked into the 1960s and I managed to salvage it from my brother's house after he died. It makes a great conversation piece!

The top machine is an original Sony Betamax that my brother owned; it worked into the 1990s but, for some reason, won't play any more.
The machine beneath it is the first VHS machine I ever bought, probably in the 1970s; made by GE, it sold for $639 when new. At the time, blank VHS tapes cost $14 a piece!

This old piano stool was in my brother's house when he died. During the clean-up before selling the house, I had to throw out a lot of stuff; we utilized four thirty-cubic-yard dumpsters! One of the items I wanted to keep was this piano stool, which I remembered from my childhood, but I tossed it anyway.
About seven years later, I was at a flea market in Wallingford, Connecticut, and spotted a piano stool just like the one I threw in the dumpster. Upon closer inspection, I found the diagonal saw cut I had made in the seat while cutting a piece of wood, as a teenager. Of course, two stools might have had the same kind of cut in them. But this one also had the "K" I had carved in the wood surface many years before.
Of course, I bought the piano stool back for five dollars.