Recently on Facebook, my former St. James schoolmate/classmate, and always my friend, Sam (now living in California), posted a picture of something and asked if we remembered it, and he also reminded us of another sight from our past, and it inspired me to go back once again to some other sights and sounds of growing up in this area. Though this speaks about Jamestown, hopefully we all have a community with memorable sights and people. See if you remember ...
Clothes hanging from clotheslines in backyards, the Charlie's Chips truck making potato chip home deliveries (thanks Sam), or milk trucks driven by men in those "stand up" driving vehicles, carrying metal milk carriers which rattled and played that clinking melody while milkmen walked toward another sight from the past ... milk boxes (thanks again, Sam).
Remember kids playing sandlot baseball/kickball, sometimes climbing down sewers to retrieve baseballs that rolled down them while playing those games, and remember kids skipping rope? Remember trash collectors carrying those big metal containers from backyard to truck to backyard to truck, collecting trash that wasn't thrown in plastic bags?
J. Paul Lombardo
Do you recall the Sandee's Bakery lunch wagon stopped near factories at break times and lunch times, or Mr. Parinella standing outside his meat market in his apron, waving, and talking to everyone he knew (and that was most everyone) as they passed by his shop? Remember search lights flashing over Caprino's Furniture Store on Second Street, lights flashing around the marquees in front of the Palace and Wintergarden theatres, and rotating stripes on barber poles throughout the city?
Remember seeing and hearing the Mister Softee truck (heard before seen) driving down the streets of Jamestown, the American Indian atop the Iroquois Beer Distributorship overlooking the Washington Street Bridge, the gorilla in front of Jamestown Car Wash, the lobsters which adorned the Gandy's Restaurant sign downtown, and the large steer head hanging above the entrance of The Ranch, on Washington, then on Third Street downtown? How about the lit up moving bowling ball crashing into the pins dispersing them on the front of the Satellite Bowling Lanes on Foote Avenue? The sign still operates today on the Jamestown Bowling Company.
Remember annual Christmas decorating contests which brought out amazing displays of holiday spirit and creativity? There are some great displays today, some of them being computerized, but the competition of the 1960s in Jamestown seemed to bring out the best of creative ideas and displays.
Does anyone recall the large number of bearded and mustached faces of men as they joined the fraternity known as the Brothers of the Brush when Jamestown celebrated its sesquicentennial in 1960? My dad sported an Abraham Lincoln beard.
Remember the ordering stations in front of Colonial Whip Drive-In (not Drive Through) Restaurant on Fluvanna Avenue and Dogs and Suds Drive-In Restaurant on Route 386 (where you could just pull up to the station, speaker order your meal, and have it delivered right to your car)? How about the swings, slides, and monkey bars at drive-in theatres, there to keep (often pajama clad) kids busy while early arrival movie goers waited patiently (or not so patiently) for the film to begin. Remember the actual dugouts at the old Fluvanna Avenue Little League field, which were actually set in the ground where players had to walk down two or three steps to get inside, designed just like the ones in the major leagues?
Remember the propeller planes which landed and took off from the old airport off of North Main Street Extension, and the Glue Factory located just outside the village limits of Frewsburg? (Actually this is more of a smell from the past than a sight.)
Remember Officer Kindberg standing in the intersection at Third and Main downtown masterfully tossing out precision hand signals directing traffic, clad immaculately in his dress uniform complete with his meticulously shined high boots?
Remember the old scoreboard at Municipal Stadium where the score was recorded by sliding a number in a rectangular opening inning by inning (much like present day Fenway Park in Boston), the turnstile at the gate of that same stadium, manned for many years by Mike "Stogie" Daniels, nicknamed for that half a cigar which he was always seen to have in his mouth, even while he talked? Remember the clubhouse at the top of the hill on Curtis Street used as the Jamestown Municipal Golf Course's clubhouse, doubling as the "chalet" used in the winter by skiers, and sled/toboggan riders frequenting Stadium Hill, and remember the sight of the operating tow rope used to get skiers back up the hill?
Remember the beautiful red-bricked Washington and Jefferson junior high schools? Remember Pepsi, Coke, and 7-Up pop machines (which dropped or allowed you to pull out, or up, a soda pop after you dropped in your dime) located in front of many mom and pop grocery stores and gas stations throughout the city? How about the small trailer-sized diners, in Falconer (Vince's Diner), and Chanticleer Diner on Third Street in Jamestown? Remember soda fountains in drug stores like Frewsburg Pharmacy and Davis Drugs, also in Murphy's and Woolworth's, complete with revolving stools and old-fashioned milkshake mixers, and do you recall the sight of sidewalk plows in the winter? Some even remember when these were pulled by horses, but I'm too young to remember that sight, or smell.
These are just some of what my friend Sam helped me remember from growing up in Jamestown and the surrounding area. They bring back some nice memories for me. I hope you have some special sights from your past that you can recall which let you revisit a special part of your past.