Before the project was built on Roanoke
Avenue and Hawkins Street, that land was just a very large dirt
filled lot. Roanoke Avenue intercepted Hawkins Street at a ninety
degree angle, at the rear was the embankment of the then Pennsylvania
Rail Road freight line. We had cleared part of the grounds to make
a pretty fair ball field, which was used during the spring and summer.
In winter it became our winter wonderland, great for sleigh riding
and other winter sports. The rail road embankment was about thirty
to forty feet high and sloped down at an angle of about forty five
degrees. Covered with snow it became a welcome presence. To the
top we dragged our Flexible Flyers and other sleds and took hair
raising rides down the inclination. To make it better Mrs. Bowker
came over with pails of water, these were carried to the top of
the embankment and poured down the hill , the water froze making
it one fast slide.
We also constructed our own toboggan, from a piece of corrugated
sheet metal. The front was bent up into a curve, rope was attached
to the corners for the one that steered the device. It was pulled
to the top of the mound, where several youths jumped on it for the
ride of a life time down that icy incline. We all had a wonderful
time, no need of Lake Placid and it's Mt. Van Hoevenberg bob run.
Off we went down the slide across the lots toward Roanoke Ave. No
mishaps, a great time was had by all.