by Donna Turovac


Reading "Sharon's" memories of Vailsburg brought back so many memories of my childhood. I grew up on Alexander Street and can remember walking to school and even being able to go home at lunch time. Summers meant spending your days either at Boylan Street pool or in the school's playground with the "rec" program. I also remember spending a lot of time in the library on Alexander Street and never quite being able to fulfill the summer reading list of 15 books. After dinner, my mother, sister and I (and whatever neighborhood friends were around) would walk to the candy store on the corner of Alexander and 18th Avenue and get ice cream cones. On a really good night, we would visit my aunt and cousins that lived in the building next door to the Dairy Queen on South Orange Avenue! My grandparents lived on Brookdale Avenue. My grandfather was a shoemaker and had his shop behind the house. I was always the one in the neighborhood that would have rubber heels for playing hopscotch. Many nights my mother, sister and I would walk to my grandparents house, which was a quick walk if you cut through the lane to Sunset Avenue. I also remember Nancy's candy store on Sunset Avenue and all the penny candy we would buy after school. I can remember there was a man that peddled fruits and vegetables in a truck/wagon that he would ride down the street. He was called "Jesse James" because, according to my mother, his prices were too high so he was therefore robbing his customers! In those days you knew everyone in each house on your street and always felt safe and secure.

I can't believe I'm old enough now to say ". . . those were the good ole' days", but I am and they were.

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