by Eliz Kremp-Ostag


I've really enjoyed your memories. They brought back a time of a great life for me. I lived on the "other side" of the tracks.....on Brill St., by Ballantine. My dad worked there for 25 years.

Oh, what memories that brewery gave us. I remember the men driving the purple grain truck that had metal wheels and was driven by a chain. We knew that when that truck was around, that "smell" wasn't too far behind.

I also remember going to see Santa at the brewery and getting my picture taken and my dad coming home with a turkey. I remember when Ballantine was thinking of going into the soda business and they came to the school and let us do a taste test of sodas. I also remember the FIZZIES that they gave out. You know, the purple discs that fizzed when you dropped them in water. I never put them in water though, I just sucked on them!

I remember that our street was always plowed thanks to the men at Ballys. We always had heat in our school, St Aloysius, because of the brewery. They always took care of the neighborhood. Most of all I'll NEVER forget the day my father came home with the worst news ever---Ballentines was closing forever---- and he had lost his job!!!!! He was able to go to Pabst, but it was never the same. He was thankful for the job but it wasn't a family at Pabst.

Our neighborhood was never the same again. Our streets weren't plowed. No more pictures with Santa. The school and church and convent and rectory now had to pay for their heat! Soon small businesses left, the school closed and the monster that was a vital part of our lives was just an empty shell and an everyday reminder of an era gone by. Thanks again for bringing back all the memories. I'm sure I'll be back.


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