I was born at 95 Somme Street and lived
there for several years years.
My sisters took me with them when they went to Riverbank Park. They
were my baby sitters, while trying to get me to sleep one afternoon
the carriage overturned and I wound up on the ground, being a baby
I did not suffer any injuries.
Later when I first began to walk, I toddled behind the swings
was hit in the head and knocked unconscious for several minutes
recovering a short time later none the worst for wear. Guess that
my thick Irish Skull got me through that one. Those first two incidents
I don't remember they were related to me by my sisters.
Now for the times in the park that I remember..
Many hours were spent watching baseball games in that ball field
at the park. It was great to view the many semi-pro teams that play
there, much closer than Rupert Stadium and at a much better price-
When we were growing up during our high school years Glenn Cunningham
held the World's Mile record at 4:06.7. My friends and I spent many
hours at the park running a mile in an effort to come near his time.
All attempts failed, so we left others to go on to challenge his
Our gang, cronies from Down Neck, organized a Semi-Pro Football
team. A name was needed and finally after much deliberation it was
decided to call the team "The Casa Lomas".The why and
wherefore remain, however Glen Grey was a Big Band Leader at the
time and his orchestra was titled "Glen Grey and the Casa Lomas"
so I guess that's where it came from. We played the old fashion
way, all sixty minutes offense and defense. No special teams, sans
helmets, cleats, shoulder pads and other acutriments that are used
today. One thing that we used was the drop kick which is seldom
or never used by present
teams. I got pretty good at it, returning many punts on forth downs
and scoring points after touchdowns.
Another great thing was playing tennis on the clay courts at the
end of the park.The rackets we used were hand me downs from brothers,
sisters and any relatives who had somehow obtained one. Relative
new balls were hard to come by and we used many that were almost
shorn of there fuzz almost just rubber balls. At that time the real
stars of the game were Jack Kramer, Ellsworth Vines and Don Budge,
Budge was perhaps the greatest player, being the The Grand Slam
Tennis Champ at that time. Winner of the Australian, French, Great
British and American Tennis Matches. Trying for Aces on serves,
charging the net, lobbing the ball, playing the base line. We wanted
to emulate him, try as we did, we never made it. Our greatest thrill
came when we were able to save enough money to buy one of those
round tin containers of three new balls from Wilson. What a welcome
time it was, really felt like authentic tennis players, having actual
tennis balls to play with. It provided us with many a wonderful
mornings of tennis.
Great times were had at that wonderful park.