Down Neck Early Days

by Jack Keegan


How many of you remember the clip clop, clip clop of horses hooves resounding off the streets paved with bricks and Belgium blocks? And the crunching sounds made by the steel banded wooden wheels of the many horse draw wagons that journeyed thru our thoroughfares. It was the Aldeney Milk Truck and the milk man with his immaculate white uniform, his cap cocked jointly on his head. Then along came Borden's Dairy man with his metal basket filled with bottles of milk, cream and and other diary products. The horses seem to know who the customers were, coming to a stop at the next customer's house. Do you recall during the winters when the cream froze and popped out of the bottles, you raced to beat you siblings to eat the frozen delights?

And how about Dugans,their cream colored wagons with Dugans logo painted on the side? The wonderful bread, cupcakes and many other bakery delights they carried? Do you remember the card with the large "D", that was placed in the window for the Dugan man to stop at your house?

And how about that sturdy fellow the Ice Man, When he stopped, the lady of the house would call out "Ten or Twenty Cents". He would take a ice pick and chopping would dislodge a small piece from the canvas covered large blocks of ice. Grasping it with iron tongs, heaving the results upon his leather covered shoulders he would deliver it to his customer. And he let you have small slivers of ice on those hot summer days. Also, not to forget, the ice pan under the ice box, emptied daily so as not overflow and soak the floor.

And the vegtableman, shouting "Vega tobles Vegatobles Cheap Cheap". He always had a great variety of fresh produce to sell to the neighborhood housewives. Beets, celery, spinach, cabbage, potatoes, turnips you name it, if it was in season he had it. Everything to compliment the meat or fish that was the main ingredients of dinner or supper.

And then there was the Junk Man who collected all kinds of used objects from the area residents. Old batterys, auto tires, pieces of copper, iron, and aluminum. Any old junk around the house went to him for a few pennies, much of the monies raised to buy you a Saturday ice cream cone.

And last but not the least the garbage man, dressed in his white uniform. Dragging the metal barrels from our back yards with his steel hook, sometimes rousing us from sleep early in the morning. It took one of great strength to lift and dump the contents of those cans into those large wooden wagons. Their vehicles were drawn by those hugh and magnificent muscular Belgium Draft horses, with easy dispositions, were easy keepers and willing workers. All helping to keep our garbage on its way to the dumps.


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