Growing up as a kid on Hawthorne Avenue
in the 1930s, one of the ways we kids spent our free time was "riding
There were few houses built over four stories high in our neighborhood
and there were no laws that compelled any builder of those tall
building to include an elevator in a new building. As a result there
were very few old buildings with elevators.
But elevators were usually found in the newer buildings.
On days when we were looking for something to do, we would seek
out the buildings that had been built in recent years, or those
few older buildings that we knew had elevators, and steal rides
on those elevators.
The front doors to these apartment buildings were always locked
to keep out strangers, so we would ring several bells and wait until
someone buzzed us in.
Once inside, we would make a bee line for the elevator, climb
aboard, and engage in riding up and down. Sometimes we would be
caught and escorted out by a building manager after severe warnings
about what would happen if we were caught again.
If we weren't caught, we would continue riding up and down until
we grew tired of the game and then leave.
What fun we had riding those elevators. And what memories!