… a neighborhood full of us kids!
I remember Jim and Peggy Dailey’s dad, Jim, would call them home at the end of a long day of play, by whistling a shrieking “wolf” whistle. A lot of times we would play softball or baseball on Ash Street, between Sixth and Seventh Streets. There were the Dailey kids, me and my two sisters, Marilyn and Judy Zell, Jim Gordon, Dan Behrens, Robin Rhodes and many other neighbors and friends who were visiting. We were about in our early teenage years.
It was great fun growing up on West Seventh Street because it was close to school (the West School building on Seventh Street) and nearby downtown. Walgamont’s Drug Store was the gathering place for sodas and elephant’s dandruff (ice cream with malt on top).
And of course, the Avalon Theater was the place to go on weekends across the street from the drug store. Carney’s and Haffner’s five and dime stores had candy jars full of sweets. You could buy a big hand full of candy for five cents. Isaly’s ice cream shop was located between Main and Plum Streets on East Fifth St. We’d go there once in a while and hang out.
As we grew and attended high school on West Sixth Street, most of us hardly ever missed a basketball game or a football game at the football field (now Lewis Park.)
Those days were innocent days full of friendships, slumber parties and dances. The GAA (Girls Athletic Association) dance was an event where the girls invited the boys. We had dance cards that were filled out ahead of time so you knew who you were going to dance with – which instilled a lot of excitement and “butterflies in the stomach.”
Another popular event was a sock hop – a dance where you had to take your shoes off in the gymnasium and records were played. What made a sock hop especially fun was that most kids attended.
Many kids went to the swimming pool during the summer months. Walking or riding our bikes on the way home from the pool, we would stop in at Parkview Restaurant and Drive In (where the drive through and Pizza Hut is now) for soft drinks and French fries.
We laughed a lot during the late fifties. We danced a lot, too. We formed lasting friendships which still are intimate and meaningful today.
-Janet (Zell) Scheiderer, MHS class of 1960