|Me (middle) with my friends and brother (far right) at 120 Washington Avenue, Downingtown, PA summer 1952|
Our family lived on Washington Avenue in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. We lived in a second floor of a cheap (poor white trash section of town) apartment building. My father worked at Gindy Trailers outside the edge of town. The owner of Gindy Trailers, Dave Ginsberg, let my father grow corn on a few acres of land adjoining the trailer manufacturing plant.
|My brothers John and Isaac at the Gindy Trailer Manufacturing plant in Downingtown - 1952|
My father grew a lot of corn, more than we could eat. One of my fondest memories of my childhood was those warm and humid, lazy hazy days of the Eisenhower Dull Fifties was my brothers and I pulling weeds from our assigned rows of corn. I used to hate that chore at that time because I wanted to play with my friends Chubby Shores and Pee Wee Mack. But after we pulled the weeds, we were often treated to a Tastee Freeze ice cream of a Dixie Cup. Then if we got home in time we would gather around out 14 inch black and white Philco TV and watch "The Honeymooners" on "The Jackie Gleason Show."
|Mom and "her boys" enjoying a Dixie Cup treat after pulling weeks for each of our assigned eight rows of corn - 1952|
Now, every time I hear the haunting strains of "The Melancholy Serenade" which was the opening theme song to "The Honeymooners", I am transported back to that more innocent time.
|Mom with my brother Isaac, Jr. in front of our cornfield - 1952|
We didn't have much (nothing really) but we did have family, security and love. Sure, my father could have been more demonstrative with his love and we could have had air conditioning but I am so appreciative of the childhood I did have and the memories that will never leave me as long as I live.
|"Pop" with youngest son John (his favorite) in front of his cornfield 1952|
Jackie Gleason is on my mind now because I'm reading a biography of him now. Not only was he one of my favorite comedians he is also one of my favorite musicians, and indeed he was a musician even though he couldn't read one note of music.
I have many more memories like this which I will share in future blog posts. I get a great deal of comfort from these memories. I hope I never lose them.