“Way Back in the GOOD Ole Days”

A New Start in 1942

We moved to north Saint Louis, to an area where the “Brady Family” has lived since coming to America from Ireland!

There was the Fairground Park on one side of where we were living and the O’Fallon Park on the other side. My mother would take us for long walks throughout the neighborhood, pointing out all of the important places for me to remember – that when the time came – I could find the correct way to get there.

The “Water Tower” on north Grand Avenue then straight south to Natural Bridge  Avenue where the Northside Theatre was on the one corner and the Drug Store on the corner where we would stop for a caramel nut sundae.

We could then follow Natural Bridge west to Van deVanter Avenue and  then cut through Fairground Park, or go on down to Sarah Avenue and look at the different homes we never saw before… as we aimed toward home.

In the other direction, we would travel on Carter Avenue to Warne Avenue, sometimes stopping in at the “PINK SISTERS” for a Church service or go through to the O’Fallon Park. Sometimes on a Saturday or Sunday we would go on then to Calvary Cemetery to see where the Brady’s and Riley’s were resting  in PEACE… so  nicely – six foot under!

Back in the day…There was no “TV” – no “GAS” for automobiles – so the best thing to do was to “WALK.”

The air was clean and fresh  without all of those “gas” fumes and  then for our health’s sake, we were exercising the body and viewing the sites, that were all new to us.We were doing  then, what  more families should be doing today, enjoying the great outdoors while communicating with each other!

Sometimes, we would be walking, and some relative or friend of my mother’s would be also out for a walk or going to a nearby store. Naturally, we would all stop to catch up on what the current news of the day, namely the WWII  and who had a son or father killed in “ACTION?” 

Every family in those days was in the same boat, all of us poor, trading ration coupons, working our “V” garden,  and even chickens in the garage,  and in the City of Saint Louis. 

We were savers of everything… making do with what we had … and always  collecting  any and all newspapers and magazines  and  also saving bacon grease in old coffee cans, and  this was all done for the “WAR effort!”

The walks we took along Florissant Avenue were some of the best, because there were stores for blocks and blocks. There was a “5 and 10 dime store,” dress and shoe stores, beauty shop, a meat market, a grocery and vegetables stand store,  and two good Bakery Stores, also a “live” poultry store.

We… kids in the neighborhood  would go into the poultry store just to see the “live” chickens. You would look over all of the “live birds” they had and  hand pick  just the one you wanted. Someone would take that selected bird to the back killing it,  and then depending on what you were paying them… would also do  the cleaning  and dress the bird – all prepared so nice and fresh just for you to bake or for whichever way you  were planning to have that “fresh BIRD” for dinner.

Also… now that I am thinking back to those good ole days in’42… for me, only the Best kindergarten school as  I was  introduced to the  Bryan Hill Elementary School which was also along Florissant Avenue, and  as I remember the best teacher,  as my mother  also liked her!


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