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Hodgepodge: September 22, 2012

by Roy Hodge

Looking through old issues of The Fulton Patriot this week, I came across a column I wrote that brought back memories. It told of my grandparents spending the evening with their friends and neighbors, the Cranes, on Halloween. It seemed to be a tradition.

The good friends would get together at one of their homes, which were across the street from each other. After asking us grandchildren and neighborhood friends to “come early” to get our treats, they would turn the lights down low, and share door answering duties while fitting in some conversation and some treats of their own.

Living across the street from each other wasn’t their only connection. My grandfather and Mr. Crane worked together for many years at the Lasher Hardware Co. in downtown Syracuse.

The Cranes were quite a few years older than my grandparents, and fittingly, their car was much older than the jaunty 1940-something bright blue Pontiac that my grandfather drove. But I thought Mr. Crane’s old car was “neat.” It seemed to be a couple of feet taller than my grandfather’s car; it had “running boards”, and an “ooga-ooga” horn.

I also remember for some reason that the Crane’s telephone had to be cranked to get an operator to place a call for them. Boy, they must have been old.

The Cranes’ home was different than the other houses on Kenmore Ave. My grandfather told me that it was the oldest house on the street, and at one time was part of a busy farm.  The barn was still standing and was used by Mr. Crane as a garage.

When my grandparents lived across the street their home and the other houses on the street were much newer than the Crane house – but not new.

*  *  *  *  *

I told you last week about a law that I thought might still be in the books in Gary, Indiana: “It is illegal to take a street car or go to the theater within four hours of eating garlic.”

I first came up with that information several years ago when I was reading “The Book of Garlic,” the garlic lovers’ bible. That very useful book also offers the following advice: “For an earache: Place a peeled but uncut clove of garlic in the ear. Let it sit in the ear through the day.

“If it’s a headache that’s bothering you, apply garlic to the temples in a poultice. For whooping cough place a poultice of chopped garlic on the feet.  If acne is your problem, rub the pimples with a cut clove of garlic several times a day.”

Garlic is also described as just the thing to cure poison ivy, athlete’s foot, insomnia, and as a perfect aphrodisiac.

To read the rest of the column, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397

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