Most everyone who grew up back in the day has fond memories of their old neighborhood, the streets you walked to your friends’ house and to school, and the houses and the people who lived in them along the way.
My neighborhood was in the Sixth Ward and North Sixth Street became my pathway to the world as I knew it back then.
Well, you know how it goes, the years flew by and the next thing I knew I was grown up, married to Mike Hogan, living up over my parents on Porter Street, and was pushing a baby carriage up and down North Sixth on my way to most everywhere I went.
Mike was just starting out at Niagara Mohawk and we didn’t have a car yet. (I think that baby carriage had more mileage on it than most cars did when our first child was born back in 1953!)
“Let me see your baby,” a young woman sitting on a porch on North Sixth called out to me one fine day. That led us to admiring each other’s infants — my little girl and her little boy — both of whom, of course, were the most adorable babies you’ve ever seen!
My new friend’s name was Geri Garbus. She and her husband, Fred, were renting an apartment from her grandfather and grandmother, Rex and Goldie Carvey.
Come to find out, Geri is sister to Joyce Carvey (Boynton) who is one of my classmates, and the oldest of the four Carvey sisters: Geri, Joyce, Judy and Joan.
The Carvey house was on the opposite corner of North Sixth and Seward Street from my grandparents, Ralph and Edna McKinney, where I spent many an hour, so Geri and I saw each other quite often. (View’s grocery store, later to become Koval’s, was just across the street.)
Now fast forward to a few weeks ago when Geri (who also goes by Jeri or Gerry), called and said she’d like to put our heads together to see who and what we could remember from our days on North Sixth Street.
By the way, how many other Gerrys did we know? Geraldine Blakeslee, Geraldine Hubbell, and Geraldine, who was the manger of Harper’s store, was about all we could come up with!
Thus we chatted at my kitchen table, drank tea, reminisced and got so busy enjoying it that we skipped around that neighborhood, randomly mentioning this person or that person as he or she came to mind. So, Dear Readers, bear with me as I do the same.
Rex Carvey was a well-known local politician, an alderman or county legislator, we couldn’t remember, except, as Geri recalled, he was known as a “supervisor” back then.
She spoke lovingly of her Grandma Goldie Carvey.
“Everybody wanted to have their picture taken in Grandma’s garden,” she said. “Shirley Jenkins was the next place after the garden.”
Earl View had the store but wasn’t a bit friendly — “a son-of-a-gun — but his wife was nice,” she said.
Elsie O’Neil lived down Seward Street. She was a nurse who took care of almost everyone who ever spent time at the old Lee Memorial Hospital.
“A little old man lived all by himself,” also on Seward Street; he made Geri “a grater out of a tin can.”
Starting at Porter Street and going south, there was Dick Guyer, a boy my age and a great clarinet player, his mother a maternity nurse at Lee Memorial, and his father, a cop on the beat.
Across from them was Jack Percival, his mother, brother and sister.
Now crossing Freemont Street but still on North Sixth,was the Young family, some of them cousins and some siblings: Mary Ellen, Pricilla (Marcino), John and Kay (Cafolla).
Down a couple of houses were Mrs. Diehl and her children Yvonne and Phillip. They were next to my grandparent’s house. Keith Smithers lived across the street from them.
Gloria Simons (Lyons) lived on the corner of Freemont and North Sixth. Also on that side of the street was the Koenigs, Carol (Kellogg) and Janice (Kincaid) Koenig, and Emma Rowlee who married Jack Walsh.
Going west off North Sixth onto Freemont Street, there was Lola Wells and her twins, Frances and Franklin. They were a year ahead of me in school.
Going east on Freemont, there were the Truesdales, the Wordens — Carl Worden was a great little guy, and Neil, Barbara and Jean Barnard, Theresa Maloney (Dings), Muriel, “Tootie” Ingersol and her sister Shirley (Terzulli) and her brother Bruce, while Chuck and Sally Shortsleeve, and John, Earl and Dick Dempsey lived farther up Freemont.
Okay, Dear Readers, I’m going to stop here and finish this sweet sojourn another time. Because as I write this, I have Christmas on my mind; it’s such a busy time of year! So I wrote a poem about it:
‘Tis the Season
‘Tis the season
For blowing snow
For saying stuff like Ho, Ho, Ho,
It’s off to the mall we go!
But…whether you shop a lot
Or trim a tree or not…
Always remember in December
Jesus is still the reason for the season.
Now, here’s my caveat: Reader beware!
I write for fun. I am not a historian, nor a reporter. I write from memory and from what others want to share. Sometimes I look things up; sometimes I mess things up.
I hope you have fun reading my stuff. Your comments, additions and corrections are always welcome.
You may contact me at 133 Tannery Lane, Fulton, phone 592-7580 or email JHogan@aol.com. Please put Jerry’s Journal in the subject line.