Let’s first begin with Bob Borek, a former Fultonian, who called me from his home in Meteraire, a suburb of New Orleans, La., to share some special memories.
Bob’s been away from Fulton for 20 years, but reads my column, and the one that particularly caught his eye was on the old pavilion at Recreation Park.
He said his father, Boley Borek, worked there in the 1940s, was a member of the park commission for about 10 years, and worked with John “Muskie” Muscalino, who he remembers as walking with a limp.
Muskie was city recreation commissioner as well as a physical education teacher and coach at Good Old Fulton High School.
“Do you remember the PLAV championship baseball team? It was sponsored by the Polish Legion of American Veterans when it was still on Broadway,” Bob said.
“The PLAV was state champions for years. Bubba Tracy, Don Smith, Stan Smith, and Jerry Allen were on the team,” he said.
He reminisced a little more and chuckled about setting pins at Fedora’s bowling alley as a kid but, “by the end of pay day he had no money because he spent it all at the snack bar!”
I thanked Bob for the nice phone call and said I actually knew his dad, not personally, but as the step-father of my good friend Doris Kenyon Taylor.
So, just before I wrote this I called Doris to sort things out. She said Bob’s mother and her father died young. George Kenyon was only in his 50s, and her mother, Frances, worked at the Woolen Mill, and at Sealright.
“She was a hard working woman who struggled to take care of us,” Doris said in reflection.
“That’s the way things were back then. We all worked hard if we wanted anything. I babysat and had a lot of little jobs growing up. . . Boley gave me a job at the pavilion selling tickets to the roller rink – when I was only 14!” she laughed.
Doris spoke fondly of her step-brother Bob and said they stay in touch, she said. The other members of this extended family are Charlotte Kenyon (Dopp), Jim and Tom Kenyon, and Gail Borek (Gilliland).
Thanks, Doris. It’s always fun talking to you! (And, thanks again, Bob Borek.)
North Sixth Street, Part 2
Go on, blame Gerry Garbus for suggesting I write a column about our old Sixth Ward neighborhood – and what great memories it has provoked!
Not to mention the wonderful phone calls I’ve gotten from old acquaintances who want to set the record straight, and/or, tell their story.
“You got me married to the wrong guy,” I heard a hearty laugh over the phone just after that column came out. It was Carol Koenig Spaulding, referring to the fact that I had written her up as being Carol Koenig Kellogg.
“Oops,” I said. “Sorry!” Wrong last name!
Carol was very good about it, though. She thought I probably got her last name confused with “that Ingersol girl” who I had also written about.
Yes, I agreed. It was indeed Muriel “Tootie” Ingersol who married Gary Kellogg (deceased), while Carol Koenig had indeed married Gary Spaulding (also deceased).
Having cleared that up, we chatted some more and I found out that Yvonne Diehl lives in Koenig’s old homestead on North Sixth Street.
Yvonne (sorry, I don’t know her married name) used to live with her mother and brother, Phillip, right across the street next to my grandparents. Thanks, Carol for the fun chit-chat.
This is where it gets more interesting.
A few days later, I got a call from Phillip Diehl, who winters in Florida but keeps up with the hometown news. He has a home in Oswego as well, and said he’d like to get together this summer and talk a little more about the good old days on North Sixth.
Yet, another surprise.
Who else should call me up all the way from Florida where today she makes her home, but none other than Tootie Ingersol Kellogg! Her correct first name, by the way, is spelled Maryel, not Muriel. She said she enjoys my column – especially the one about our old neighborhood.
She said she remembered the Dempsey boys — John, Earl and Dick — but couldn’t place John.
“He goes by Bill, everybody calls him Bill,” I said, to clear up that mystery. She reminded me her sister Joan married Ed Pittsley, a neighborhood boy who lived nearby on Manhattan Avenue, and that her brother Bruce married Cheryl Hayden, one of the Hayden kids that lived up back of me, (I lived on Porter Street and they lived on North Seventh) and that Bruce and Cheryl still live in Ingersols’ old home on Freemont.
And, how could I have forgotten that Geraldine Blakeslee (one of the Gerrys I had mentioned in that column), once lived on North Sixth next door to Dick Guyer. Her father was in the dry cleaning business, Tootie said.
“I think she married one of the Snow brothers,” I recalled.
“I babysat for your little sister and brother (Denise and David McKinney) when your parents went bowling,” Tootie further surprised me.
“Mike and I were probably bowling with them,” I said thoughtfully acknowledging the many years of age difference between me and my siblings, while also admitting I had no recollection of her babysitting them…but fondly remembering bowling with my Mom and Dad.
That was such a long time ago, I said. Thanks, Tootie; it was great hearing from you!
As for Gerry Garbus who started this whole thing, there’s more to come in Part 3 of North Sixth Street. Meanwhile, please enjoy the accompanying photo — the old “canning factory” on Phillips Street. Thanks, Gerry for sharing.
Now here’s my caveat:
Readers 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 welcome. Contact me at 133 Tannery Lane, Fulton, phone 592-7580 or email JHogan@aol.com. Please put Jerry’s Journal in the subject line. Thanks!