Hodgepodge, by Roy Hodge

Grandma’s House

Our house was one block from my grandparents’ house when I was growing up, so it seems like I split my time almost evenly between home and Grandma’s.

I knew every inch of Grandma’s house frontwards and backwards. When my brother and sister were with me at Grandma’s, we played “hide and seek” and I always had a favorite hiding place – and I don’t think that the other “hiders” and “seekers” ever discovered it.

My hiding place was inside Grandma’s “broom closet,” a narrow closet which, when the door was shut, looked like it was just another cupboard in the kitchen, filled with bottles, jars and boxes on shelves; but, as far as I was concerned, it was a neat place to hide among the brooms and dust mops.

One of my favorite spots in Grandma’s house was in the “cellar,” a place called the “coal bin.” Many older homes, including ours, as well as my grandparents’, included a space in the basement which in the not so distant past was used to store the coal which was shoveled into the nearby furnace several times each day.

When the coal bin wasn’t needed any longer to store coal it became a convenient little play space.

Another interesting place in the cellar was the nook, or was it a cranny, properly known as the fruit cellar. That little room had several shelves to store the fruits and vegetables that were put there during canning season, but was more useful to us kids as another hiding place.

Two floors and several stairs away, there was another part of my grandparents’ house which was a neat place for us kids to play in.

The attic was cleverly disguised as a closet in one of the  upstairs bedrooms, which made it a handy play room or hiding place.

And, don’t forget the cellar door.  While the cellars (or basements) of most houses were accessible by doors from inside the house there also were doors from outside the house at ground level, which lifted up to reveal stairs going down from the backyard into the house.

Those steps were necessary for grandmas and mothers to have a direct route to the clothesline in the backyard on laundry day, and, they provided another good place to hide.

Grandma’s house – it was such a great place for playing and hiding in the “good old days.”

Bargains – 1901 Style

I have been looking through some pre-Christmas issues of The Fulton Patriot from December 1901.

According to the paper’s front page, 1901 was the 65th year of publishing for The Patriot. The particular issue I was reading was the 50th of the year and was published for and distributed to Fulton and Oswego Falls, the village which occupied the west side of the bridges, across the river from Fulton.

The front page of that issue included a large picture of Santa Claus visiting and distributing gifts to two little girls on Christmas Eve.

Filling the rest of the page – the columns around and under the large photo – was an advertisement for  the J. L. Jones Store, 30 First St.,, Fulton.  The advertising was headlined “Jones’ Bulletin for Christmas” and “Our Goods Are Just As We Say They Are.”

Among items advertised were jewelry – bracelets from 15 cents to $2.50, and brooches and stick pins, from 29 cents to $3.00.

There also were sterling novelties – toothbrushes, nail files, etc.; leather goods – ladies card cases and purses, files, etc.; leather goods – ladies card cases and purses, and men’s wallets and card cases, 25 cents to $5.

Also advertised were men’s hosiery, handkerchiefs for ladies and men, gloves, neckwear, umbrellas and a full boys’ department.

Other advertisers in the Christmas issue included R. E. Phillips Drug Store, 5 S. First St., Fulton, which featured “All Nice, New, Clean Goods;” the Miller and Bogardus Grocery and Provisions Supply House, 108 Oneida St.,; and the Frank W. Lasher Store, on First Street, Fulton. They carried books and games for boys and girls, mechanical toys, fancy china and many other “Holiday Gifts.”

A Busy City

Also during that time, the city seemed to be alive with a full schedule of social events with the Maccabees, Fulton Tent, the Knights of Pythias, the Sons of Veterans, G.A.R., American Mechanics Lodge, the Lodge of Modern Woodmen, and the Grange planning events.

Lots going on, but remember, there was no television.

In the news department, the new Fulton-Oswego Falls Bridge across the Oswego River had recently been completed at a cost of $120,000.

As far as insightful information, the pages of that issue of The Fulton Patriot offered . . . “A Christmas Fact” – The future has a golden tinge; the past, too, may seem pleasant; But just about the Christmastide, There’s nothing like the present.”

Or, this . . . “Origin of Mince Pie – English plum pudding and mince pies both owe their origin, or are supposed to, to an occurrence attendant upon the birth of Christ.

“The highly seasoned ingredients refer to the offering of spices, frankincense and myrrh by the wise men of the East to the Christ Child.” – New York World.

It was a Merry Christmas, 1901 style.

. . . Roy Hodge

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