Our Neighborhood, the Method It Was – QNS.com


The years following World Battle I and simply earlier than the Nice Melancholy have been referred to as “The Jazz Age” and “The Roaring ’20s”.

For individuals who might surprise what it was prefer to reside in our neighborhood throughout these years and past, we’ve a particular deal with within the type of a letter from reader Katherine Almstedt, dated January 1, 19. Was born on 26.

She writes:

Earlier than my eyes fail me, I wish to take this chance to take a stroll down reminiscence lane. I am speaking in regards to the Twenties. After studying my story, I’m certain that the youth of this era will probably be very grateful for all the trendy conveniences of at this time.

Can one think about and even think about nowadays what life can be like with out tv units, vehicles, telephones, fridges or the warmth of steam and scorching water? What in regards to the newest comfort of computer systems? Or, dishwashers, air conditioners and ceiling followers? Within the Twenties these items by no means got here to our thoughts. However, by some means, we survived all of it and as kids we have been at all times content material and completely satisfied.

We lived in so referred to as ‘chilly water flats’. We had two massive home windows in our spacious kitchen and two on the far finish of the home. We had a extremely large yard and a manhattan tree to develop what we needed.

By ‘we’ I imply my mother, dad, brother, sister and grandmother – and generally, a cousin or two, or another relative. I by no means knew what a front room was like till I grew up.

The bitter chilly was heavy on everybody. In these days, we at all times had lots of snow and blizzards weren’t unusual. Only a few folks had vehicles. Possibly, possibly one or two had an outdated jalopy that needed to be hand cranked to get began. Nonetheless, we did have a trolley automotive on Seneca Avenue. The journey to Myrtle Avenue prices all three cents. A lot of the important commodities have been provided by horse and wagon. My father, who was 93 years outdated, as soon as instructed me that when he was somewhat boy, the dentist additionally got here to repair his tooth by horse and cart.

As for retaining the home heat within the chilly, we had our trusty large black range in our kitchen; We used ‘dazzle’ to maintain it good and glossy. Expensive Mr. Granary & Sons delivered the coal by way of a chute in our basement window after which we took it again to our basement compartment. We used wooden, newspaper and plenty of items of coal to warmth the range. As a result of there weren’t many shops round, there have been plenty of empty heaps and that is the place we collected the wooden for the range.

We additionally had lots of enjoyable roasting ‘Mickeys’. We’d put the potatoes on a small fireplace they usually have been undoubtedly nice to eat. In my days, kids have been held accountable. Surprisingly, I can not bear in mind ever having a fireplace anyplace in our space.

Horse-drawn wagons made many of the native deliveries throughout the Twenties, recollects reader Katherine Almstead. This photograph of Flushing Avenue in Beaver Road, Brooklyn was taken in 1923. Notice the trolley observe within the foreground.

Because the day progressed and the range fireplace extinguished, lots of ashes fell into the small door underneath the range’s lattice. We had an enormous black pipe behind the range to set free all of the smoke. As for the ashes, like most elderly ones, it was my job to filter when the range was not on. All the kids had duties assigned to them. By some means, I caught a white scorching ash and it obtained caught in my hand. I nonetheless have a mark in the course of my proper hand. We needed to filter the useless coal in order to not lose a treasured piece of coal. Nonetheless by at this time’s requirements coal was a discount.

At evening, my expensive mom at all times made certain that we have been good and heat in our beds. We wore Dr. Denton pajamas as a result of they have been good and flimsy and cozy and had legs. She additionally knitted good heat hats for us to put on to mattress. We at all times had good clear white sheets and really heat blankets. How she went with no washer or dryer, I’ll by no means know. She used to position a big tub over the range and when the water boiled she would wash it within the tub and when it was all clear then put it by way of a wringer to take away the surplus water.

Christmas is at all times a time of pleasure for all. My father used to take us to Nardello’s retailer and at all times purchase an enormous large tree. We had many stunning decorations underneath the tree and there was at all times an enormous nativity scene made by hand.

In these days, kids have been at all times shocked at Christmas. We every solely obtained one large reward. One yr, my sister and I’ll get a ravishing dy-dee doll all dressed up in fairly garments and, the subsequent yr, somewhat doll cart. My brother will get an enormous crimson wagon one yr and the subsequent, a set of troopers and a mould to make extra. Had to make use of lead and forged it. I used to be at all times afraid that he would get damage, so I melted lead on my range and he favored the troopers he made.

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When you’ve got recollections to share with us, ship an e mail to editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com (Topic: Our Neighborhood: The Method It Was) or The Previous Timer, Ridgewood Occasions, 38-15 Bell Blvd., Bayside, Write to NY. 11361. Any mailed photographs will probably be returned discreetly to you upon request.



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