2022 MEMORIES – SHIRLENE OLDT
I lived in a two-bedroom house with ta wo-seater outhouse in the back yard. At night we had a “potty” in the bedroom area for everyone’s use. I was about 8 when the bathroom was added by my dad.
In the summer there was an icebox on the back porch. My mother put a sign in the window of how much ice the delivery man was to cut from his large slab. We liked to suck on the chips he gave us when he cut off the slab with an ice pick.
Coal was delivered in the winter through a trap door in the porch and went into a special coal bn in the basement. The cellar was always a bit scary – dark – and had a dirt floor –there was a special room for all the “canned “goods” that my mother put up during the summer.
We watched the canal boats being pulled down river by mules and waved to the workmen. In the winter we ice skated on the canal.
We played games on the streets in the summer with neighborhood friends while parents watched from the porches. A special treat in summer was getting two Hershey pint boxes of Neapolitan ice cream and then sharing it with family – one for parents and the other one for self and two brothers. Days were spent at the town swimming pool which had been built by WPA and remains as the featured local attraction.
Our parents often played poker with friends and relatives and called it “penny ante” since only played with pennies. Sometimes it got a bit rowdy!
At Christmas holiday we got a special small box of chocolate candy at Sunday School and a fresh orange was distributed by local a businessman who owned much property in the town. Mother made lots of cookies and dad made home-made grape wine which was shared with all the guests that visited. One of my favorite gifts was a special book of 365 short stories, one on each page and movie star cut-out dolls.
I started school at age 4 (wasn’t 5 until the following May) since small amount in the class that year. There was no kindergarten. I wore a new plaid dress and was the smallest in the class –always either first in line or last (since last name began with Z).
I always walked to and home from school, as well as at lunch time, during all 12 years of school. In winter I liked to take a packed lunch when the weather was really inclement, but not a happy time for the teachers. The only kids that came by bus to school were those from Schoenersville and those not until 7th grade.
When in 3rd or 4th grade, there was an enormous fire in the middle of the night at Lincoln School and the residents were out to view in their night clothes. I was transferred to the Second Street School for classes there and roller skated on good days The skates were attached to the sole of regular shoes and tightened with a special “skate key”. When the new school was completed, I went back for 5th and 6th grades.
7th and 8th grades were housed in the building to the left of the Lincoln School and the exciting thing there was a gym with indoor showers and a basketball court where Saturday night dances were held.
9th and 10th grades were housed in the second floor of the Lincoln School and sometimes we had to change classes for a different teacher.
11th and 12th grades were in the High School building – to the right of the Lincoln School and again moved around to different teachers’ classrooms.