CHILDHOOD PLACES

2048097463_fc08377001_o-1

Hello there everyone!  Having a good time?  Hope you are all well.

Thought that I’d do some places that I remember so well during my Childhood day’s in Hamburg, PA.  The above Image is one of the Hamburg Park that I used to spend so very much time in.  It has changed somewhat over the passing years, and I think the change has made it a bit better.

Back when I was 8-10 yrs. young, my Mother had to work during the day, so she would drop me off here and was told to “Stay here until I come to get you”.  I did what I was told to do or suffer the wrath of my angry Mother.  The plastic play set you see in the foreground was not there at the time.  It was just a big empty grass space.  The was no covered open Patio on the extreme left.  However, the larger building to the right of it was there as long as I can remember.  This place had crafts to make for us kids most every day.  There was always something there to do.

Off to the right corner of my Image used to be a large sandbox that had a roof over it.  There also was a very tall sliding board that we had to climb up a long ladder to get up to the top.  It was so much fun to slide down that thing.  We would “wax” the sliding surface with wax paper to make us slide faster!  It’s now gone, but for what reason I don’t know.  Maybe because too many got hurt because it was a big one!  The sandbox is long gone and I think it was because all the “critters” would poop or pee in the sand.  Didn’t bother me!  I didn’t care.

The Swimming Pool has changed a bit also.  There are no longer a “High Dive or Low Dive” that we could run down and dive into the water on the deep end of the pool.  I think that this was taken away because of Insurance reasons.  I used to spend many, many sunny warm days here.  So much that I would get a Sun burn most every Summer.  At the very top corner of the Image used to be a small “Children’s Pool” that I learned to swim in.  It, too, is long gone.

I more than realize that the Image above does not mean that much to you, but to me, my “minds eye” can still picture what was once there and all the great times I had.

EMPTY

_IGP3111

Had nothing else to do after getting a haircut, so I thought I’d stop by the now empty Fairgrounds Mall just to see what’s there now.

The Fairgrounds Square Mall was built in 1980 by the F&S Construction Co. on the former site of the Reading Fairground Speedway.  The Mall did a real good business for a number of years.  There were over 84 Stores in here.  During the Christmas Season this place was packed with shoppers all getting gifts for the Holiday Season.  During the other months it did well also.  On a Friday & Saturday nite lot’s of the younger generation would tend to “hang out in here” cause there was not much else to do.  Then, as the years passed by, the business started to decline slowly.  Stores started to close and board up their Fronts.  I noticed this when I would go shopping here.  There first to close were the food places, then more & more stores followed along.  I never knew why this place failed, until finding out later on.

_IGP3115

Here is a look at one of the Main Entrances to the Mall.  Still very colorful, but there is no one that shops here anymore.  It’s empty of stores, except a few that are still hanging in there hoping business will get better, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.

_IGP3113

Empty jewelry stands are void of merchandise to sell.  No shoppers here anymore.

_IGP3114

Empty floors & store fronts.

_IGP3117

I remember seeing this Pretzel place with lines of people waiting to order.  Not now anymore.

_IGP3118

It’s quiet here now.  Nothing except the occasional “Mall Walker” in a big empty area.

_IGP3116

A empty display case that once held some pretty jewelry to sell, now waits to be dismantled.

Why did this Mall fail, you might ask?  I found out that the Owner of the Mall complex started to default on taxes and morgage payments.  Then just let the place go down-hill.  Also the younger generation would hang out here and not buy much of anything.  The stores were loosing money slowly.  There were a number of roof repairs that had to be made, because of rain leaking in and leaving a pool of water on the floors.  All that cost money which the Owners were not ready for.  On top of all that, buying products “on-line” helped the problem.  Shoppers could get what they wanted at a better price.  It didn’t help the matter.

This Mall was built over the once famous Reading Speedway Racetrack.  Friday & Saturday nights were a big race time when Sprint cars, Modified cars, and Stock Cars would race the clay & mud track here.  The Reading Fair in September was a big thing also.  It was huge!  I remember going to the Fair in HS and we always had a great time with all the rides.  Now, all that is long gone to History which is a shame.  Time marches on

REMEMBER THESE?

pinsdaddy-battery-operated-wurlitzer-jukebox-free-engine

Hello there to all my Followers.  Do some of you remember this?  Maybe some of you don’t.  This is the Historic Wurlitzer Juke Box that was built in the 1940’s.  I can’t remember who designed the original ones like this, but most of it was made of glass because the plastic was not very available during the War years.

It had a distinctive color pattern that was bright and cheerful.  It also had the world famous bubbles that traveled around on the inside of the glass.  This player would play songs from the Rock & Roll years of the 50’s & 60’s.  1 play was a nickel, and 6 plays were a quarter!  Dancing to your favorite songs was a common thing back in my day.

Most of the songs that were on the Top Record Charts were here to play.  Artists such as Bill Hayley & The Comets, Elvis, Jimmy Dean, Roy Oberson,  Little Richard, were all there.  Drop a nickel in the machine, press the letter & number of the song, and it would play your choice in order that it was received.  “Put another Dime in the Jukebox” and the music would never stop.

I remember these Players well.  I’m sorry to see that they have gone into History, but some of them are still around.  The original ones are few and far between.  Collectors have them.  If you want an original player you will pay a hefty price!

pinsdaddy-wurlitzer-jukebox-model-2600-free-engine-image

As time went by, the Wurlitzer Company made a newer model, like the one shown above.  It worked the same as the older one, but with no bubbles and the price to play went up, of course.  I think this one was 1 play for a dime, and 4 plays for a quarter.  Not sure on that one.  Both players had great sound for it’s day.

MY PAST

Hello to all my Followers.  Remember in my last Post that I stated I would be making Posts about my Personnel side and my Life thru 70 yrs.?  Well, I’m gonna start here with this Post.  We will go way back in time to 1964.

img20180104_19454508

Ok.  Here we go.  The year is 1964.  That’s me with my Date for a High School Dance that I had asked her to go to with me.  She accepted.  Back in those day’s the telephone was the only way that you could call and ask a girl to go out with you.  No Cell phones or texting existed.  Her name is Carol.  We are both around the same age.  She is one year younger than me.  We both were Sophmores HS.   I had met her while on my Paper Route.  Her Parents were one of my customers for the Reading Times.  I used to have to go to her house and collect money for the paper every week.  Before I went to pick her up my Mother made sure that I was dressed properly, down to the Flower on my dress jacket.  Carol was wearing a Red Symbitium on her left wrist. (Not shown).  Her Father is the one who shot this Image of us together.

Me & Carol dated about 3 times, going to movies, dances, and 1 Hayride while both of us were going to Fleetwood High School.  Then after High School we both sorta drifted apart.  She went on to Collage, while I joined the US Navy to see the world.  I lost track of where she was or what she was doing over the passing years.  Coming Home from Vietnam I went to find out where she was, but I didn’t find out till later on in 1970 that she had married in 1969, and took on another last name.  That ended my quest to get in touch with her.  I was quite saddened.

For some reason that I can’t fully explain, this girl made a big impression on me.  I really did like her.  I never did go after her, which maybe I should have done.  I think that this girl was the one “that got away.”  To this day, I still think of her.  I talk with her once in awhile on the phone to see how she’s doing, but not allot.  Her memory still is in my Mind.  Places we went, things we did, and how our Lives had gone seperate way’s.  I wonder what would have happened if we married?  Would it have lasted?  I don’t know.  I do have a picture of what she is today and she looks pretty much as she does then, just older.  She has 2 kids now, and has been married to the same fella for all these years.

12065838_992974887430798_2663414851902738685_n

Here is Carol, as of last year.  She has a 1 or 2 Degrees in Music.  Was a Music teacher at Owen J. Roberts High School.  She always did love music.  She always will.  I still do have feelings for her!  She never will leave my memory.

I can look at that Image and remember how scared I was.  I was fearful of her Father and what he might say.  He was a rather “gruff” sorta man.  I was told my Mom to “mind your manners” like she had taught me so well.  I did what I was told.  Maybe that’s why I’m still good friends with her to this day.

RETURN TO THE UNION CANAL

DSCN0245

The weather today was not too bad, so I decided to take my Nikon P600 out for a stroll and see what was new at the Union Canal.  It was on the cold side, but still not anywhere near freezing like it had been.  Here I tried to capture the “bleakness” of Nature during the Winter months.  Everything is bland with no color at all.

DSCN0246

Here is what used to be a Towpath used for the Mules/Horse’s that pulled the Canal boats down the Canal.  Now, it is a walking/bicycle/hikeing Trail.  Of course, the trees were not there at that time.

DSCN0244

Here is what remains of the old Canal boat holding area.  Most of it is frozen over.  Long ago, I used to go swimming here, but not anymore.  Guess you can see why.  You can still see the retaining wall of stone on the left.  There are memories here for me that you can’t see.  At that time I had no swimming pool to go to, so we used to jump in here for some fun.  Nothing ever bothered us.  Now, I can only guess what’s in here.

DSCN0247

This is something new that has been added.  It was not here before.  It’s still part of a walking trail, but you can only go so far.  Why?  I’m kinda wondering if something was done that made the Historical Commission of Hamburg install this warning.  I can only guess.  I have heard that the “younger generation” has been around this area building fires, drinking, then leaving bottles, trash, and cans for others to pick up.  Not sure on that.  All the time, when I see this, I never venture further for fear of getting caught and getting a nasty fine.

 

THE STORY BEHIND THIS IMAGE.

nassau-1.jpg

If I must “toot my own horn” this Image that I took while in Nassau is one of my much better ones!  So, there is just a small story that goes along with this.

We had taken a Cruise aboard the Carnival Ship Pride and one of the Ports of Call was Nassau.  In route to the Port, we signed up for an excursion to one of the small islands that are nearby.  The one problem with doing is is that there are going to be lots of others that want to do the same thing.  Say, more than 50+ people.  When you sign up for these things, it’s like being in a herd of cattle.  Being told and moved along with everyone else.  I’m not much of a person that can take crowds of people for very long.  They tend to get to me, and I just want to get away from all of them and do my own thing.

After being herded on a boat, we were taken to this island that has a name, but I can’t remember it.  It was a simply beautiful area to be in.  Warm weather, crystal clear water, soft white sand, and plenty of area’s to swim and sit to get some sun.  I loved it!

After doing some swimming & snorkeling in the crystal water, we wanted to get something to eat & drink.  A sandwich & a beer would be fine for me.  We found that just down the beach was a small restaurant that had what we wanted.  We ordered some food and my beer, only to find out just how expensive it was!  Just for 2 hamburgers, french fries, a Coke, and 1 beer, our total bill was over $40.00!!  Say what!  That was allot of money just for that.  I was not happy!!  We didn’t go back!!

After eating we got up to dump our trash and walking over I noticed this area above.  The Image is exactly as I saw it, but without other people in the Image.  I thought this would make a good capture.  Sorta Wrong!  While composing the shot, some other people came in and sat down as you see it.  This sorta made me a bit angry!  Well, I shot the Image with them in the frame.  I just couldn’t walk over to them and ask them to leave while I composed the Image, could I?

If it’s one thing that I dislike in Photography, it’s when people get in the way of your Image!  I hate that!  So, there is not much I could do.

So, if you go on a trip to Nassau, remember that it is one very expensive place to be in.  Things are not cheap!  Guess it’s because this area is a Tourist trap and they know it.

Oh yes, this Post is Grammarly correct using Grammarly as a guide for what I do wrong.  It does help.