Fond memories of growing up in the ‘60s
A lot of time this last year to ponder. Recent milestone anniversaries of Woodstock, moon landings, Sgt. Pepper. Baby boomers are old now and that is a big deal. It makes me think back to growing up in Philly in the 1960s. And Kathy.
Philly in the ‘60s; more specifically Northeast Philly. It was an exciting time, with hope for the future for my friends and me, in the midst of our teen years.
I thought things could only get better.
Moving to Philly in 3rd grade from upstate New York, I first went to Thomas Holme Elementary, then Lincoln High in 8th grade. I am forever thankful for the excellent education I received at Thomas Holme. Our teachers were not easy on us. We played double-dutch before school, had science walks in Pennypack Park, after-school softball games (without parents), and traded Beatles cards. But we also had air-raid drills and assassinations. A few days after starting at Thomas Holme, I met Kathy. It was the start of a 60-year friendship.
Without Kathy my growing years would have been much different. I was shy and she was the impetus I needed. Over the years she prodded me, sometimes maybe too close to the edge, but certainly made my life more fun. We had a good group of friends throughout grade school that dwindled down to the four of us at Lincoln – Kathy, Chrissy, Connie and me.
We had more freedom than my children had — walking to Korvettes on the Boulevard, sometimes following the railroad tracks at the end of Lilac Lane to right behind Korvettes. Taking the tracks in the other direction, going for a picnic at Pennypack Park off Frankford Avenue. I didn’t like crossing the trestle. Walking to Woolworths in Mayfair. Pennypack Park and the swing over the creek near Holme Avenue. Skating at the fish hatcheries. We walked everywhere.
I moved from Academy Gardens to Mayfair at the start of high school. It opened new worlds for us. Each week Kathy and I would pick what movies we wanted to see at either the Mayfair or Merben theater. At the end of the evening I would walk Kathy to the bus stop across from Jean’s and Lincoln and wait with her for the #88 bus. Then I would run down the block to my house. We met a lot of people, mainly boys, while waiting for that bus. Some became longtime friends, some we dated, some not so good, like the guy who joined us at the stop and then exposed himself.
Boulevard Pools in the summer. Friday night the dance. Dark. Packed. St. Matt’s dance on Saturday. Sunday night the Concord for older teens. Riding down the shore giving the peace sign out the window along the way. A classmate of ours, Candy Clothier, disappeared one night when she was on Frankford Avenue going to see her boyfriend. I was on Frankford Avenue that same night.
One of the things I miss most about the ‘60s is the music. Hy Lit, WIBG, WMMR, Jerry Blavat. Underground stations. Getting the latest albums. Concerts. No talk radio. I’d take music any day.
Kathy was with me when I met almost every boyfriend I had up until she got married shortly out of high school. She was with me when I met my first love. She was with me when I met my husband. For years we got together once a month with a few other friends, but I was single, working in Center City, making new friends. We drew apart but always kept in touch.
After I married I moved to New Jersey and then Maryland. About 20 years ago we started talking more frequently again. Our kids were grown, we were moving on to a new stage of our lives. Sound familiar? We started to get together again.
She retired and encouraged me to also. It would be so much easier to get together since she was in Philly and I was in Maryland. We made plans for all the things we would do.
I finally retired in late 2019. I called Kathy to give her the news. But she had news for me. She was sick.
Kathy passed last spring just as the COVID-19 shutdown began.
So boomers it was a great run. I loved growing up in Philly. Sometimes I wish my children could have had the childhood I had. But we kind of botched up the last couple decades, don’t you think? We were the generation of love and peace and harmony. Let’s give this new young generation a chance to make it right and trust that they absorbed some of that magic and hope that we had. And not lose it along the way.
Thanks Kath, for everything.
Barb Haldis (Pion)
Lincoln High, Class of ’69
It’s embarrassing that the CEOs of major American companies can be so easily duped by the Democratic Party. They actually are looking and acting like the Democrats when they passed Obamacare and then decided to find out what was in the bill. Ditto for the media. Maybe the CEOs should read the old and new Georgia voting bills. Maybe they will find out that the new far and away out shines the old bill. I guess the Phillies and rest of the Philadelphia sports will have to go around Biden’s home state of Delaware because that state’s voting rights are actually restrictive. After watching the CEOs’ reaction to the Democratic ploy, no wonder the Chinese are running circles around American businesses.
Bad bill by Martina
Is state Rep. Martina White from Northeast Philly or southwest Alabama? She’s one of five GOP women co-sponsoring a “Fairness in Women’s Sports” bill that is targeting transgender children. This hateful act of institutional bigotry must be stopped. How she can attack this most vulnerable population — at Easter, no less — is beyond comprehension. Biology can’t be legislated. When Rep. White sponsors her next annual Kids Fest, will she greet the young attendees by checking their birth gender? But then, what can we expect from someone who signed a letter asking Congress to overturn our state election results, and has yet to publicly acknowledge President Biden’s victory? Her office number is 717-787-6740.
Hats off to Jefferson Torresdale
I would like to commend Jefferson Torresdale on their COVID vaccine clinic. My husband and I received our second shots there on Wednesday, March 31. On both visits, we were checked in within minutes of our arrival. There were no lines. As soon as we were checked in, we were ushered to a room in which we received our shots. The waiting room in which we were observed for 15 minutes was stocked with coffee, drinks and snacks. Every staff member we encountered was pleasant and efficient. Hats off to them for doing a wonderful job.