Jun 16, 2008

Lehigh Parkway Elementary School


Not that many people know where Lehigh Parkway Elementary School is. It's tucked up at the back of the development of twin homes on a dead end street, but I won't say exactly where. I do want to talk about the photograph. It's May Day, around 1952-53. May Day was big then, so were the unions; at Steel, Mack, Black and Decker, and a hundred other factories going full tilt after the war. The houses were about 8 years old, and there were no fences yet. Hundreds of kids would migrate from one yard to another, and every mother would assume some responsibility for the herd when it was in her yard. Laundry was hung out to dry. If you notice most of the "audience" are mothers, dads mostly were at work. I'm at the front, right of center, with a light shirt and long belt tail. Don't remember the girl, but see the boy in front of me with the big head? His father had the whole basement setup year round with a hugh model train layout. There were so many kid's, the school only went up to second grade. The neighborhood had its own Halloween Parade and Easter egg hunt. We all walked to school, no one being more than four blocks away. Years ago when I met my significant other, she told me she taught at an elementary school on the south side, but I would have no idea where it was.

click on photo to enlarge

6 comments:

Bill Villa said...

You're still right of center and that kid in front of you (probably a Democrat now) did have a big head, wow, hope he grew into it ...

Mrs. Dottie said...

I know where it is! I enjoyed looking at the enlarged detail fo the photo. I taught at several of the Allentown Elementary schools,and early childhood centers and I am familiar with Lehigh Parkway. The principal at McKinley where I taught, also was covering Lehigh Parkway at the time, and I went to some meetings at that school, and it was nice, 10 yrs. ago. Both schools are very small, 9 or 10 classrooms.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Michael, The photographs posted on your blog are the best I've seen on any blog anywhere, even when you're obviously not the photographer. Thanks for the pics in your last two posts.

Bob said...

Really enjoyed the May Day photo! I went to the Steven's School on 6th and Tilghman. We had the same circle painted on our playground to use for May Day.
Your comments about downtown are right on the money. My kids never had the pleasure of walking to school, or walking downtown on a Thursday night. I guess they had it "better" with all the "stuff" they had at their disposal, but I'd take my childhood any day.

Bill Villa said...

"I'd take my childhood any day."

Me too. When I was 7, nearly the age my youngest son is now, almost every Saturday I used to get dressed up in a suit and walk the mile+ (from 17th and Fairview streets to 9th and Hamilton streets) to help my dad who was the men's clothing buyer at Hess's. I'd straighten up the mens' suit inventory and the salesmen would each slip me a quarter or sometimes a buck. I cannot imagine allowing my soon to be 7 year old son to do anything even remotely like this. We won't let him outside in our yard or on our front porch unless his mother or I are with him ...

gsbrace said...

oh, why do you got to make fun of kids with big heads. It's hard enough for them to stay upright.