Apr 11, 2011

Flash From Past


Occasionally, some of the older boys in Lehigh Parkway would get saddled with taking me along to a Saturday matinee in downtown Allentown. We would get the trolley, in later years a bus, from in front of the basement church on Jefferson Street. It would take that congregation many years to afford completing the church building there today. The trolley or bus would go across the 8th Street Bridge, which was built to accommodate the trolleys operated by Lehigh Valley Transit Company. Downtown then sported no less than five movie theaters at any one time. Particularly matinee friendly was the Midway, in the 600 Block of Hamilton. Three cartoons and episode or two of Flash Gordon entertained our entourage, which ranged in age from five to eleven years old. We younger kids, although delighted by the likes of Bugs Bunny, were confused how the Clay People would emerge from the walls in the caves on Mars to capture Captain Gordon, but our chaperones couldn't wait till the next week to learn Flash's fate. Next on the itinerary was usually a banana split at Woolworth's. Hamilton Street had three 5 and 10's, with a million things for boys to marvel at. The price of the sundae was a game of chance, with the customer picking a balloon. Inside the balloon was your price, anywhere from a penny to the full price of fifty cents. The store had a full selection of Allentown souvenirs. Pictures of West Park on a plate, the Center Square Monument on a glass, pennants to hang on your wall, and picture postcards of all the attractions. Hamilton Street was mobbed, and even the side streets were crowded with busy stores. Taking younger kids along was a responsibility for the older brothers, the streets and stores were crowded, but predators were limited to the Clay People on the silver screen.

reprinted from March 24, 2010

11 comments:

gary ledebur said...

“The only man who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew every time he sees me, while all the rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them”

--------- George Bernard Shaw

Guy Williams said...

Got a point,Gary.I for one remember my grandparents in the fifties longing for the days of slower cars and worried about the influence of Rock and Roll among teens.Of course for the most part juvenile delinquents of the day were non violent.I dont long for the past,Did it,Done that,I look for a quality of life NOW.To be honest,It is not easy or widespead at the moment.

Anonymous said...

From my perspective, it is flat out shocking and almost incomprehensible just how far this city has sunk since the 70s and 80s.

But, whatever.

Anonymous said...

"predators were limited to the Clay People on the silver screen."

Then the politicians saw a way to divide he people for their own greedy ambitions..left against right, bad against good, nonreligious against religious, poor against rich, black against white. Democrat against Republican, working class against their own employers, union workers against non union workers, public sector against private sector, young against old, educated elite against non educated....and the list continues! All for votes! The people we have elected to represent us have betrayed us for their own interests. Many of us have abandoned our faith in God and put out faith in material things and in government instead, only to be let down. What do we really stand for? Me only or our children? Me only is the answer and our children will make us pay. Gone are the 50's and a whole lot went with it!

Guy Williams said...

Well our culture has always defined itself by overall observations in a 10 year period.So we identified the 50s 60s 80s etc. etc. So would it then be fair to say the 00s in this century was the time we americans were our own worse enemy.If thats the case I should start longing for the 60s again. Sex,Drugs,Rock and Roll/Motown

Guy Williams said...

Well our culture has always defined itself by overall observations in a 10 year period.So we identified the 50s 60s 80s etc. etc. So would it then be fair to say the 00s in this century was the time we americans were our own worse enemy.If thats the case I should start longing for the 60s again. Sex,Drugs,Rock and Roll/Motown

Anonymous said...

NO ONE divides like the Democrats.

NO ONE intentionally pits people against each other like the Democrats.

NO ONE stirs up hatred and anger and shrieks how unfair everything is like the Democrats.

NO ONE promises the sun, the moon and the stars like the Democrats.

NO ONE breaks campaign promises like the Democrats.

(How is that HOPE and CHANGE working out for YOU?)

All politicians lie and cheat and steal...but NO ONE does it quite like the Democrats.

Federally-funded abortions for all!

WOO HOO

Anonymous said...

Ledebur's standard daily lecture on how EVIL everyone but the Progressive Liberals are should begin shortly...

Local said...

April 12, 2011 11:02 AM

I'm suprised MM leaves this absurd stuff up.
Sounds like the logic of a two toothed redneck from a poor southern state, educated at Glen Beck University, intent upon impressing all with their ignorance.

Anonymous said...

"poor southern state"?
It's the North east, eastern and west coast states that are poor and broke! Al the jobs are going to the south or to China. Or haven't you heard? Go back to Amazon!

Local said...

April 13, 2011 9:02 PM

You are obviously ignorant, very young and have never been to Alabama or ever even ventured out from your little village.