My first and most peaceful memory is 2648 Bernard. I don't think I will ever forget that address. And the phone number Lucas 0569. In the city I live in the name lives on but the neighborhood is long gone. It was a 2 story house -3 rooms up stairs and 3 down. My grandparents lived down stairs. There was a 'large backyard, junky, and explorable with stuff 'you weren't suppose to play with. Yeah, right . There was a 'gangway' between our house and the next door neighborhood store. Instead of going down a whole block, everybody came through our yard and gangway to go to Mr St. Clair's store. He had everything. Bologna sandwiches, fruit, soda water, hot head cheese, penny candy--just to mention a few things. Whatever anyone asked for, Mr St Clair made it his business to have it the next time. We also had 'the beauty shop lady'. Everybody seemed to live in the back of their business about then. Churches were down the street, around the corner, up one block. You had so many choices. These churches still exist in parts of the city to this day. We also had this little factory that made 'Taylor's Sausage'. Don't you know the small company is still around. It had a different taste from anything being made these days.
Schools-until I started researching family-I didn't know all the colored schools had names like Lincoln, Attucks, L'Overture, Washington. In research I found something that said ANY school in any state were known to be 'colored' schools if they had this name. We were segregated, but as a child, you didn't know about that grown folks stuff because everybody living around you was 'your peeps'. We didn't get fancy toys-everything was created from scrap wood and old nails. A scooter, truck, swing from a tree, 'Forts' for war. If you left your skates, a doll carriage or anything with wheels out, they ended up on something that would 'go fast'. And tools-if you found a hammer, screw driver, whatever 'grown folks would know they left it out somewhere', them kids took it and made something'. It may have made it's way back to the owner--but not likely. And whippings-it truly was a neighborhood thing. You got one when caught, and when you got home you got another one. Lordy! I didn't like whippings. I forgot the OUT HOUSES-out door toilets, all over the neighborhood. It was in the late 1950's before people started getting them inside the house. We won't discuss here what was used at night.
Then the railroad. When I hear the whistle/horn blowing anywhere in any state, it reminds me of 2628 Bernard. I LOVE TRAVELING ON THE TRAINS. We all didn't have much, but we all made do. I could go on and talk about the watermelon man, the vegetable man, the knife sharpening man and the new OLD clothes man. They all had carts or an old truck that came in the hood and sold their products. And the singing groups- at night a group of boys would get under a street light and harmonize. Some of them became very famous. That's where they fine tuned their harmonies. Under the 'Street SpotLight". We loved it. It was free. But I plan on putting these memories into my "Family Memory Book' It might make facts more interesting. .