Memories of a Time Past: Part 1

When I was a little girl, growing up in Brooklyn NY, we used to live on a dead end street.

The dead end street I used to live on butted up against a cemetery wall, which, I believe was the largest cemetery in Brooklyn at the time.

The dead end street I used to live on butted up against a cemetery wall which belonged to the largest cemetery in Brooklyn, I believe, at the time.  We kids used to wait outside the entrance through which the workers would exit at the end of their work day.  They would throw chestnuts to us which fell from the numerous chestnut trees that grew in there.  We ran and scrambled to get them, and the workers laughed and enjoyed our excitement!  We’d drill a hole in the nuts, thread string (or shoe laces) through them and play games with them.

Our house was a semi-detached, and so we had a common wall with our neighbor next door.  When I grew enough so that I was able to reach the electric outlet that was on that adjoining wall, I used it to speak through it with my neighbor friend, Sonja.  We used it quite often in place of a telephone.  We didn’t have a telephone yet, at that time.  We had a bench against that wall in our kitchen, so I would stand on it to speak with her.

I also remember enjoying visiting Sonja in her house next door.  Her parents were very nice, and her father played the mandolin.  I loved listening to his music and watching how his fingers strummed the strings.  It was the very first time I had seen someone play an instrument.  He would sing in the Norwegian language; they were originally from Norway.  Her mother baked the most wonderful cookies, too.!  It was a warm, friendly home.

Sonja was 3 years older than I, and I remember playing in her backyard.  My vivid memory from that time is of sitting at her play table; the chair I was sitting on matched the table and they were made of metal.  I still can “hear” the scraping of the chair on the rough concrete of the yard as I moved it.

Sonja and me in her backyard.  I was 2 and she was 5 yrs old.

Sonja and me in her backyard. I was 2 and she was 5 yrs old.

My father took this photo of Sonja and me with his simple box camera.  I remember the leather carry-handle at the top of it.  He developed his film in a small, dark closet in our house.

I was able to find a photo of the camera my father used (and I subsequently inherited it for my use when I was a teenager.

I was able to find a photo of the camera my father used.  He gave me his camera to use when I was a teenager.

 

In this photo, I am Advancing the film manually in the old box camera.  There was a little window through which the number of the next unexposed area of the film roll would be seen.

In this photo, I am advancing the film manually in the old box camera. There was a little window through which the number of the next unexposed area of the film roll would be viewed in order to be sure the next picture would be centered when the film was developed.

It was a more simple time of life, and there were many pleasures to be enjoyed.

Credits:  dead end, agfa box camera; bingdotcom.  Original old photos from personal collection of Sunshinebright.

7 responses to “Memories of a Time Past: Part 1

  1. Nice story. I think there are a lot of stories, simple life vignettes, that most people may take for granted. When you really look at them, there is a world to be discovered. Every person is special and their lives are special – the norm for one is an insight for another. This story gave me some insight into the person you are, into a different time, and from it I learned more about you living in a time so different than I grew up in. There is always a surprise around each corner!

    And the picture of you – I always felt I had the most beautiful mother in the classroom on the meet the teacher night!

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    • I’m so glad you enjoyed my little sojourn back into my childhood memories. And I learned something about you that I didn’t know before: re “meet the teacher” night. 🙂

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  2. I am so enjoying this — can’t wait for Part 2!

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  3. Great story! I wonder what the memories of “simpler times” will be for the new generations…

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    • Guapo, I know this was a little different post for me – but I do keep jumping around in many directions, don’t I? Whatever catches my fancy, and I hope catches the fancy of anyone who might be stopping by. I’m glad it caught your fancy. Your “memories of simpler times for the new generations” is an interesting topic for a post. Care to try it out?

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  4. Pingback: Memories of A Time Past: Part 3 | Sunshinebright

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