In a little community five miles from the New York State border –
In North West Pa. – stands a village –
Nestled in the Allegany hills by the river of the same name –
Home to me for my first thirty years of life.
With a population through out the years at 800 to 1000 people –
Everyone knew your name and parents !
And we had a CURFEW –
yes – the fire station siren –
would blast away at 10:00 every night !
It could be heard all over town –
Many a night during the Summer –
sleeping out –
be it in my own back yard or front porch –
or that of a friend –
We found ourselves roaming the streets –
long after curfew !
We did not do anything wrong other than raid some gardens .
Smoke a cigar or cigarette
and later – up on the hill –
Drink some Colt 45 !
We had friends – from all parts of town –
I lived on North Main Street
A lot of my friends lived by the ballpark –
yes we had a ball diamond with lights !
And tennis and basketball courts !
Grade school friends –
later High School –
There was a movie that came out
” STAND BY ME “
Well before that –
was “ELDRED” at least in my life !
We formed a group in my Freshman year –
one of my friends fathers named BUD formed it !
It was called “THE EXPLORERS” –
a step up from the Boy Scouts.
We did everything – raised money –
held the first dances in the area.
We went on trips – Pro football games –
And my favorite – a long weekend canoe trip –
down the Allegany River !
Here in this picture you can see our camp site by the river.
We all played sports –
baseball – basketball and football.
It kept us busy and out of trouble –
It was our time in youth –
Some are now gone –
others I see once in a while –
But – all are memories of a time long gone.
This little town has a big city Museum –
rather large –
thousands of square feet –
with life size displays of people –
trucks – jeeps – armaments –
and a TANK BUSTING THROUGH ITS WALL !
Part of the history of the area is that
manufacture of WWII bombs
and bullets were made here.
It was a highly guarded site –
The museum has all
and more of the lore of the area.
Bus loads of people stop and tour it.
It is not a large town – small in fact –
the buildings from the 1800’s –
many are still there –
only in another form.
Main street has no red lights –
And in hunting season –
it fills up with hunters from the cities.
But it is a place where I grew up –
A place of friendship through the years
A place where NORMAL stands out –
and a place called ” ELDRED “
long before ” STAND BY ME “
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