Papas World – when I was young – roller skating!

Good day everyone –

ever get a tune in your head

over and over again?

” I HAD A PAIR OF BRAND NEW ROLLER SKATES “

Before I had my new WESTERN FLYER BIKE

I had a pair of Roller Skates!

” AND YOU HAD A BRAND NEW KEY”

Now – I just know you won’t be singing that little song! LOL

I am dating myself here – but – when I was 6 or 7 –

that is what I had – Roller Skates

and I would strap them on

and up and down the sidewalk I would go

and believe me – those sidewalks were land mines!

Great big Maple trees grew alongside them

causing them to crack – become crooked

and you needed to be a expert to navigate them!

” I HAD A BRAND NEW PAIR OF ROLLER SKATES”

Growing up in a little town in NWPA called Eldred.

Hours and hours I would skate up and down the street.

We lived on main street

heading East and West through Pa.

Going West to the border of NYS

Or East toward the far reaches of Pa.

All through the Alleghany Mountains

Lands of the Senaca nation.

I was a skinny thing –

so skinny my Mom wouldn’t let me take off my T shirt!

The blue veins stood out among the bones

she was afraid people would think

she wasn’t feeding me !

But – I ate and ate – see where I am today! LOL

I had one destination I would skate to down town

It was a Service Station / Furniture store

Called SLAVIN’S!

And it had a huge open paved area in front!

That was as far as I was allowed to go.

The other direction was Prouty’s saw mill!

This was it
Slavin’s service station
furniture store

I would hit that big open black top and was in heaven

after the mine field of the sidewalks!

Right behind that car was the service bays

and “Jack” – he worked in those bays.

And he befriended me

If you look close – between the bays

was a glass bottled COKE MACHINE!

And he would motion me over

And put in I think 5 cents and buy me a Coke!

I had to drink it there and he did not do it all the time!

We never had ” POP” as I called it!

And it was a treat for me.

My sister and brother in law – Donna and Bill

lived upstairs in the building next door

My Mom would walk my brother Mike and me down the street

at 5:45 am. each week day as she worked and my father

worked on the oil fields as a supervisor for South Penn

My mother worked for Alcas known the world over today as

Cutco Knives –

she retired from there as did my dad ( who died from cancer in 1969)

My Mom lived to be almost 98 years old!

We walked down in the cold Winter mornings

and climbed up those long stairs

seemed like 30 steps to me!

We would lie down – my brother in law had already

gone to work at the White Hawk Beef Company in town.

He later became the chief of police and mayor

Drove semi truck for Viko

which became Ethan Allen at the far side of town.

My sister would get us up – and feed us breakfast

and then we would walk to school.

” AND YOU HAVE A BRAND NEW KEY”

Sherry and Tom
http://www.sf.juiceplus.com

Thank you for reading Papa’s World

A little bit about me

” I HAVE A BRAND NEW PAIR OF ROLLER SKATES –

AND YOU HAVE A BRAND NEW KEY”

” LA – LA – LA- LA———LA”

livinglifedoingitmyway.blog

WHERE FRIENDS MEET THE FAMILY

Papa’s World – surrounded – by water – Eldred Pa. ’72

It started with some rain –

I was working second shift –

in Olean N.Y.

Around 9:00 P.M. –

I looked out back at the river –

IT WAS TIME TO LEAVE AND GO HOME – TO ELDRED PA.

Good morning

I left and drove through Portville N.Y.

– still raining –

and I came to the bridge that turned right –

And would take me to the border and Pa.

They had just set up the barriers –

I would be the last car through.

I had to go across the “FLATS” and it already had started to flood.

Here we are in the hills or mountains of the Allegany River

which flows North into New York State –

before it turns South back into Pa.

Eventually ending up in Pittsburg Pa.

I pushed water with my bumper –

almost up to the headlight –

But after one hour to make a thirty minute trip –

I was home.

This would be the last time I would get out for almost two weeks.

We would be completely surrounded by water !

Main Street Eldred

In this picture –

I had moved from a apartment over top of the Western Auto

Six months before the flood from Hurricane Agnes

which dropped 12 . 5 inches of rain

The water would continue to rise another three to four feet in this picture.

I never went back to work for over two weeks –

Almost to second stories

The town was devastated –

one point five million dollars in destruction.

With a population of 800 to 1000 –

The water destroyed almost every business and home in the Boro.

We were lucky – we had moved to North Mani Street – high above the water.

We were constantly moving people and furniture only to see the water rise

and cover everything we had moved up.

A helicopter made trips into the ball field before it

( the ball park ) also vanished under water

Soon the Elementary school where we had set up a sort of place to meet –

was under water.

About twelve feet of water

Through all of this –

main street turned into a water way for boats –

As did the side streets

Supplies were getting thin –

trying the back roads through the hills –

was almost impossible as almost every community from miles around

was in water or surrounded.

Rain bow

But there is a good ending to all of this –

ELDRED survived and came back –

rebuilt -and a few years later –

The Army Corps of Engineers built a dike system –

And even though there were dikes before –

this was much improved –

And as far as I know –

has not flooded since!

The Sun came out and at the end of the Rain bow –

Main street Eldred – many of these buildings still remain

She still stands there today –

The little community –

Where everyone knows your name –

Continues on as it has since the 1800’s!

Tom & Sherry

I hope this brings back memories for those that lived it.

Hurricane Agnes in June 1972

wrought much destruction in our area-

This is but one point of view.

Thank you for reading.

For more blogs that I have written just type in the following

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For email to contact me

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For general HEALTH ( sherry is a certified Health Coach )

http://www.sf.juiceplus.com

for her email

ssherrylynn49@aol.com

Thank you for reading

and Welcome to PAPA’S WORLD

Papa’s World – before there was STAND BY ME – ELDRED

In a little community five miles from the New York State border –

In North West Pa. – stands a village –

called Eldred.

Nestled in the Allegany hills by the river of the same name –

Home to me for my first thirty years of life.

The Allegany Mountains

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 –

Main street in the 1800’s

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 !

Rural Eldred

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 !

Stand by Me

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 !

My STAND BY ME FRIENDS – me second from left

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.

Streets of Eldred

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.

ELDRED WWII MUSEUM

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 !

A must see on the history of this area and WWII

Part of the history of the area is that

manufacture of WWII bombs

and munitions

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.

Work out center used to be Justice of Peace – before that – a grocery store – repurpose as the town ages

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 “

TOM & SHERRY

Thank you for reading – for more blogs – just type in the following

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for email

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for HEALTH

http://www.sf.juiceplus.com

for email

ssherrylynn49@aol.com

Welcome to Papa’s World

THANK YOU

Papa’s World-Growing up Eldred Pa. – part Six.

GOOD MORNING

Eldred – a small community situated by the Allegheny River

Among the rolling hills know as the old mountain range

” The Allegheny Mountains “

I wrote a blog a short while ago –

about the title before there was ” STAND BY ME “

There was Eldred –

where everybody knows your name.

Bob – me ( Tom ) – Greg – Mike – John – Sully – Gerry – Gus and Pat

We were friends – we were buddies –

we had each others back

And we once took a little trip down that river .

Canoeing the Allegheny River
I believe our Sophomore year



Our little group grew and grew –

We were part of a national group known as The Exployer’s !

Raising money for our trips –

Staying out of trouble –

Almost all of my buddies belonged

And the younger kids started to follow.

Me – number 65

We played sports –

we were not into trouble –

we did not smoke – which back then was a big deal !

A few who did got kicked off the team.

We lived – played and grew up in a small Western Pa. town

close to the South Western New York border

where every one knew your name

In all the years before – and the years since –

The faces have changed –

the names also –

but to this day it remains

North Main Street

The little town – where every one knew your name

South Main Street

Of ELDRED PA .

Thank you for reading

Papa’s World – Growing up Eldred Pa.

The grade school across from the park
with South Main Street
in the background

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just type in the following

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My email

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From the park to Park Avenue
and Mechanic Street

For Health and Nutrition

Sherry – Certified Health Coach

For HEALTH AND NUTRITION

http://www.sf.juiceplus.com

her email

ssherrylynn49@aol.com

Thank you for reading

PAPA’S WORLD

GROWING UP – ELDRED PA.

Before there was STAND BY ME –

There was ELDRED PA.

Papa’s World – Growing up Eldred Pa. Part Five

1800 ‘s Eldred Pa.

There was industry in Eldred Pa.

Manufactured Glass – two that I know of !

Both were located where the elementary school is now

and either by the park or Park Avenue.

Elementary school where the glass factory was

They were long gone when I was growing up –

but I heard about them.

Looking up Barden Brook

My time was spent many long days at this ball diamond –

and to the right – beyond the little building for the bathrooms –

was Barden Brook Creek !

I would play in the water there – catching craw fish –

and just on the other side –

were a myriad of dirt paths –

heading off into the woods –

I was scared to venture far –

and I remember them branching off in different directions.

Park Avenue and Mechanic street

Many of my grade school classmates lived in this area –

I was from the other side of town

North Main Street –

North Main Street Eldred Pa.

Slavin’s furniture was the big white building on the left –

To the right – the red building – the Fire Hall

And just up from that – The Masonic Hall –

Doctor’s office and the dentist office.

On the left side is now the Eldred Museum

with a tank coming out of the wall –

That was Frisbee’s Insurance when I was growing up

He always sent me a birthday card as we had the same birthdays !

You can just barley see my house on the left

5 or 6 houses up the street

This is where I played – roller skated

rode my bike –

South Main Street

I had to walk all the way down this street from North Main Street

to go to school – as far as you can see on the left –

I would guess it to be over a mile.

Eldred school – grades one through twelve.

I went four grades here before the new grade school was completed

and at that time the three towns

Eldred – Rixford and Duke Center along with Eldred Township

formed one school district –

Otto -Eldred High School – grades 7 through 12 .

Terri – Tom ( me ) – Mike

Thank you for reading Papa’s World – Growing up Eldred Pa.

Part Six is the next blog

livinglifedoingitmyway.blog

email fitztdf@aol.com

Sherry Certified Health Coach

For HEALTH & NUTRITION

http://www.sf.juiceplus.com

email ssherrylynn49@aol.com

Thank you for reading PAPA’S World

Growing up ELDRED PA. part five

Papa’s World – Growing up – Eldred Pa. part four

The men of Eldred

I remember each and everyone of these men –

This was the volunteers for the fire department –

In every facet of my life growing up –

I most likely came in contact with them all at one time or other.

GROWING UP ELDRED PA. part four of Papa’s World.

Fire department
just down the street from my house

This was a busy building – where the men came together –

all volunteers and the ladies auxiliary also met.

And just across the street next to the Post Office was “SLAVINS ” !

Local hangout bar and meeting place for most of these people !

Run by Russ and Tootie Slavin – a local family –

who in each Slavin branch – all very good athletes

and known through NWPA !

I can remember every year – the firemen would come along the curb

in front of our house on North Main Street –

and with chalk would write and mark where each unit was to line up

and this would go all the way back to the Kendall bridge !

The MEMORIAL DAY PARADE marked the end of the school year

and the beginning of Summer !

The Kendall Bridge

I was always told that this bridge was one of only two –

The other I think was in Japan.

It was a two lane bridge – with a road coming off in the middle –

Spanning a railroad track – another road –

and a river running under it !

I do not know if that was true or not –

with a gas station ( Kendall) across from the entrance.

but it is still there today !

The parade back then and today – is always led by the veterans of the town

It seems like that number down through the years never dwindles.

For such a small town – ( 800 to 1000) people

It has provided the military of scores of men

in all the conflicts fighting for their country.

Terry – Ron – Freddie -Paul and Skeet
my brothers close friends

Two are now gone – three remain – four played baseball with my brother

Freddie was in the little league World Series.

Four played for my father

Ron and my father
Clarence Russel Fitzsimmons
known as Bob or Fitz

I was too young – I never went –

But there were families of friends who went every year

To far North in Canada fishing !

We had a old red barn down back –

three stories tall and a stable underneath –

I can still see in my mind

The red front and the big sliding gray door –

and to the left

DOZENS of fish heads nailed up on the wall

Muskie – Pike

Fish that they caught and brought home.

Roger went but I was born ten years younger

I never went but looked at hundreds of pictures !

Thank you for reading Papa’s World part four.

Growing up Eldred Pa.

Part five is next !

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SHERRY Certified Health Coach

For HEALTH & NUTRITION

http://www.sf.juiceplus.com

email

ssherrylynn49@aol.com

Thank you for reading PAPA’S WORLD

where friends and family meet.

Papa’s World – growing up Eldred Pa. – part three !

Terri – Boots – Mike

I grew up with my niece – Terri Luce and my brother Mike –

This was my early World – they were almost the same age .

Donna – my sister – became pregnant –

just after my younger brother Mike was born.

Donna was 15 years older than me & 20 years older than Mike.

Terri – Tom (me ) – Mike

We played together all the time – she was a little blond –

and Mike had curly Red hair .

I miss them both as they are now gone.

It was at this time – my mother would not let me go shirtless !

I was so skinny she thought people would think she was starving me !

Eldred at turn of century 1889

It seemed as I was growing up – we always had a flood !

One such flood – I was maybe ten years old –

I was told not to go down the street to the water !

Well – I did what I was told not to do !

I went behind Slavin’s furniture – and dug up some wooden pallets –

Somewhere I found some inner tube –

and I made a raft !

I launched it by the body shop – I had a long stick –

The water on main street was maybe 2 to 3 feet deep –

I did not know how to swim –

Unknown to me – a reporter from the paper was there

The Bradford Era !

He took a picture of me – standing on my little raft

With that stick in my hand –

pushing my raft down the street in front of Slavin’s bar.

To my surprise – that picture was printed the next day –

To the Bradford Era – the very same paper my dad always read –

delivered each morning – before he left for work!

Nothing was said until after supper that night .

I first was asked if I had gone downtown to the water ?

I said nothing – I could tell they knew !

Then – there it was – a picture of me on my raft with stick in hand !

Front page !

I got into trouble –

but deep inside

I had pride –

I had made the front page !

Just like my father had – after winning a bet on a heavyweight boxing match

He bet Herkie that Patterson would win –

And the loser had to wheel a wheel barrow down main street

with the winner riding inside.

My mom kept that picture and my sister also had it

along with dad being rolled down main street – FRONT PAGE !

Thank you for reading Papa’s World

for more blogs to read –

just type in the following

livinglifedoingitmyway.blog

my email

fitztdf@aol.com

Sherry – Certified Health Coach

For HEALTH & NUTRITION

http://www.sf.juiceplus.com

her email

ssherrylynn49@aol.com

Part Four of Growing up Eldred Pa. next blog

Thank you for reading PAPA’S WORLD