Tuesday, July 08, 2008

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Manny, Moe, and Jack


Trolleys with windows that opened. A woman collecting tickets in the back in the 1940's. Watching the sights on the way downtown. There go Manny, Moe, and Jack on North Broad Street. They were still alive then. Old wooden trolleys and fancy metal ones on Germantown Avenue and most everywhere else. I liked the buses though. Little did I know. Coming into Center City on the train. All aboard! The train station.... Walking around the giant barn. Exciting. Dirty. Noisy. How do we get on the right train? How do we avoid getting killed by another train that's pulling out. So many tracks. Everyone dressed in high heels, white gloves, suits and ties.
Eating in posh restaurants. Aunt Betty telling me which fork to use and how to sit. Up straight. Not to be round-shouldered like my mom, she says. Blum's, Snellenberg's, Gimbels, Lit Brothers, so many stores. Back to Broad Street. I loved Broad Street. Walking at night with Aunt Betty down Broad Street to one of the three movie houses. So bright, so many people, so busy. So much fun.
Then New York on the bus. Christmas to the Radio City Music Hall. In summer, to the library and always to the restaurant with seltzer on tap with the water. I could station myself there and drink seltzer for dinner. We could always go there. What did they serve? Seltzer! And the Automat. Play with the coffee and sandwich machines. Put in a nickel for a cup of Joe. But nobody called it Joe. It was coffee. Why wasn't I bored? But never. Tears come with the memories. How can I ever say how good they were.

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