Posted on

Growing Up in Frankford Part 9

Continuation of Lyle (Corky) Larkin remembers:

Spick and Span

The people took great pride in our neighborhoods. You never saw trash on the streets. The women cleaned the steps in front of their row houses every Saturday, with buckets and scrub brushes. Fall was always a pretty time of the year. The streets were lined with trees of all shapes and sizes, ours had maple trees, which turned a  bright gold with the first frost. Now came the fun part, when the leaves began to drop the neighbors would keep them raked into huge piles that gave us kids a perfect  place to romp in. We would dive into these piles and sometime ride our bikes through them. After the piles would begin to get big enough to get out of hand, they  would be burned right on the street. Somehow, it never seemed to hurt the asphalt. Everyone watched out for us kids, and if we were out too late as it got dark – the  women would call to us “the lights are on, it’s time to go home now”. In the pre-air conditioning days of Philadelphia, everyone in our neighborhood would come  outside after dinner and sit on the front steps. The adults would chat, and we kids would play. It was all very friendly.


The Brown Jug, Flanagan‟s, Northeast Bar & Grille, Duffy‟s Tavern Now they‟re called BARS. The neighborhoods used to call them “Taprooms”. These places were  totally different back then. They were “Meeting Places” for the people in that neighborhood. Complete families would gather for a night out. The atmosphere was  always a friendly one. Nickel beers, regular Hard boiled eggs or Pickled Eggs and pigs feet in gallon jars on the bar, baskets of peanuts, take-out beer in a pail, which were called “Buckets” that looked like a miniature milk can. These buckets would hold about two quarts and would cost fifty cents each. You were always expected to return them on your next visit. When the adults gathered at home , there would be several trips to the local bar with a bucket or pitcher to bring home the beer. Taprooms always had a separate ladies entrance, either at the side or rear of the building. No self respectful woman would walk through the front door of one of these establishments.

Wissinoming Park

We would fill the trunk with empty gallon jugs and get into the car and drive here on Sunday afternoon, just to get the spring water. We would actually stand in line,      waiting our turn. Sometime, we would just stop for a drink of fresh spring water that flowed from a 2-inch metal pipe hanging out of the bank. The water led to a good  size shallow pond that we used for ice-skating during the winter months. During the summer months, this was a great place for family outings, baseball games and picnics. To be continued…