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S: Growing Up in Clyde by Bob Gordan

BC: Photos provided by: Kristy Gordon DiSanto Clyde Savannah Public Library/Historical Photo Collection | All stories written by: Bob Gordon

FC: Growing Up in Clyde, New York Circa 1930

1: This collection of stories have been compiled from a reliable source - a grandfather. Every effort has been made to eliminate errors or questionable data. There still exists a possibility of errors and I take full responsibility. Some names have escaped me over the years,so any names you don't recognize may be hypothetical or have been changed to protect the innocent. These stories were written for the purpose of imparting to the children of Henry LaDue Meade Junior a sense of what their father was like as a young man. Junior and I were best friends through Clyde High School and kept in touch for many years after. Hank died at the age of 42 while working for the Bell Telephone Company in Albany, New York. These stories will also give my own sons and grandchildren a perspective of what it was like to grow up and mature in an environment where everybody knew your name and not much went unnoticed. All rights reserved for future Copyright Conventions. | Important notice:

2: Contents 1- The Rubber Rope 2- Lead Nickels 3- The Cistern Cleaners 4- Prohibition Boarders 5- Grocery Store Clerks 6- Self Propelled 7- Entertainment 8- Old Ford Racer 9- School Days 10- Halloween - Old Style 11- The Gamblers 12- The Little Car 13- A Long Thin Wire 14- Clyde's Town Park 15- Old House Toys 16- Sports In Clyde High 17- Dinners And Dances 18- Lets Take A Trip - Part 1 19- Lets Take A Trip - Part 2 20- Other Peoples Horses 21- Skates,Scooters & Stilts 22- Winter Sports 23- Hobos 24- Row-Row-Row Your Boat 25- They Got A Car 26- The Blacksmith 27- Malt house pigeons 28- Summer Fun 29- Our Attempt At Flight 30- Shooting Starlings 31- Chief Gallagher's Motorcycle 32- Gordon House Boarders 33- Sodus Point Summers 34 -Wayne County Farmers

3: Clyde New York 1930's

4: The Rubber Rope Somewhere around 1928-1932 there was a lot of talk on the radio and pictures and articles in the Clyde Times [A Local Newspaper] about flying gliders and airplanes. Lindbergh had made a solo flight to Paris and Amelia Earhart's name and picture was in the paper for her exploits in long distance flying. Airmail was coming into vogue but it cost you extra. Right around this time an airplane flew into Clyde, piloted by a fellow named Bill that my father knew. He was from Detroit and made his living giving airplane rides to people who were crazy enough to fly with him. He stopped in Clyde because he was having some trouble with his engine and needed a little help from a good mechanic. My father helped Bill repair his engine. .Junior and I were there all the time along with a great many more people from Clyde. This was one of the first airplanes most of the people had seen up close and in their face. When the work was finished this pilot Bill, took my father for a ride to check out the plane. After they landed the pilot was ready to take up anybody that had 3 dollars. Three or four people took him up on his offer. One guy was so air sick when they got back he threw up right there by the plane. Junior and I were still hanging around watching everything that went on. I saw my father go up and talk with Bill and tried to hand him some money. Bill refused the money but he came over to Junior and I and asked if we wanted a ride. Oh boy! This was what we were hoping for. I had asked my father if we could have a ride but he said he couldn't afford it. Bill said, “both of you can ride in the front seat." The biggest thrill of our young lives was about to happen. The plane was a twin wing, two seater of WWI vintage. Bill got us in the plane's front seat, gave us goggles to put on and adjusted them to fit us. After he got us strapped in side by side, with one strap around the two of us, he climbed into the rear seat. Bill told us not to touch anything but he had already taken out the front stick control. All we had to look at were some gages that didn't mean a thing to us. If you have never been in an airplane you really don't know what to expect. When the engine started the plane began to vibrate at an alarming rate. The engine was so loud and the plane shook so that we were ready to get out if we could. There was no way out. We were belted in side by side and the plane was moving down the field. We taxied the whole length of the field in order to face into the wind for take-off.

5: Flying! | William ?

6: Bill had placed a long stick in the ground with a rag ribbon tied on the end to tell him which way the wind was blowing. The field we were on was used for football and baseball so it wasn't really a smooth flight deck and it wasn't overly long for a runway. When we reached the east end of the field Bill turned the plane 180 degrees facing into the wind. He then proceeded to rev the engine up causing the vibration and sound level to increase to an intensity that was very uncomfortable. Then we suddenly started to move forward faster and faster. The plane bumped and bounced along over the grass until all at once everything smoothed right out. We were flying! The plane went higher and higher until we leveled out and got a chance to look around. It seemed like the greatest feeling in the world to look down and see all that stuff on the ground that we were so familiar with show up in a different perspective, the canal, the railroads, the bridge and the town park right in the middle. All the agonizing moments of noise and vibration at take-off were quickly forgotten and we happily took in all the new scenery from 1500 the air. We didn't stay up long, maybe 15 minutes, but we were certainly taken with the airplane and all its new thrills. Much better and more scary than any roller coaster we had ever been on.

7: Don't think: Look! -Ludwig Wittgenstein | We recruited "Beano" [Art Hinman] to help us. Progress was being made. It took us about 3 weeks to gather the tubes and cut them up into strips. Then come the fun part making the rubber rope. Braid, braid, braid, braid- "is that long enough? No lets make it longer." Braid, braid, braid, "is that long enough? - No, lets make it longer". We ended up with a rope about 35 ft. long. Now what do we do? We don't have a glider or anything to try it out on. Beano says "lets try it out on a cart". A good idea, so we proceeded to go out and tie the rubber rope across the street between two trees about 1ft. above the concrete. We had to add a few feet of ordinary rope at each end of the rubber to do this. | The landing we made was a little rough and we bounced twice but by this time we were almost veteran fliers and kind of took it in stride. After Bill and my Dad helped us out of the plane we said goodbye to Bill and thanked him for the ride and ran as fast as we could back to town to spread the word that we had flown in an airplane. Junior and I flew that airplane ride over and over until we came to the conclusion that we ought to try and build something we could fly in. We searched through all the magazines and books we could find with pictures of airplanes and gliders. We ran across one picture of a glider that they said was being launched with a rubber rope. A light came on in Junior's mind. He said, "we can do that". I said "we can do what?" He says "we can make a rubber rope to launch our glider with”. I said "How you gonna do that?"Junior then explained to me that we could go to all garages and gas stations in town and ask them for their old discarded rubber tubes. [Back then all tires had rubber tubes inside] We could cut these tubes up into inch wide strips and braid them like we braid those boondoggles at the scout meetings. We went to work gathering all the old tubes we could find and spent a lot of time cutting them up to braid into a rubber rope.

8: There weren't many cars on the roads in those days and if a horse came along we could untie the rope and lower it. We were all set up, now the question was , "who is going to ride in the cart?" The three of us drew straws. Guess who won the draw? "Junior". Meade gets in the cart with the handle in his lap, all set to take a free ride. We put the rubber rope below the cart body just above the wheels and with Beano & I on each rear corner we pulled Junior and the cart back as far as we could. We had the feeling that the cart wasn't going to go very fast. We really were surprised when the cart took off like a scared rabbit. You won't believe what happened! When the cart had gained considerable speed it didn't fly away from the rope like we expected and Junior was hanging on for dear life. The cart came to a complete stop. Junior wondered what happened and I started to get out.He never had a chance because the cart was gaining speed again and started back toward us. We stood there watching and wondering what was wrong. .Junior was trying desperately to steer the cart as it gained speed going backward. Did you ever try to steer a cart going backward? It isn't easy and it wasn't then. The cart was gaining speed and Junior was trying to control it. It came back about five feet and the cart wobbled up on two wheels, Junior over corrected, the cart wobbled up on the other two wheels and flipped over, Meade fell out and rolled away but the cart kept coming. Beano and I took off before that wild cart caught us. After a couple more short oscillations with lots of scraping and banging, the cart stopped and we were able to find out what went wrong. We picked Junior up first to make sure he was all right. He survived with only a couple of abrasions on his hip and elbow. What went wrong? The Rubber rope had squeezed itself into the angled steel braces that held the wheels and body together. The only remedy we needed was to place the rubber rope around the cart body where it couldn't get caught on anything. The first test run proved our success as designers of a system to launch gliders or carts depending on how you looked at it. We had so much fun with the rubber rope launching carts all summer that we never got around to building a glider. Bob Gordon #1

9: Lead Nickels The Town of Clyde had several places downtown where us kids hung out together as we were growing up. Two of them were combined snack bars and soda fountains. One was called "The Rose Bud" and the other was called "The Sugar Bowl". Two others were poolrooms. One pool room was named " Bramer & Scutt" They sold newspapers and all kinds of tobacco and cigars along with a poolroom in the back. The other pool room called "Joe's" was for lower class pool shooters like high school kids and old derelicts. All four places had one thing in common, they all had one ball gambling machines that paid out your prize in nickels. You could play for a nickel and win anything from ten cents to a dollar. These pin ball machines were new to us and we tried to take advantage of them. If we had ten cents or a quarter we would try to increase our financial assets by playing the pinball machine a couple of times. Junior Meade and I won some and lost many. We finally decided we couldn't beat the lousy thing and we were losing what little money we had. One day while Junior and I were agonizing over our losses we came up with a solution. We were going to try and find some washers in my old mans Garage that we could use instead of nickels. The pinball designers were way ahead of us!

10: Junior and I couldn't find a washer that fit the dimensions of a nickel. Another thing we noticed, the pin ball machine had a clear window under the glass that revealed the last 6 nickels that you put into the machine. It occurred to us then we couldn't use washers anyway, anybody looking over our shoulder would see our offering to the pinball god and we might be in a little trouble. A little time went by and we were still agonizing over our inability to beat the cussed pin ball machine. Then all at once at school, the good fairy touched our devastated lives. Junior and I were in a science class using some plaster of paris to make a cast for a broken bone [Chicken leg to be exact]. He looked at me and I looked at him and we both had the same thought at the same time. Make LEAD nickels. We were already familiar with pouring hot lead into moulds to fashion sinkers for fishing. It was only a short step from making moulds around a chicken leg to making a mould to fashion a nickel. After school we got together at the " Sugar Bowl " for a rap session on how to make lead nickels. We did not disclose to anyone our unethical approach to solving our financial crisis. Our approach seemed do-able but our brains were a little weak on the "how to do" part.We started out putting a nickel in the bottom of a glass and just pouring the plaster over it. After we carefully dug the buried nickel out of the plaster cast we had a nickel with only one side on it. Another Problem? If we used the nickel like that and got it in upside down,someone watching would catch us in our foul act. "Humm" what do we do now ? Here again the Meade brain became our hero. Junior says,"make two casts, one for heads and one for tails and put the two together." A great solution but a poor nickel. The nickel weighed 4 times what it ought to and was too thick to fit in the pinball machine. Now the Gordon brain became engaged. " Hey Junior, all we gotta do is file off half of each piece of plaster and we will have a nickel the right thickness. All well and good but now we had to figure out how to get the hot lead into the cavity between the two moulds. We finally figured that we could stand the joined moulds on edge and drill a small hole down to the nickel cavity and pour in the hot lead.The lead wouldn't flow into the cavity so we had to drill a second hole to let the air out. Now all the problems were solved and we were ready to go into production. The one thing that still troubled us was the fact that a lead nickel could be instantly recognized by its weight. This didn't stop us, we made sure nobody got one. We did agonize a little about where the nickels would go when they were picked up by the machine venders but our insight told us that they couldn't pick a raindrop out of a puddle. Alas, we were so wrong!

11: Anyway, our production line soon produced about 30 lead nickels. Now it was show time! Junior and I set out for "Joe's" poolroom. Gordon had the lead nickels in his left pants pocket and anything we won was to go in my right hand pocket. This arrangement was to keep Uncle Sam's money separate from the phony stuff so we could spend it. Junior was the player and I was the banker. The first 3 plays were a bust then. Junior got lucky and hit a 15 cent hole. The bells rung, the whistle blew and the machine went kachunk, kachunk, kachunk and spit out 3 nickels. What a thrill! We tried to keep the happy down and stick to business. Junior had the machine ding a lingin and kachunkin for about 15 minuets. When our 30 lead nickels were gone we had made 60 cents in good United States coin. It was time to celebrate. We took our hard earned money to the "Rose Bud" and ordered up a banana split for each of us at 20 cents a crack. It felt so good to have money in our pocket that we went home and made 30 more lead nickels. Our next victim was the "Sugar Bowl". We played for 15 or 20 minutes and only made 45 cents this time. It was all fun and we did make a profit. The game went on for about 2 weeks, switching from one machine to another so as not to attract too much attention, or so we thought. On Monday of the third week,one of the kids came up to me and said, "Mr.Gallagher wants to see you". We only had one cop in town and "Gallagher" was it. The law had caught up with us soI knew we better fess up or my Father would kick my butt a mile in the air. I found Junior and told him to lay low. Mr. Gallagher and I were kind of friends. He had talked to me before about some other shenanigans in town and I often saw him at the garage where my father took care of his motorcycle. After school I went down to the combined Fire House and Town Hall where he had his office. I knocked on the door. He said,"come in Gordon- then he said- sit down there- I want to talk to you". | Chief Gallagher 1936

12: He didn't sound mad but he wasn't exactly friendly either. I'm shaking inside wondering what he was going to do to me. I was also thinking about that 8 by 8 jail cell right below his office in the basement. Mr. Gallagher left me sitting for a few minuets while he did some paper work and cleaned his desk off. Then, without saying another word to me he reaches over to his right , opens a drawer and comes out with a cigar box. He puts the cigar box on hi$ desk,opens the cover, goes in with both hands, comes out with his hands full of lead nickels,dumps them in the middle of the desk and says,"do you know anything about those?" At this point I could have sunk right through the floor into the jail cell, but what was I going to do? It was sort of a revelation to learn how many lead nickels we had really made. I only had one alternative, tell him the truth, so I said "yes, I made them." Mr.Gallagher then proceeded to tell me all the laws pertaining to counterfeit money and the punishment handed out by the government to people who tried to counterfeit US currency. After he got done threatening me,he said "how did you make those?" I then told him all the gory details and showed him the burn scars on my hands from the hot lead, hoping for some sympathy and a lighter sentence. "Now," he says,"I want you to bring all that parafinalia you used to make those nickels to me." Junior and I had talked about what to do and had agreed that some snitch must have spotted us playing the pinball machines and our best bet was to get rid of the evidence so I said "Mr.Gallagher, I can't do that. He says: "why"? "Well" I says "I heard you were looking for me so I went home and threw all the stuff in the furnace." He seemed a little ticked when I told him that and said "get out of here and if I catch you boys doing anything like that again your butt will really be in the wringer." His parting words were "don't you get that Meade kid in any more trouble either." Meade was waiting for me outside the Firehouse. We went as fast as we could to my house, got everything together and threw it in the furnace. Junior and I suspected Mr.Gallagher knew his mother, Leila,was raising 4 kids alone and didn't want to upset her. Bob Gordon #2

13: The Cistern Cleaners Before the advent of running water and flush toilets there were other ways of coping with the #1 and #2 in your life without raising a finger. In Clyde, where Meade and I lived,there were outhouses all over town.. The Clyde municipal fathers were waking up to the fact that to be a modern town they had to put in sewer pipes and a fresh water supply. Sewer pipes were being installed downtown and slowly expanding their presence into the outlying blocks of houses. The water supply was also being distributed but the water was so hard that people kept their cisterns intact to get soft water for washing dishes and doing laundry. Almost every house in Clyde still had cisterns in their basements. Most of the cisterns were from 8 to 12 foot square and needed periodic cleaning to remove the leaves,dead cats, birds,insects and rodent that fell in and drowned.The cisterns were usually located in one corner of the cellar under the kitchen, and the pitcher pump was at one end of the kitchen sink. Light was the worst enemy of cisterns so they were built up to about 12 to 18 inches from the floor joists and no windows near that could shed light into them. If much light got into the cistern misquotes and bugs would breed in the water. To get soft rain water into the cisterns,each house collected the water through a series of interconnected gutter systems. During a heavy downpour you had to watch the water level in the cistern or it would overflow into the cellar. A crude flipper vane was provided in the gutter system to dump the water out onto the ground if the cistern was about to overflow. Since these cisterns needed periodic cleaning and there were few people that did this work, Junior Meade and I decided we would become cistern cleaners. We got some advice from an old guy who knew cisterns. "First," he says,"you got to pump all the water out,remove the sediment and clean the inside. After the inside is clean you got to waterproof the inside walls and bottom with a slurry of concrete in order to make sure it don't leak." Sounds easy, doesn't it? We did clean a few and this is what we run up against. After we pumped out the last of the water, we had to contend with the smell of rotting leaves,rotting cats and all kinds of decomposed rodents and bugs. What a smell !! Some of these cisterns hadn't been cleaned in 10 years or maybe more. The sludge at the bottom we scooped up with a shovel into a couple of pails, then the pails had to be lifted over the cistern wall and carried out of the cellar and usually dumped in the garden. In terribly odorous situations, we had to bury the carcass. All cisterns were not messy,slimy,disgusting cesspools. Many of them only needed pumping out,flushed and waterproofed and the $2.50 we made came easy.

14: Others sometimes took us two days and the pay wasn't worth it. There really wasn't any way for us to judge what we were going to run into. Let me tell you about the one that wasn't worth anything. A Mrs.Butler called us and wanted her cistern cleaned. We told her we wold come Wednesday. She said she would be gone all day but we could come right in and do the job. We got there about 8o'clock in the morning and she was just leaving. She said goodbye and left us to do the work. We always started by pumping out the remaining water in the cistern. Meade goes over to the pitcher pump and tries to pump water. No water comes out. Junior says, "Hey Bob,there isn't any water in the cistern- this one is going to be easy." We go into the cellar with our pails and shovel,found an old chair and looked into the cistern to see how much crap we had to haul out. Low and behold,the cistern is 80% full of water. We go back upstairs to see why the pump didn't work. We loosened the screw that holds the handle and piston to the pump and find out the leather washer for the pump piston is completely worn out. Our next move was to go downtown and buy a new leather gasket for the pump. This cost us 20 cents. We install the gasket and start pumping. Pump-pump-pump-pump,you pump a while Junior-pump- pump- pump- now it's Gordon's turn again. All day long we pumped until Mrs. Butlar came home at 4 o'clock. She looked at us pumping and asked us if we were finished yet? We said "No,we got to pump the water out before we can clean the cistern." She looked at us like we were crazy and said 'that cistern went dry two weeks ago." We then had to explain to the lady that the cistern was full of water and she wasn't getting any because the pump needed repair. She said,"it seems to be working alright." Then we had to explain to her that we had walked down to the hardware store,purchased a new leather gasket and repaired the pump. We got the distinct impression from her attitude that two 16- year- old- kids didn't know enough to repair a pitcher pump. She then asked us how much the leather gasket cost. We told her 20 cents. "All right," she says, "I'll pay you for the gasket and when the water is all gone you can come back and clean the cistern." Big deal.! After working all day we get our 20 cents back and a vague promise of more work to come. No thank you or a pat on the back for fixing the pump.There ought to be a moral in this story somewhere but .Junior and I never could figure out what it was beside,"never trust a woman that needs her cistern cleaned." Bob Gordon #3

15: Prohibition The town of Clyde was no better or no worse off than the rest of the United States when Prohibition became a reality. The Prohibition Act was put into law in January 1920. The law was rescinded in December 1933. All during this time is when Junior and I were born and started to grow into manhood. I don't think anyone stopped drinking. Junior and I were not of drinking age yet, but we often thought about trying it when we were about 12 or 13 years old. We kept our eyes and ears open for an opportunity to come along. You won't believe this but our opportunity to try drinking and smoking came at the same time. Mr. Bramer of "Bramer and Scutts, tobacco store and poolroom," lived next door to us. There were five kids in the family, of which two were about our age. Like typical kids, Billy and Ralph were bragging about their father making home brew. You could buy bottles full of malt extract at the store but you weren't supposed to make beer out of it. When they were telling about this ,we asked them what beer tasted like. Both Billy and Ralph said it was kind of bitter. Then they told us about the real special,bamboo tipped cigarettes, that their father had brought home from their store. They said their father and Mother were having a card party Saturday night. The next week,while we were playing, Ralph,the younger of the two boys,said he had snitched some of those bamboo tipped cigarettes. Junior says to him " if you can get a bottle of that home brew we could have our own party." Ralph took that as a challenge so we went to his house and hung around outside while he went in to get the beer and cigarettes. We don't know how he eluded his mother but he came out the cellar door and we all ran behind the barn. Ralph was loaded with enough cigarettes to go around and one bottle of home brew. The four of us sat down with our backs against the barn. Ralph passed around the cigarettes first. We all had smoked before but our tobacco of choice was dry corn silk wrapped in a piece of newspaper.

16: That doesn't sound very appetizing but it did make us feel grown up. We took out the kitchen matches scraped them on our thigh,like the cowboys, and each of us lit our cigarette,took a puff and blew smoke up in the air. A little gagging and coughing was heard but nobody complained. Ralph then opened the bottle of beer. The home brew was passed around and we all smacked our lips to get the taste. The consensus of opinion was that beer was bitter and a little bit sour. Junior said,"if we had some sugar maybe we could make it taste a little better." We were only one house from our kitchen so I ran home and got the sugar bowl and spoon off the table. Ralph held the beer bottle in his lap. I got a spoonful of sugar,put my hand around the neck of the bottle and poured it in. Wow ! The beer burst into a fountain of foam and ran allover Ralph's pants. Ralph was afraid to go back in the house until supper time and then he had us sniffing his pants to see if the beer smell was gone. When the beer stopped foaming we passed it around again. The sugar treatment hadn't helped much so we put in two more spoonfuls. The brew slowly lost is desire to foam and we tried it again. The taste didn't change much,even if it was sweeter. We decided that men's tasters must change as they get old. Some other things happened around Clyde at that time and were interesting to hear folks talk aboutA Mr.Nobles,who run a sauerkraut factory about 1/2 mile east of Clyde was always stinking up the town when the wind came from the east. Nobody ever criticized his actions because he was one of the more prosperous citizens of the town and the wind didn't come from that direction too often. When the stink did happen,everybody said; "Old Charlie is making sauerkraut again." The next thing we heard the Federal Marshals came to Town with a warrant to arrest Charlie for making alcohol. The rumor was, when they caught up to Charlie,he had two tank cars full of alcohol sitting on the railroad siding next to the sauerkraut factory. The cooking mash was part of the stink. Junior and I had to walk down to the sauerkraut factory and take this all in. There really wasn't very much to see. We did see where the alcohol was made. Charlie had taken one of the 20 ft. diameter,wooden vats that he made sauerkraut in and constructed a still inside. In the sight of a bootlegger that still must have looked like a gold mine in disguise. The still consisted of two big,shiny copper kettles with a maze of copper pipe going in every direction. We also learned that the energy he was using came from a gas well that had been dug on his property. Gas from the well was not plentiful enough to be distributed but there was enough to supply the sauerkraut factory and an alcohol still. Charlie was going to jail but the local judge ruled him too old and frail. He had a heart problem and the doctor said he would die if they put him away.

17: There were other things in Clyde relating to the booze business that intrigued the younger citizens. We knew people were not supposed to drink alcoholic beverages but when we saw wine and home brew in peoples homes we knew they were breaking the law. Junior and I figured it out.They weren't arrested because the Mayor the Judge and the policeman - like Mr.Gallagher - all drank. We knew because we made it a point to find out. They all had kids in school that always told the truth, just like Junior and I were taught to do. Another reason we knew all this,was evidenced by the speakeasy in Clyde. The speakeasy- better known in Clyde as "The Little Barrel" - was on Canal Street. Canal Street -you guessed it- ran parallel to the Canal. Two big windows in front had drapes that didn't quite close off the interior from the street. A small crack remained that us kids could see through. One of Junior's and my favorite outdoor sports was to go down on CanalStreet after dark and peek through the crack in the drapes to see who the patrons were. Just like their children said,there was the Mayor the Judge and Mr.Gallagher,all sitting there at the same table, having a beer. -Nobody was sucking canal water ! Our reaction to all this rule breaking was,some rules were not fair and if you were high enough on the Totem Pole it didn't matter anyway. Bob Gordon #4

18: The Grocery Store Clerks Junior and I always had our eyes open for any opportunity that might lead to a buck or two in our pocket. Junior found a job at the A&P grocery store that paid him a dollar for all day Saturday from 6:30 AM to 10:00 PM. The store manager-was-only allowed one extra employee but in that store the store manager and one clerk wasn't enough on a Saturday, so after a couple of weeks Junior talked to Mr. Smyth , the manager, and he hired me at 50 cents a day out of his own pocket, he said. Another thing happened when we worked at the A&P. The Social Security Act was passed and we got our Social Security cards. I am still carrying that same card. I wonder what Junior did with his? The Grocery stores then didn't hold a candle to the super stores of today. You walk through the front door and the whole store was right in front of you. It was maybe 60 ft deep and 30 ft wide with a rest room and storage area in the back for extra groceries. Windows in the back let some light in. A counter run down one side of the store, piled with groceries and openings for the clerks to get in and out when necessary. The rest of the open area was filled with a few vegetables, like cabbage potatoes and some "in season" produce, also, the pickle barrels. These pickle barrels intrigued Meade and I. As we would pass them, and no customers were in the store, we bobbed for pickles. No hands allowed. All the pickles came in barrels - no glass jars. Cleared areas, every 10 ft or so of the counter, was where the clerks stood to service the customers. There was only one cash register for all of us to use to cash out the clientèle. A great deal of the canned goods were on the shelves behind the counter; also the cereals, Com Flakes, Shredded Wheat and Rolled Oats. Things were piled to the ceiling. | Bob Gordon

19: Long handled grabbers were provided to get the light stuff off the high shelves and ladders were used for the heavier stuff. You better know the difference or you were liable to get hit in the head by a falling can of hash.. Coffee you ground for the customer. People did not wait on themselves, the clerks waited on them, one item at a time and you better be polite and cheerful or nobody would come to you for their order. Here is how it went, "hello Mrs. Crochety, may I help you?" "Why of course young man, first I would like a box of Corn Flakes please." You run and get the Cornflakes, write the price down on an empty paper bag and say "whats next?" she says," a pound of butter," you go to the back of the store, get out a crock of butter that the manager had bartered for groceries that morning, scoop out what looks like a pound, weigh it, put on a little more to -make a pound and bring it back to the counter where Mrs. Crochety is waiting, write the price on the bag and ask for the next item. On and on it goes until her order is filled. Now comes the hard part; add all those items together and come up with the correct total. You want to try that once with a nosey customer like Mrs. Crotchety, looking grouchy as a bear, trying to get a look at what's coming up and mumbling under her breath about the price of groceries. After all items were added and you told the price, you got the money and went to the cash register, tapped in the price, pulled the handle on the side and the drawer opened. You got change for the amount the customer had given you and closed the drawer. The cash register recorded everything punched in and the total had to be equal to the money in the drawer at the end of the day. One Saturday night about 9 o'clock, after a long day in the trenches, Junior is bending over a long column of figures, trying to come up with the right answer, he nods off and his head goes down and strikes the counter. Mrs. Deverau, the customer, sounds off, loud and clear, "are you all right young man?" Of course Mr. Smyth heard the commotion and came running to see what the ruckus was. The manager asked Junior what happened. The only thing Junior could come up with and not give himself away was, " I think my pencil slipped. " Another one of our problems was a lady named Mrs. Costello who insisted on knocking on the front door of the store a few minutes after we had closed at 9:30 PM on a Saturday night [Junior and I had to sweep and oil the floor before we left at 10:00 o'clock]. We would have to unlock the door and let her in because the boss said the customers came first. I guess she knew this too and she didn't have to wait for a clerk to wait on her. Junior and I were miffed by her arrogance but we never found a way to discourage her without raising the boss's ire.

20: There was a very old lady by the name of Mrs. McCumber who lived in the apartment over the A&P store. An alley ran behind all the stores in that block. A set of stairs went up to a short balcony. This was the back way out of the apartment. Either junior or I would go up and visit the old lady every Saturday to see if she needed anything. One Saturday morning we opened the store at 6:30 and went into the stock room to put on our white aprons. .Junior spoke up and asked me what that was swinging back and forth outside the window. We looked more closely and it appeared to be a pair of feet. We hustled out the back door and sure enough, there was Mrs. McCumber hanging by her neck from the balcony railing. Man, were we shook up ! I ran over to the firehouse to fetch Mr. Gallagher to come and see. He rushed back with me and immediately called Dr. Allen, who was there in 5 minutes. Dr. Allen then called Mr. Mann, the undertaker. After everything settled down, Dr. Allen explained to us that Mrs. McComber was in bad health and decided she had enough, tied her clothesline around her neck and fell over the balcony railing. Saturday night in Clyde was the highlight of the week. All the farmers in the vicinity came to town to do their shopping and catch up with the latest gossip. Early in the afternoon you would notice the parking spots along Main Street begin to fill with cars, mostly Chevrolets and Fords of 1920's vintage.

21: They parked all the horses and wagons on the side streets. Several of the side streets radiating from the center of town had hitching blocks scattered along the sides for tying up your rig. There was still one watering trough on Canal Street for thirsty horses. After they brought their cars in and parked them in a strategic spot they would get a ride back home to do their chores. After chore time they would come back to town and sit in their cars on Main Street, watching and talking with the people passing by. These Farmers must have been the original people peekers. To clean up after the horses and people, who littered, Clyde had a one main street cleaner. [ Thank goodness they never offered the street cleaner job to .Junior or I ] The Street Cleaners tools consisted of a two-wheeled cart with a medium sized barrel mounted on its frame; also a place to hold his long handled brush broom and his long handled flat shovel. The street cleaner pushed this contraption like you would a wheel borrow. When he came to a pile of "road apples " he would sweep around until he had every thing together, scoop it up with his long handled shovel and place it in the barrel. This "street cleaner" worked six days a week, ten hours a day for approximately $1.00. This street cleaning was absolutely necessary or the flies breeding in the manure would make life miserable for the town people. The farmers were used to the flies and tried to keep them under control by hanging three foot long sticky fly catchers in their homes and cow barns. They also used a hand pumped spray gun before they milked the cows to hopefully keep the cow's tails from switching them in the face while they milked. I had tried milking cows before but .Junior said he would. like to try it, so one afternoon I took him out to my Uncle Henry's farm, west of Clyde. The first thing Uncle Henry introduced him to was the one legged milking stool. The trick was to position the stool with the milk pail clamped between your feet at a slight angle toward the cows udder. Then you pressed your head softly against the cows flank; just to let the cow know she was about to be milked. You then reached under the cow and grabbed two teats, squeeze gently and at the same time pull down. The greatest trick was to coordinate all this sitting on a one legged stool. You guessed it again: Junior got all set up, grabbed the cow where he was supposed too and pulled. Old Betsie felt the strange hands, moved her left foot, switched Junior with her tail and that's all it took to knock Junior off the one legged stool. He landed in "you know what" so we had to scrape the stuff off him. He didn't give up. He got right back up there and was milking after the third try. I told all our friends at school what he had done and for a few days everybody that got near him would sniff and wrinkle their nose. Bob Gordon #5

22: We Were Self - Propelled Ninety percent of the activities Meade and I engaged in while growing up in Clyde were self- motivated. The town,all out lying districts and anything that moved was a target for our curiosity. Cats,dogs,skunks,woodchucks,squirrels,pigeons,frogs,toads etc., were all intimately familiar. Junior and I even made pets out of some of them. Any old,abandoned buildings in town were throughly explored. We knew the contents of the local dump, and if we needed anything, that's the first place we looked. All the outlying fields,woods,railroads and rivers were places to walk and explore. Clyde had three railroads,one for trolley cars and two for steam engines. The Erie Canal flowed through the center of town with a two- lane bridge connecting the two halves. The River and two railroads passed beneath. The New York Central was on the North side of the canal and the Lehigh Valley was on the South side. When the Canal was built, it followed the Clyde river where it was convenient - then went in a straight line again. This left the meandering of the river as outposts for the fishermen. We learned to fish there for Large mouth Bass,Pike,Pickerel,Bull Heads,Carp,Sheep heads, turtles,and of course Sun Fish. One of our favorite outdoor sports in the Spring was playing with the stranded Carp. They never let the water out of the Canal in this area because the water would get too shallow in the Clyde River sections and freeze to the bottom. If this happened all the fish would die. As it was,the Spring floods would overflow the banks of the River sections allowing the Carp,who were bottom feeders,to roam around in new territory. When the water receded to normal levels again,some of the carp would get stranded in one or two acre ponds,about 12 to 18 inches deep with no access back into the river. This was our invitation to go play with the carp. .Junior and I had to recruit some help for this operation. The same ponds appeared in about the same places every year,so it was no problem finding them.

23: To play this game we all had to remove our pants,shoes and socks,then two of us would wade out into the pond about a third of tile way from tile end and spread our legs. The other two guys cut themselves a stick and waded into tile other end of the pond. When everybody was set the two guys with the sticks would start beating the water and walking toward the two guys that were facing away from them with their legs spread apart. The water was shallow enough that when a fish moved rapidly you could see their wake. You might have a dozen or so fish moving in front of you. The object of this game was to catch a fish by the gills when it went between your legs and throw him up on to the shore. Carp don't have sharp teeth like Pike,so we didn't have ugly,snapping jaws to contend with. I'm not talking little fish here;the ones we were after weighed from five to twenty five pounds. A lot of struggling fish for a kid to haul as shore. We did have fun and Junior and I felt especially benevolent when we walked through town with a cart full of fish for the conductors on the Trolley line. Nothing you could eat went begging in those depression times. Often Junior and I would tell our parents we were going to get our own lunch that day. We would then head for the dump or the river depending on what we decided to eat. If we wanted pigeon we headed for the dump. There was usually some older kid around there shooting rats. We would ask whoever was there to shoot a few pigeons for us. We would then skin and eviscerate them,string them on a green stick and roast them over a small fire. We learned all this in the Boy Scouts." How to live off the land and never go hungry." If we decided to have fish for dinner,we would go catch some fish. For a few greens with our foraged meals,we ate dandelion leaves or sweet clover leaves. This foraging didn't always pay off. Sometimes we would have to go a little hungry and eat tile stuff we had in our pocket from home. A cold storage plant east of Clyde had a concrete block holding tank outside,about 4- ft deep and 20- ft square,which held tile cooling water from the compressors. The water was lukewarm and you could stay in until you were shriveled up all over without getting cold. We learned the basics of the lowly dog paddle. while playing in this pool. We graduated from that little pool to the Barge Canal when we were old enough and got our parents permission. .Just west of Clyde the Canal flowed through an area that was all sand. We called this area "The Sands." All the kids in Clyde knew this area and came here to swim. The birds in the area that made nests in the sandbanks we called Sand Swallows. Somehow the birds would dig out a hole in the sandbank about 4 inches round and back in the sand about a foot. They laid their eggs and hatched their wee ones there. Nobody bothered them much because we knew they ate mosquitoes and bugs that were our enemies. There were usually a few older kids around that swam well and we were always taught to swim with a buddy in case of trouble. There were still some parents that would not let their kids come here alone Junior was a better swimmer than

24: I was. In his estimation we were ready to swim across the canal to an old barge that was sunk at the entrance to a piece of the Clyde River. This swim across the Canal was a rite of passage for all the kids that swam here. We started out strong but as we progressed I could feel myself tiring. Meade had improved his swimming to the point where he could do the side stroke. I was still doing the dog paddle. I made it across all right and Meade made it easy. Since I was so tired,I wanted to sit on the old Barge and rest a while, Meade was ready to go back after a short rest. I finally convinced him that I was in favor of finding a piece of wood I could use as a floater to help me back. We found a board about the right size and I used that to relieve some of the work of paddling back to the sandy shore. I hung on to the board With my hands and kicked with my feet. By Fall,my swimming improved to the point where we swam across and back without stopping. Different parents took different ways to assure their kids didn't drown in the Canal. My Uncle Henry took his son Bill to the river,when he thought he was ready,and tied a rope on him and threw him into the water. Sink or swim was his attitude. If Bill sank, he hauled him ashore by the rope. On the forth try Bill could paddle enough to get ashore with no help. The only starter he gave him was -"hold your breath"- when you go under. His thought must have been; if cats,dogs,horses and cows are born with the ability to swim,people must have the same inborn instincts.

25: The bridge that crossed the two railroads and the Canal was an interesting observation point. You could see miles to the West, up the Canal and Railroad tracks. To the East was a curve that restricted the view after a mile or two. The area North east of the bridge was a large open area where they always set up the fireworks display on the 4th of July and the 15th of August. The bridge was a great place to watch from. The of August was called " Italian Day " in celebration of all the Italians that lived in Clyde. It was a fun time for everybody. A carnival would come to town with a Ferris wheel,Merry Go Round and all kinds of gambling games,also,the Fat Lady,Midgets and a Geek who bit the heads off chickens. The Carnival set up in the ball diamond east of Town, near the old glass factory. One thing that intrigued us was the wrestling match staged at the Carnival. The Carnival Barker would stand on a platform in front of his tent and keep sounding off about the big,mean looking wrestler standing next to him. When the crowd got large enough he would make a request for a volunteer to wrestle his protege. He offered 10 dollars to anyone who could pin him to the mat. We had a pair of brothers in town who were huge and had a little wrestling experience. One of them volunteered.The whole crowd went in,at a quarter a crack, to see the big fight. Junior and I were already in;having crawled under the tent in the back while they were negotiating. The wrestlers went at it hammer and nails,until the Carnival guy got Tony in a headlock and squeezed him so hard he started bleeding from his ear. Everybody was hollering bloody murder at the hulk to let Tony go. The referee stepped in and stopped the fight,cleaned the blood off Tony and let the fight start again. People were yelling their heads off for Tony to kill the guy. After slamming each other all over the ring,Tony got the guy down and pinned him to the mat. Everybody cheered and home town Tony ended up a hero. We found out later the fight was a setup and all the blood we saw was catsup. Bob Gordon #6

26: Entertainment | Entertainment as such was very scarce when we were growing up in Clyde. Radio was in its infancy - Amos & Andy was one of the most listened to programs. Moving Pictures were available for a nickel, if you had a nickel. The moving pictures that were available were more for kids than grownups. As I remember, the first theatre in Clyde was opposite the Park on the north side. The admission price was 5 cents. The room where the seats were was long and narrow with about four seats on each side of the,center aisle. Down in front on the left side was a piano. A lady sat at the piano all through the moving pictures and played along with whatever was going on. There were a lot of cowboy movies so when the horses were running, the music would increase in tempo; as the horse slowed down so did the music. When there was a kissing scene the music was soft and tinkley. When there was a fight the music would be loud and brash. The kids booed the villains in the black hats and cheered for the good guys in the white hats. It was fun and it entertained us. Later on, as movies came into their own, a new movie theatre was built in Clyde named "The Playhouse."

27: This theatre was quite large and had a stage in front of the screen. The movie changed once a week and on Saturday nights they often had stand up Comics, Magic shows, and short, one act plays. A cartoon always preceded the movie. Along with everything else, they sometimes would show a serial movie that might take six weeks to finish. The serial movie would always stop at some point when .. the hero was about to crash his car, get shot, or the villain would have him by the throat. You had to come back next week to see if he survived. Two shows a day were common. The first showing was at 7 PM and the second showing at 9PM. The price had increased to 10 cents. I can remember my Father closing the Garage at 8:55 PM in order to get to the movie at 9:00. I don't think that anyone in town missed the weekly movie at the" Playhouse." The 10 cents was not always available to Junior and I so we had to find a way into the theatre without paying. We found a way. Between shows or during shows, the film reels would have to be changed. At this point in the program,the theatre would go completely dark. There were two exit doors in the theatre on each side of the stage near the first row of seats. There were no alarms on the exit doors at that time. We kids were all in cahoots on this one. If there were a few of us hanging around we would scrape up enough change to get one of us into the theatre,after that it was a cinch. Our bud would sit down in front near one of the exit doors;we would give a little tap when we were in position outside,he,in turn,would give us the ready tap. When all the lights went out inside,our buddy would gently open the exit door a few inches and we would all slip in. We never found out if the manager knew we were doing this or not. It was not a regular habit but sometimes a necessity. The first movies that came to the "Playhouse" had captions. The movies were a little more sophisticated but the piano player was there to provide music. Later on came the talking movies. The projectionist had to synchronize the talk and action on the screen with the phonograph that supplied the sound. It often got out of sync so the actor's mouth was three words behind the sound. At this point the theatre patrons would start clapping and booing until the people and talk were back in sync. Another problem that existed at the time was the film base,which was made of cellulose nitrate. This was a very flammable substance and subject to burning if it got too hot. The projectionist had to be on the ball and see that the film did not stop while the arc lamp was on or the film would catch fire. This was not always possible so if the film became stuck for any reason,you could see the film burning as it was projected on the screen. Another reason to clap your hands and boo the projectionist.

28: Believe it or not; Meade and I became interested in that arc lamp in the projector because in our science class the instructor had been talking about headlights on automobiles and the angles needed to project a concentrated beam.The projectionist was a local fellow that we knew. .Joe explained to us how the arc lamp worked by putting a voltage across two poles. These poles consisted of two carbon electrodes, rounded to a point on one end,with the rounded points facing each other.The projector automatically touched the electrodes together to start the arc and pulled them apart a small increment to maintain the arc.The electrodes were then slowly moved toward each other as the electrodes burned away. Our friend,the projectionist,cautioned us about using a resistance in the circuit to avoid blowing a fuse. The old carbons were thrown away behind the theater when they became too short. Meade and I found these old carbons and took some home to see if we could build a carbon arc light. We went to the junk yard and found a headlight reflector off an old car. We filed two holes opposite each other through the sides. We used a wooden frame to hold the carbons apart. When everything was ready,we went to my house to try it out. AT this point we did not have the carbons in the reflector. My mother's flat iron was handy there to act as our resistance and to keep from blowing a fuse. We set up the wooden frame with the carbons through the holes and attached all the wires as .Joe had instructed. Meade had the end of the cord to plug into the wall. I had the responsibility of getting the arc started. I said "go" and Junior plugged in the cord. Nothing ! We had one electrode thoroughly taped to keep from getting a shock. Apparently I did not have the electrodes close enough together. Meade moved away from the wall outlet to see what I was doing. Just at that moment the electrodes touched,a brilliant white spark erupted and startled both of us. We both fell away from the arc and in so doing I tipped over the contraption that was holding the electrodes and it fell, still burning, onto the linoleum floor. Junior couldn't get back to the plug fast enough before the brilliant spark burned a hole in the linoleum floor. Another fascinating idea gone bad on us ! We didn't hurt the flatiron but we were cautioned about using it again and I spent the next week at home with no friends allowed. Bob Gordon #7

29: Old Ford Racer | My father sold his automobile business around 1933. He had a franchise with GM selling and repairing Buick's and Pontiac's. Junior and I were in a Manual Training Class in Clyde High School that allowed us a project of our own. My dad asked if we would like an old car to play with in class. Would you turn down a offer like that when you were 14 years old ? Of course you wouldn't and neither did we. The car was a 1923 ford with a cloth top. Junior and I decided we would make a race car out of it. An Oldsmobile had reached a speed of 100 MPH and if you were caught speeding,the favorite expression was; "Who do you think you are, Barney Oldfield.?" In class that year we stripped the car down to the frame, leaving only the hood, windshield and steering wheel intact. The body was in bad shape anyhow,so we didn't lose much. The front seat was a mess so we moved the back seat up front and bolted it down to the frame. For the back of the seat we put up some boards and braced them in place. The gas tank that used to be under the front sea.t we had to replace because of rust and leakage. We found a long square one in the junkyard that would fit behind the new seat back. Racing cars in those days all used what they called " Boat Tails" to cut the air resistance in the back. We found some 8 ft. long strips of wood about 3 inches wide for our "Boat Tail." We only had four pieces so we nailed them to the seat back and brought them all together to a point in the rear. During the year in school, we also took the oil pan off and learned how to adjust the rods on the crankshaft so the car didn't make knocking sounds. We also removed the head and cleaned the carbon off the inside. By the end of the school year we had a functioning automobile. Even though only a skeleton body existed, there was a seat and a steering wheel. What more do you need if you want to ride around ? Another problem existed that we could only partially correct. Gasoline was expensive and hard to get with no money, kerosene on the other hand,was readily available in most homes and we could get it free. We solved this problem by using both gas and kerosene.

30: A quart can, with a shut off valve and a tube to the carburetor was installed under the hood. We started the engine with the gasoline, let it run until it got warm and switched to kerosene. It smoked a lot and the fumes were a little stinky but it worked for us and the fuel was free, if we didn't get caught snitching it. Most folks used kerosene because it was cheaper than coal and wood if you had to buy it. The kerosene stoves then were quite efficient and lots of people were getting rid of their big black kitchen stoves and using the new 4 burner kerosene stoves. If you wanted to bake,they had small ovens that fit over two burners. There was a temperature gage in the center of the door to tell the temperature while you were baking. You could control the temperature by adjusting the burners. Neither Junior nor I were old enough to drive but the rules were not as strict then. Our first trip on the back roads almost ended in disaster. At the time, the only roads that were paved were the main routes between towns; all the rest were dirt and gravel. The dirt roads were humped toward the middle to help drainage, also,they were raised in some areas so they didn't undulate so much. .Junior and I were tooling along about 20 MPH, enjoying the ride. We came upon a truck carrying milk cans. We thought the guy driving the truck was a guy from school whose father peddled milk. We decided to pass the truck. In order to do this, since the road was narrow and the truck was wide, we had to use the grass strip along the side of the road. This strip along the side of the road sloped downward at an angle from the road. It was about 8:30 AM and the dew was still on the grass. We turned off on the grass and came along side of the truck. We then found out the guy in the truck and his passenger were not who we thought they were. At the same time we saw the telephone pole in our path, I tried to steer up the bank as we were slowing down. As I put the brakes on,[ the car only had brakes on the rear wheels the two rear wheels started slipping on the wet grassy slope. I'm steering up the bank and the rear is sliding down the slope. The car was sliding sideways along the slope. I had the steering wheel to hold onto, Junior had nothing! The pole slammed into the car frame just behind the seat. Little old Junior flew over the top of me, hit the ground, and slid down the slope beyond the pole. He picked himself up wondering what happened? The fellow driving the truck, stopped and yelled, "what you guys trying to do, kill yourselves?" We didn't answer him right away, we were too busy trying to see if we were alive and all in one piece. After looking ourselves over for damage, we decided we were very lucky. The racer was fine, not even a dent in the frame. Junior's jaw began to ache and we couldn't decide how that happened or how he got over the top of me. He was on the seat to my right, ended up on my left, on the ground,10 ft. from the racer. After the old guy and his buddy in the truck got done chewing on us,they left. Junior and I decided it was time to go home. Meade's jaw swelled a little and he couldn't chew very well. His Mother asked him what was wrong.Junior told her he had gotten clipped playing basketball. He healed up in about a week.

31: His Mother asked him what was wrong. Junior told her he had gotten clipped playing basketball. He healed up in about a week without any complications. We continued to play with the Racer. It was such a thrill to have our own transportation even if we had to stay on the back country roads. One day we were out touring with Beano and Bob Lander sitting on the gas tank behind the front seat. The Racer began misfiring and a moment later it stopped. We all got off and looked to see what the trouble was. The gas line from the tank to the carburetor was severed where it exited the tank. If anybody had been paying attention they would have seen the streak in the road where the kerosene was leaking out. Bob and Beano were horsing around and the tank came loose from is fasteners and broke the tubing. What do we do now ? We got no tools or parts to fix it with. We stood around trying to decide what to do when we saw a truck coming. It turned out to be Judge Ammerman from our town of Clyde, who peddled kerosene and gasoline to the local farmers. After he stopped he recognized us as friends of his daughter Mary, who was in our class at school. We thought he was going to give us a lecture on driving without a license in an unlicensed car. He never said a word about our unlawful circumstances. All Mr.Ammerman said was " What's the trouble boys?" We told him our problem and he said he could fix it and put us back on the road. The Judge got out an assortment of tools from his truck and proceeded to flare the copper tubing where it had broken, put on a new nut and screw it to the tank, then he asked us if we were all out of gas. We said "yes, it had all dripped out the broken line." He said," I can fix that too" so he went back to his truck, drained 5 gallons of gas from his tanker and poured it into our gas tank. The Judge left us with a smile and said:" have a good time but be careful" How's that for a small town Judge? After that we never said an unkind word to his daughter. Our next adventure with the Racer was at the Ely farm, just past the Trolley Car tracks on the north side of Town. The Ely family, who at one time owned the now defunct glass factory, had a barn and an oval horse track located here. They didn't use the track much any more but it made a good racetrack for our Ford Racer.The track was dirt and about % mile around. It was fun to go fast enough to slide around the corners when the rear end would lose its traction. | Structure at the Ely Race Track

32: This day it was especially fun because there was a wet spot at the far end that allowed the Racer too slide more than usual. Another of our friends happened by and asked if he could have a ride around the track. Junior and I had both driven around the track a couple of times and it was Junior's turn so I Got off and let Tommy ride with Junior. After our first escapade,when Meade didn't have anything to hang onto and fell out, we had put a railing on the passenger side, about elbow high,so you couldn't slide out. Tommy got in with Junior and they started around the track. I sort of had a feeling that Junior was going to give this kid a real ride for his money. They started off good,with smoke pouring out the exhaust from the kerosene. When they got to the other end of the oval track, instead of slowing down, Junior pulled the throttle lever down. The car speeded up a little more going into the wet end of the track. Now comes the thrill part - the Racer started to slide,but never stopped. It did a complete 360 degree turn before Junior got it under control again. He slowed down a little and came back. Junior had scared Tommy haH to death as indicated by the wet spot in his pants. He didn't want another ride either. Bob Gordon #8 | Clyde High School classroom 1930's

33: The school in Clyde was old. Don't ask me," how old," because I never asked. They replaced it with a much bigger one, two years after our class of 1936 graduated. There were 28 students in our graduating class and .Junior was the only one that went to college. Cornell was free at that time but you had to pay for your room and board. .Junior attended for one year. I tried to borrow fifty dollars so I could spend a year there, but nobody had fifty dollars to lend me. I settled on a post graduate year at Clyde High and learned mechanical drawing. Before the Summer was out I got a job at the American Can Co.,in Geneva ,at eight bucks a week. In the old Clyde School, First Grade to Senior High was in the same building. You never changed classrooms until High School, and then some classes only changed teachers. There was High School for Non-Regents and High School with Regents examinations, for entrance to higher education. A new school was being erected on the old Ely farm, Just across the Trolley car tracks on the northeast side of Glasgow St. | School Days

34: A lot of the farmer's children went only as far as 8 grade.The kids were needed on the farms to help with the work. The High School curriculum without regents exams was fashioned for those who chose to go into the trades, such as carpenters, electricians and mechanics,which was either farm machinery or auto mechanics. .Junior's Dad was a self-made man who supposedly invented the rotary dial system for telephones. Mr. Meade did not believe in higher education. He figured if he could rise to upper management in a corporation, anybody with enough gumption could also do it. As soon as Junior's brother, Dick, graduated from High School, his father had a job waiting for him in Cleveland. Dick left Clyde for Cleveland and I never remember seeing him again. The Principal of our school was Mr.Lansing. He was the only Principle we ever knew. He was there with .Junior and I all through our school years. He knew us personally and we could spot him from a mile away. During our High Schooldays he often called on Junior and I if he had some work to do. Usually, it was moving chairs and desks around in the school at his direction. He seemed to micro-manage every facet of the school, including teachers, janitors and pupils. He was also known for his frugal ways, even though he would always give Meade and I a quarter, every time we did a chore for him. One of the worst things that could happen to you was getting sent to the Principals office for some dumb thing you'd done or some prank that backfired. The teachers themselves were strict disciplinarians and did not allow anyone to disrupt a class. Chewing gum or eating in class were strictly forbidden and the punishment fitted the crime. There always seemed to be an empty seat in the front row for those who chose to disobey the rules. For answering back or disrupting the class in any way the teacher came to you. I remember once when Junior did something to a girl sitting in front of him that made her yell out. The teacher must have had her eye on him because Miss Chidester came back to Junior, grabbed him by the hair and yanked him out of his desk. She then proceeded to whack him with her ruler and set him in the corner. Dunce caps were out by that time but there were still corners in the rooms. After Junior got out of school an hour late, I asked him what he had done to Agnes to make her sound off like that. He told me he had pushed a sharp pencil up between the back of the seat and the seat itself. When Agnes slid back in the seat, the pencil pricked her in the rear. | Mr.Lansing.

35: Meade and I always thought that Mr.Lansing must have had some Psychology training along his way to becoming a High School Principal. One day Junior and I decided to go out on the school roof and smoke. No school rules prohibited this behavior but still young folks weren't supposed to smoke until they were fully-grown. Everybody said it stunted your growth. The exit to the roof we went out on was accessed up a short ladder at the top of which was the exit hatch. After getting on the roof ,we didn't close the hatch tight for fear someone might latch it so we couldn't get back in. Nobody could see us from the ground and the view was great while we had our smoke. We were sitting near the hatch when it slowly opened and there was Mr.Lansing, our Principal, looking us right in the eye. He never said a word. The hatch slowly closed and he went away. Meade and I are shaking in our boots wondering what he was going to do to us. This uncertainty went on for a week while we waited for the axe to fall. He had said something we would have taken our punishment and gotten over it, but as it was, we sweat for a week and nothing happened.It seemed that the worry we experienced was worse than Mr.Lansing's bite. You got to believe that young Henry LaDue Meade Junior was a quick thinker. One day we were playing with some kind of putty that would stick to the wall when thrown. We were on the top floor of the school in the auditorium. Nobody else was around. There was a big blank wall at the opposite end from the stage. In the middle of this wall,about six feet up was a plaque, honoring veterans from WW-1. On either side of the plaque was a flag on a standard. Junior and I were taking globs of this sticky putty and practicing our throwing accuracy by flinging the sticky putty at the plaque on the wall. It was about 70 ft., from where we stood by the stage,to the back wall. When we ran out of putty we would use the Flag, on its staff,to scrape the putty off the wall if we couldn't reach it. It was Junior's turn to walk to the back, scrape the putty from the wall,and bring it back. Just as Meade turns around to put the flag back in it's standard, guess who comes through the door! Mr.Lansing ! I said Junior could think fast on his feet. He spotted Mr.Lansing before Mr.Lansing spotted him. As quick as you can say it, Meade starts marching back down the isle with the flag held at attention, singing " The Star Spangled Banner". Mr Lansing was a little startled by the sudden outburst of song and asked what we were doing. We told him that we were practicing for the upcoming May Day parade.He accepted that because we were honest, upstanding students. Bob Gordon #9

36: Halloween back in Clyde,when Junior and I were celebrating, was a far cry from what it is today. There was no " Trick or Treat"- it was all trick. You gotta believe it ! This was the time to get even with all the old sourpusses in town that chased you out of their yard when you were horsing around or just sitting for a little rest. We even stretched the season by having a cabbage night and a tomato night along with the, all-consuming, Halloween night. You have guessed right if you think we threw tomatoes and cabbages at peoples front doors. Most everyone in town had a garden on their property somewhere. Fall was harvest time and most of the gardens still had tomato and cabbages ripe for the picking. We carried gunny sacks to store our illegal gains until the victims had been selected. We never tried to break windows or cause any damage. Our parents and Mr.Gallagher,the local cop,were our biggest deterrence. Almost all houses had porches where people sat after supper on summer nights and visited with the couples out walking. There was no air conditioning anywhere;not even in stores or theaters. The people used hand operated fans to cool off. These porches were our objective in harassing the people who harassed us. The tomatoes were usually overripe and made a messy slush when thrown against the porch wall. The overripe cabbages, before being thrown, were sliced up so the leaves splattered all over the porch. We were especially sneaky at this and were never apprehended nor identified. Another trick, that was nastier -was to put some doggy do-do in a paper bag, place the bag in front of the door,make sure someone was home and set fire to the bag, ring the doorbell and run. The victim would rush through the door and stamp out the fire, ooey - gooey ! Junior and I did not do this but we did dream up a garbage night that never went over too good. We already had our hands full meeting our secretive agenda on cabbage night. Junior and I were not the only culprits indulging our "get even" schemes; there were kids on the streets until all hours doing their own thing, some of them, especially the girls, soaped windows. If you went downtown during Halloween you couldn't find a window that wasn't blurred,smudged and blotched with soap. I don't think the merchants were much concerned. This was their chance to let the young ladies express their artistic talent and they got free soap to wash their windows with before the snow came. There was very little graffiti but a lot of grade school art. All this preparatory activity lead up to the big night, Halloween. | Halloween- Old Style

37: As soon as it began to get dark the kids would have already broken into the horse barn where the old fire wagon was kept. A few years before the Town had purchased a new Ford Fire Truck and retired the old horse drawn fire wagon to the horse barn behind the Methodist Church. It was the favorite toy for the Hallweeners to drag around Town; clanging the bell and squealing in delight at all the noise. The most fun was clanging the big brass bell to warn everybody you were coming. It took about eight kids to pull the thing. If a hill came into sight you just turned around in the street and went the other way. This was tiring work so a crew didn't last only a short time and another crew of kids would take over. There were other things to do- like tipping over outhouses. Contrary to what you might think,we never tipped one over with anyone in it. Junior and I didn't get much of a kick overturning outhouses. It was a lot of work and those that were still in use were pretty stinky. An alley ran down behind the houses opposite the North side of the Clyde School. This was a favorite shortcut for kids running around on Halloween. Every year, without fail, a ghost would show up here. Its appearance had become a town legend at that time. We never found out who he was, what he was, or what his motives were but he scared the wits out of more kids than you could shake a stick at.

38: [It could be the reason there were so many "haH wits" in Clyde ] Junior and I always went down the alley, very cautiously, to see if he or she was still there. One night he jumped out at us dressed in a white sheet with the arms out like a bat. When we saw him getting closer we stood our ground for a moment and what we saw made us turn and run as fast as cats in a rain storm. His face was completely white with black spots all over and a red streak, like blood, running down one side of his jaw. We saw all this in the instant our flashlights were on him. After that, all we could see was the entrance to the alley rushing toward us. If he had gotten too close behind us,I'm sure he would be running on slippery ground. When we got to the end of the alley and out into the road,we glanced over our shoulder but it was nowhere in sight. We didn't go back there until the next year. Another favorite game we played was tick-tack. You can buy, tic-tac fresh mints but they are a candy, and of more recent origin. This tick-tack was for making a noise on a window. We played this little game of harassment on Halloween and also at other times. The tick tack consisted of a spool of durable, black thread on the end of which was attached a thumbtack. About twelve inches from the thumbtack, a small metal screw or whatever was tied to the string. We would sneak up to a window in the house and push the thumbtack into the wood crossbar between the upper and lower sash. We would then find a place to hide where we could still see the window. Now comes the fun! We would gently pull the string and let it go,causing the small metal object tied to the string, to knock against the window. This caused a noise that could be heard inside the house. You kept repeating the movement until somebody would come to the window to see what was going on. You just pulled on the string until it was tight ,which lifted the weight off the window and nothing could be seen from inside. After a few visits to the window, somebody would come out to investigate; then you just pulled hard on the thread and removed the evidence. One night we tried this on Mr.Lansing, our school principal. He came to the window with his bathrobe on. Junior says, "look Bob he doesn't have any teeth." The secret was revealed, Mr.Lansing wore false teeth. Bob Gordon #10

39: The Gamblers | The Palmyra Fair was a must-see for all the farmers in the territory around Clyde. All the new farm machinery,Horses, wagons and harvest products were on display. I had a cousin by the name of Bob Hogan who lived in Palmyra. Bob lost his father in WW-1. He lived with his mother who was a School teacher in Palmyra. Bob was about two years older than Meade and I and his upbringing was a lot less strict than Junior and I experienced. Bob Hogan had a friend who lived in Palmyra and they were as close as Junior and I. These guys took great delight in showing us small town kids the ways of the world,so when the four of us got together it was always a fun time. In the fall when the Palmyra Fair was in progress, Meade and I always paid a visit to Palmyra and stayed the weekend with Bob and his mother. This friend of my cousin Bob was named "Zip Dunn." Zip's father was a professional gambler who lived in Palmyra and always had a tent at the Palmyra Fair. By talking with Zip and Bob, Junior and I found out a lot about the professional gamblers trade and the pitfalls of gambling. Zips father ran a chug-a-lug game and a "G" nail game at the fair. The chug-a-lug game was a bird cage affair, built to resemble an egg timer. Inside the cage there was a pair of dice. This device was on a stand with a crank for turning it over and over to shake the dice. Zip's father gambled with other people by letting them rotate the cage with the dice inside. One end was weighted so it always stopped with the flattened end down. The contestant would put his bet down and spin the cage as many times as he was inclined and then stop. Whatever number of spots showed on the top of the dice was the number that was bet on. If a 2,3 or 12 came up you lost immediately. It was like a regular crap game but against only one player. A professional gambler knows every odds in the book and what success the sucker will have in repeating that number or throwing a 7 before he made a hit. Mr.Dunn was as honest as you and I but he knew the odds and would bet accordingly. In the end he was going to beat you because he was smarter. The "G" nail game was played by trying to drive a three inch nail into a pine block in so many blows with the hammer. Farmers are jacks of all trades, so hammering in a nail in four blows ought to be a cinch. Mr Dunn would bet the guy 50 cents, give him a hammer and nail and let him go at it. The sucker would drive in the nail and earn 50 cents from Mr.Dunn. They would do this again and the sucker would win another 50 cents. Now comes the fun part. Mr.Dunn would bet the sucker a buck if he could do it again. The sucker always took this bet and invariably he lost; then Mr.Dunn would bet him another buck and he would lose again. The sucker would kick himseH for wasting the money on a silly nail game and go away in disgust.

40: The secret to this little game was the "G"nail. This nail looked exactly like the other nails but it was not hardened and would bend if not struck precisely on the head. There was no way for the suckers to know this. Mr.Dunn had a black leather, clam shell suit case that he kept his loot in stashed under the counter. One day when Mr.Dunn was taking a break, we four young folks were left there to watch the stand until he came back. His gambling tent was open in the front with a counter about eight feet long. The chug-a-lug game was at one end and the "G" nail game at the other. Entrance was from the rear. We saw the black leather suitcase under the counter so stuffed full of one dollar bills that he couldn't close the cover. After supper one Saturday night, Bob told us he and Zip were going to take us to Fairport to do a little gambling of our own. To start - we each had to ante up 50 cents. The object of this safari was to increase our original pot to 10 dollars so we could all go into Rochester to a movie and have a banana split afterward. Bob was going to throw the dice and Zip was doing the betting. Zip had a drivers license and his fathers car, so we all went with him. The gambling place in Fairport was in a two story poolroom. The first floor held three pool tables and looked very legitimate. The 2nd floor was set up to accommodate two pool tables - one to play 'blackjack' on and one with a felt covered board at one end to throw dice at. You had to hit the board with both dice or throw again. They let us young folks in because Zip had been there with his dad several times and Bob and Zip had been there before alone. We were all set to increase our combined monetary worth from $2.00 to $10.00, if it were possible. When it was our tum to throw the dice,Zip bet a $1.00. Bob threw the dice and came up with a 2. We lost. Now we still have $2.50. Zip told Meade and I that sometimes a certain guy in the crap circle would get hot and that was the time to bet with him. There were ten or twelve guys around the table and as each man throwing the dice lost, the guy side of him got his chance to throw the dice. This game of craps has rules that are too numerous to put down here; so to shorten the story, we played for about 30 minutes and got to throw the dice three times. We never came close to making our 10 dollars, although we did get to six once. Zip and his betting around the table with guys who appeared to be winning didn't pan out this night. Meade and I did get a good taste of what gambling was all about and we learned a few lessons that stuck with us. Mr.Dunn informed us at one point; "never play cards with a drunk". I never did and as far as I know, Meade never gambled at all. After losing our two bucks we went back to Palmyra and found some girls to keep us company. We all went to Bob Hogan's house, made popcorn and sat around in the living room talking. I remember these girls because two of them were named Geer. This must have been a standing joke in Palmyra because every once in a while,somebody in the crowd would yell "shift Geers" and the two Geer girls would shift partners. These two Geer girls had a younger brother named Earl. Earl eventually became my Brother-in-law. He married May's sister Ethel. A few years after WW II I saw Zip Dunn in a Hotel in a small town called Lima, on route 20, south of Canandaigua. He told me he had spent from 1941 to 1946 in the Army stationed in Porto Rico. He gambled all that time with the other soldiers and made enough money to retire to this little town. He was married with one child and had never drunk an alcoholic: beverage of any kind. His Fathers influence? Bob Gordon #11

41: Mr. Gallager, our local law enforcement guru, seemed to jump in and out of our lives at every mistake we made. He never really arrested us for anything, but we were .always aware that it could happen if we didn't abide by the rules. One day Junior and I and several other boys were playing ball in the empty lot behind my father's garage. When we got tired, we sat down outside the back doors of the garage to get a drink from the hose that was always turned on there. My father came out and told me that Mr. Lacey wanted to see me. Mr.Lacey was one of two undertakers in Clyde, and the tradition at that time was for the undertaker to also run a furniture and appliance store in order to make ends meet. Junior and I went over to his store thinking maybe he had a job for us. This was our lucky day; one of my prayers was being answered. That day he had taken in trade a gas engine operated washing machine. He explained the transaction to us and asked if we would be interested in the gas engine for a days work cleaning up his yard at home. We said sure, because I had done a few chores for Mr.Lacey before and had asked him about those little engines the farmers used to run their washing machines. I had gotten Junior interested in a little go-cart and my fathers hired man, Dick Boyington, said he would help us. We did the work and got the gas engine home to the garage and showed it to Dick. Dick sad he would have to think on it a little before we could get started so .Junior and I went out back and tried starting the engine. It had a fly wheel that you spun by hand. We made the mixture of gas and oil and poured it into the base of the engine through the capped hole provided and spun the flywheel. We spun and spun and nothing happened so we went in and told Dick the engine wasn't any good. Dick came out with us - took a look and said; "you guys see that piece of metal touching the spark plug? That's the ground to stop the engine. If that touches the spark plug, it grounds out the spark and the engine wont start." After showing us what to do, he went back inside. We moved the piece of metal and spun the fly wheel again and "poof," the engine started. The engine wasn't fastened to anything so it started to vibrate and jump around so we couldn't stop it. The fly wheel was spinning and we had to keep from getting tangled up with it. It also had a hot exhaust pipe. Meade finally got down on his knees and put his hands on the base and I pushed on the piece of metal Dick had shown us and the engine stopped. Now we got an engine that runs but no car to mount it on and the other problem was the engine had only one speed - fast. Junior and I sat there trying to figure a way to use the engine on our cart because it didn't look like Dick was going to help us right away. | The Little Car

42: T | There was a pulley already on the engine so all we needed was a pulley on the carts rear wheel and a fan belt from an old car. Both these things were at our finger tips on any of the old cars sitting around the back lot. We went out in the back lot and in 5 minuets we had a fan belt and a pulley. Junior didn't know any more about how to mount these things than I did so Dick helped us to fasten the pulley to the cart wheel. The rest was just a matter of mounting the motor on a board and clamping the whole thing to the cart with some c-clamps my father let us borrow. We had no brakes, no throttle and no shift lever. We figured the motor would start when we pushed the cart a little ways. We took the whole contraption out into the street and argued as to who was going on the first ride. Junior said; "you go first, I got sucked in on the last ride in that cart." So I went first! We had everything arranged so I sat in the cart in front of the engine and yelled "GO". Meade started pushing me down the street. The motor didn't start, so he stopped pushing. We went back to the starting point and I offered him the next turn. .Junior says "NO" you go ahead. I got back in and Meade started pushing again. We got right to the limit of when we thought it ought to start and it did. Zoom - off I went, gaining speed all the time.The street had a very gradual down hill grade so that helped the cart to get going. The trouble was,the cart never stopped gaining speed and the corner that I was going to turn around at was coming up fast. I got my legs down and tried scuffing my feet on the pavement. The cart slowed down a little and I decided to make the turn on the corner coming up. Wrong decision! I pulled way to the right and commenced the turn to the left, about half way around I hit a bump in the road and that's all it took to flip the cart over. Me,the cart, the engine, the clamps and the boards holding the engine all went flying down the street. When I finally stopped rolling and looked up to see what happened,I saw Mr.Gallager getting off his motorcycle. He came over and picked me up and looked to see if I was all in one piece. I seemed to be all right so he started reading the riot act to me and said he had seen enough of my antics and told me to get Meade and clean the mess off the street and if he ever caught me again with that engine on my cart he would take it away from us. Junior came running down the street and Gallager cornered him and told him he should know better than to try such tomfoolery and he better straighten out. Well- what do you say to a policeman who has caught you in the act ? We took our tongue lashing and proceeded to put all the parts back in the cart and towed it back behind the garage. On the way back Junior told me that Gallager passed him just after the cart started and almost run over me when I made the sudden turn at the end of the street. The big spot where the oily gas had spilled was there the rest of the summer. Dick Boyington finally came up with a design for the little car using a ring geer and pinion from the rear end of an old Pontiac. Since the engine only ran one speed ,he had it geered down so it went about 4 miles per hour [ about as fast as you can walk ] He also included a lever that loosened the belt drive so you could stop the car. We had great fun with this little car and got to ride in all the parades on the Holidays. Bob Gordon #12

43: It is my opinion that we are all born with an attitude that tells us to "get even" when someone does something to us and we can't immediately strike back. This little story has never been told before because of the fear of retribution. It all happened years ago around 1931. My father,who ran a garage,bought a new type spark plug tester. All the automobile repair people thought this was the first invention better than sliced bread and sliced bread hadn't even been invented yet. This new spark plug tester allowed the mechanic to test spark plugs under conditions that exist inside a firing cylinder in your automobile. To use this device, you hooked it to your air compressor,screwed in a spark plug and flipped a switch that sent a spark across the points of the spark plug. If the spark plug was defective [shorted out],then the spark across the spark plug gap would go out. This is when you sold the customer a new spark plug. My older brother says to me - "here Bob, hold on to this wire for me." He then proceeds to push the button on the spark plug tester. "WOW", I got a good jolt of electricity up my arm. I was about to mutilate him but I couldn't catch him. If I had caught him he probably would have beat me up anyway, so maybe I didn't try too hard. This wire my brother handed me was from an old coil that was used in the early Ford ignition system. There was a coil for each cylinder and each coil held about 500 feet of this very fine wire so there was always lots of wire around. The next night while I was watching the gas pump so my father could go eat his supper,Junior came to play, so I gave him the same treatment my brother gave me. "Here Junior,hold onto this wire for me." You know I didn't have the heart to push the button on him, after all, he was my best friend. Instead of pushing the button on him, I proceeded to tell him the dastardly attributes of the new spark plug tester. Then I asked him if he wanted to try it. Junior said "no" but maybe we could find someone to try it on." We talked about It and just about that time a girl that we weren't exactly excited to see came in on her bicycle and asked us to blow up her tires. This girl was a nuisance in that she always came to get her tires blown up when she saw Junior and I at the garage. We said, "wait here while we find the tire gauge." While we were looking Junior says,"this is our chance." Junior took the tire gauge out front and I unraveled about a 100ft. of that fine wire, hooked one end to the spark plug tester and dragged the other end out to the bicycle. The girl was unaware of the approaching sting. The wire was so thin she didn't see it. As I bent down to help Meade I draped the wire over the bottom of the bike wheel and went back into the garage. | A Long Thin Wire

44: T | Junior talked with her a minute and claimed he had to help me with something and left. She got one leg over her bike and sat on the seat. That was when we pushed the button! She screamed, wet her pants and ran home without her bike. She was back in about 10 minutes with her father. The evidence was long gone and just two innocent kids sat there waiting for a gas customer and wondering what the young lady told her parents. The father didn't look distressed beyond civil behavior so we just sat and waited to see what was going to happen. Dad asked; "what happened to my daughter? She came home and told us she got a shock off her bicycle when she got on it to ride home." Of course,we couldn't tell him anything beyond the fact that cars would give you a little jolt once in a while when you touched them. He thanked us for blowing up his daughters tires,picked up the bike and wheeled it away with his daughter following. With a big sigh of relief we sat down and began to plan for our next victims. The young lady never came back to the garage again to get her tires blown up. The only "next victims" we could come up with were my brother and the teachers who lived down the street from the garage. Their names I won't mention, but they were the most strict teachers in our school and we still had 3 years to go. They often came down the street in their car around the time I had to watch the gas pump while my father ate his supper. Meade and I waited every night during supper time hoping the teachers would come along. We had arranged the long length of fine wire to run from the spark plug tester,across the road, over to the closest tree and left it loose, lying on the road. We waited a few nights in great anticipation of the upcoming happening. Once during our vigil we saw the car coming too late to get the wire up and the push the button on the spark plug tester. We had to wait until they came along again. They did come ! A couple of nights later,we saw the car coming up the street. Meade ran for the spark plug tester button while I nonchalantly lifted the wire off the road with a stick I was carrying. The teachers saw me and waved and I waved back. They had no idea of their impending doom. When Meade saw the car through the open garage doors he held the button down on the spark plug tester. When the teacher driving the car felt the jolt of electricity in her hands she let go of the steering wheel. In so doing, she must have given the wheel a pull to the right. The car went up over the curb and straight toward the corner of Mr.Baggerly's front porch. "Crunch"- she hit the porch doing something less than 10 mph. The car wasn't hurt much but the porch got a pretty good ding in it. It's a good thing she wasn't going any faster or the teachers might have been hurt. We were lucky, nobody questioned us, but the teachers brought the car in to have my father look at it for electrical leakage. Nothing was found! Needless to say we abandoned our quest for more victims, recognizing the fact that we had already done more harm than satisfying our ego for revenge. Besides,we were on the verge of getting caught. Bob Gordon #13

45: Clyde has one of the most unique town parks of any small town in the vicinity of Wayne County, New York. It is situated directly in the middle of the main road, Route31, which runs from Rochester to Syracuse. In order to get through Clyde on Route 31, you are required to go around the park either way at your discretion. As you approach the park, going either east or west on Route 31, a large sign informs you that you are about to drive by the "Clyde Famous Mineral Spring." Around 1930, when cars did not have air conditioning, a sign like this invited the traveling public to stop and refresh themselves free. Well- almost free - the paper cup dispenser wouldn't work unless you put a penny in it. One of the favorite things for Junior and I to do on a hot day was to watch the hot,wind blown tourists stop for a refreshing drink from the "Clyde Famous MineralSpring." As they pumped the old piston pump and the clear, cool water came gushing out, you could see the anticipation on their faces. The best was yet to come ! Their first taste of the water was a far cry from what they expected. The water was somewhat bitter with a lot of dissolved minerals and tasted worse than pickle juice on ice cream. Their first reaction was to spit the water as far away as possible. We didn't think some of the tourist believed what their taster had experienced and went back for a second taste that left them double disgusted. We often thought that if these people could find someone with authority they would ask for their penny back. | Clyde's Town Park

46: T | When the tourist could forget the sucker punch from the mineral water,they would look around the park and notice what a nice place it was to take a rest. Benches were provided in the park for relaxing and taking in the beauty of a small town. The park itself is a full block rectangle with very wide cinder paths the full length and width with the bandstand in the middle. The pump for the mineral water was located in the middle of the path that went south between the bandstand and the road. Park benches are scattered along both sides of the cinder paths. The park was established when the town was growing in the 18 hundreds. The benefactor who deeded the land for the park, did so with the provision that it never revert to any commercial enterprise. As many times as the provision was challenged,the challenge was never successful and the park remains in pristine condition and is the jewel of the town. At the East end of the park is a statue of George Washington. Behind George is a small pond with a fountain that at one time held a group of goldfish. Located in the central portion of the park is a bandstand. The four wide paths leading into the park converge at this central point. The bandstand was not just a scenic place for the kids to play. Every week a band concert was held there. The band was made up of local citizens,who were musical enough to blow a horn, beat a drum, play the violin,or pick a banjo. Everyone was invited and everybody came. The streets on the north and south sides of the park allowed parking. There were still many horse and buggy rigs around then and people sat in their rigs or automobiles and listened to the music.The horses and buggies lent an ambiance and aroma to the affair that could only be experienced in a small town. About the only folding chairs in those days were furnished by the undertaker. Not only did he furnish chairs for the band concert; he also furnished chairs if you were having a card party or wedding. Everyone was welcome to borrow chairs as needed.

47: Speaking of undertakers, I might note that over half of all funerals at that time were still held in people's homes. The older houses had wide front doors to admit a casket. The deceased was laid out in the parlor and a wreath was pinned to the front door. Another one of Junior's and my entrepreneurial escapades was selling hot dogs at the band concert. We worked for Mr. Tomkins, who ran the "Sugar Bowl", a small ice cream and sandwich shop located across the street from the northeast corner of the park on Glasgow Street. Mr. Tomkins furnished us with a small portable stand that held the charcoal fire, condiments and a few cold coca-colas. We got 10 cents for a hot dog with bun and a nickel for a coke. For every hot dog we sold we were allowed to keep a nickel for ourselves. We tried that old trick of putting everything on the hot dog and bun while the customer was watching and then hand it to him but not let go. If the timing were right; when I stuck my hand out to take the money and his eyes were on me on, Meade would gently pull the slippery hot dog out of the bun. The customer would turn and walk away as he took a bite of his hot dog. That's when he would realize the hot dog was gone. He would look around on the ground at his feet,then slowly tum around and retrace his steps, still looking on the ground for his hot dog. We weren't mean and nasty like that. We would give him another hot dog for his bun - the same hot dog Meade just stole from him. Another quaint fixture in the town of Clyde was the Burtis Hotel,later to become the Clyde Hotel. The three-story building was on the north east corner of South Park Street across from the park. There were several retires living there on a permanent basis. Some of these retired people came back to Clyde to spend their last years after having traveled the world. On the night of the band concerts,a ll the residents of the Hotel and many more,sat on the wide front porches on the first and second floors,talking and rocking to the rhythms of the band. Our former Manual Training teacher and coach, George Bracey, purchased this hotel after his retirement from Clyde High School. He and his wife Helen added a bar and ran a successful enterprise until the hotel caught fire and burned to the ground. A gasoline station now occupies the space. Bob Gordon #14

48: Mr Burtis and brother - owners of Clyde Hotel | Clyde Hotel

49: Shortly after my father sold the garage and house on Glasgow Street in Clyde we moved to a house on Caroline Street near to where Meade's lived. .Junior and I thought this was a pretty good deal since we wouldn't be as far apart. I was two blocks away before, now I was only three houses away. My investigative spirit led me to explore the new house as soon as possible. Nothing much was new to me as far as the house itself was concerned but the storehouse off the back porch was a treasure chest of assorted relics. The first thing I found was a seltzer bottle that was full. On the first look it didn't dawn on me what it was for,but then it came to me. This was a bottle of carbonated water that was used in whiskey drinks and by all the comedians in the movies that wanted a good laugh when they flushed off their partners face. I took the cut glass bottle with the silver colored handle and spigot outside to give it a try. Oh man! This thing shot the carbonated water about four feet in the air. I put the glass container back in the shed and waited forJunior to show up. When he came I took him out to the shed and showed him the nice glass bottle I had come across. Junior examined it closely and began to speculate as to what it was for. I told him to be careful as it could have something in it that might harm him. He was smarter than I thought because he pointed it at me and squeezed the handle on top. I already knew what was going to happen if he did that so I ducked and ran away. Junior was right behind me with the bottle on full blast. I slowed down a little to see where he was and he got me in the seat of my pants. I stopped and threw up my hands to surrender. Junior stopped squirting and we called a truce. Then it was my turn with the bottle and his turn to run. I gave him a ten-foot start and went after him. The bottle was beginning to get a weak stream so I had to conserve a little until I could catch him. He was tiring and I was gaining on him so when I got about four feet behind him, I opened up full force and caught him on the back of his head before I ran out of juice. That was pretty much the end of our water fight. It was a lot of fun and much more effective than the water pistols of that time. We were never able to find a place to recharge our carbonated water gun so we just put it back on the shelf in the shed and looked for something else to play with. It didn't take us long to find something. We ran across a can marked acetylene gas. Upon opening the can we found it was full of sawdust with a whole bunch of small cubes that made the gas when immersed in water. | Old House Toys

50: T | Before Meade and I were born, some of the automobiles being made were equipped with acetylene headlights. An acetylene headlight was a large,round,brass polished container with a small,square,brass container underneath that held water. Inside the round brass headlight was a parabolic reflector. In front of the reflector was a gas spigot that went to the small brass box with the water in it. To make this headlight work you dropped one of the small,square pellets from the sawdust into the water below the headlight. Upon immersion,the pellet immediately began producing acetylene gas which was piped to the spigot inside the headlight. Scratch a match on your thigh, light the gas and close the glass.I'm not sure how long this light would last but it must have been more efficient than holding a flashlight out the window. This was not the only use for these acetylene pellets. Somewhere Junior and I had heard that the farmers sometimes used this gas in a little cannon to keep the crows out of their cornfields just after planting. Junior and I sat down and tried to think of a way to build a cannon. We came up with a design that only needed a length of pipe. We drove the 1 1/2 inch pipe into the ground at about a 30-degree angle,poured in some water and dropped in a pellet. Everything was great but we didn't have any way to light the bugger without blowing our hand off. We finally got a long dry branch about 3 feet long,l it the end and held it over the end of the pipe. Boooom- the cannon worked ! Now all we had to do was keep from blowing our hands off. Meade finally came up with the simple solution - drill a little hole at the bottom of the pipe a little ways above the water level and touch a match down there. In the CivilWar they called this little hole for blowing off the cannon a "touch hole." Now we had a working cannon but no cannon balls. We finally solved that problem by putting a can over the end of the pipe. The noise was terrific, and those cans would fly 300 feet. Luck was with us on the noise we were making because the 4.. of .July was approaching and all the kids had firecrackers .Junior and I had the loudest one! We played with this cannon a few days until the novelty wore off and then we went looking in the shed for another toy. You won't believe what we found this time - a revolver - all rusted up,wrapped in a rag and hidden in a box with some old tools. In this era it was not uncommon for people to carry small guns in their pocket. Also legal were what we called "blank guns. "You could buy a blank gun for 50 cents on the 4th of July at any store that sold fireworks. The blank cartridges for the gun were available at 15 cents for a box of 50. We took the gun and cleaned it up a little and showed it to my father. He told us it was a 22-caliber revolver and used the same size cartridges as our blank guns. My father took the gun to work with him the next day,cleaned it up,and gave it back to us that night. He warned us not to try any regular ammunition in the gun because the inside of the barrel was very rusty and warn and in no condition to be used as a pistol. This 22 revolver we found held 6 cartridges. Now we had a six-shooter. We played with this gun all summer and used it for target practice by inserting a spent shell casing in the end of the barrel. H was no crime at that time to possess firearms. The town people used shotguns and 22 rifles to keep varmints and crows out of their gardens.It was not unusual to hear a shotgun go off in the middle of town. This shed and it's contents kept us busy all summer long, identifying some things and using others for something to play with. Bob Gordon #15

51: The boys that played sports in Clyde High School were very enthusiastic considering the conditions under which we played. We did not have a coach for every sport. One coach fit all and Mr. Bracey,the Manual Training teacher,coached-the tennis team. The lettered sports were football, baseball,basketball and tennis. The school attendance was only about 325. Our graduating class had 21 students. This attendance gives you an idea the coaches didn't have a great deal of choice when it came to filling the quota for each sport. A lot of the athletes lettered in all sports available. Meade and I played football, baseball and basketball. Meade was usually picked for the first team in each sport he played. I was a sort of skinny runt so I never made the first team in football but I was pretty good at tennis and made the first team every year. In our senior year we won the championship in our territory. In baseball and basketball Meade and I made the teams. Meade played all the time on the basketball team and was one of the better players. I played some of the time. We both played most of the time on the baseball team. Meade played first base and I played second base. We were a good combination chasing players stealing from first to second. Not many guys stole bases on us. Football was pretty much a washout for us. We both played ends but weren't very good at it because of our weight. Art Hinman was one of the best halfbacks that Clyde ever produced. Art was built like a brick outhouse and was tough to tackle because of his strength. During our Junior year in High School,a gasoline company decided to put a gas tank along the canal in Clyde to supply the community with gasoline. The welder putting up the tank was from a company in Buffalo and was also a football player. Junior and I heard what was going on so we went to the site where the big gas tank was being built. The site had been cleared and the process of welding the tank together was just starting. | Sports in Clyde High | Bob Gordan Harry Long

52: We talked with the welder while he was welding and hung around for almost an hour. That was a big mistake. Sometime after supper my eyes began to smart and kept getting worse. Tears were running down my face and my eyes burned like fire. Nobody seemed to know what was wrong so my mother called Doctor Allen. The Doctor arrived in a little while and examined me. He knew right away what was wrong because he had already been to Meade's house and he had the same thing. We both had what they called "welders eye", a malady that afflicts welders if they don't use their helmets with goggles all the time. Dr.Allen - assured us we weren't going to die and recommended cold compresses to relieve the burning sensation. Everything cleared up by morning. While we were talking to the welder,we found out he loved to play football, so we told him about the semi-pro team that Clyde had. Bucky,the welder,was real interested in playing on the team so we called Red Heit, an amateur coach, who in conjunction with Loyd Daily coached the team. Red got in touch with Bucky,who was residing at the Burtis Hotel and recruited him on the spot. Bucky turned out to be a sensation as the best running back around. He was well built,very strong,and could break tackles and continue to run with two guys hanging onto him. Another sensational player was a black guy from Seneca Falls who could run rings around everybody and catch a football with one hand. This guy from Seneca Falls wound up being recruited by Syracuse University and was one of the best ends that Syracuse ever had and helped win the championship for them,two years running. I don't think the Syracuse fathers ever knew he played on a semi-pro team that was the scourge of the territory. With these two guys and the two big wrestling brothers that weighed 250 pounds each as guards,Clyde had a football team that beat everybody they played. The Clyde semi- pro team couldn't find anybody that provided them with a good challenge so they challenged the professional team in Buffalo to a game.I don't know if the Buffalo team were the "Buffalo Bills" at that time or went by some other name. Anyway,the Buffalo team did not respond to the challenge,so our wonderful Clyde team was left playing inferior teams that did not cure their appetite for opposition. The football teams played every Sunday on the same field that we [Clyde High] played on. During each game they passed the hat to collect money for footballs and jerseys. Some of the players had their own equipment and what the others lacked they borrowed from the high school players - mostly shoulder pads and pants. This team was together for two years and never lost a game. Practicing basketball was always a hassle for the team or anyone else who liked to play. There was one basket on the school playground that got constant use,weather permitting. The only basketball court was on the second floor of the town hall that housed the fire engine and the policeman's office on the first floor. The basketball team practiced here twice a week after school,and the games were usually on Friday night. Nobody at that time thought of putting up a basket on the garage to play basketball. Permission was required to use the town hall basketball court and the cop,the janitor and the mayor were all authorized to permit entry. We could get in through the hatch on the roof,the front door if the janitor forgot to lock it,and through a window in the back of the fire house. This window opened onto a stairway into the shower room and then into the basketball court. If anyone in authority asked who let you in,you could always come up with a sponsor. | Before M

53: Another place we could play was located in a barn hayloft on the Hinman property. It only had one basket and no lights,so we had to open the hayloft door to get light. We never lost a player but we often had to climb down the ladder to retrieve the ball. We played basketball against most of the small towns in the vicinity - Lyons, Newark, Palmyra, North Rose, Sodus, Wolcott, and several others. Sodus had a basketball court worse than ours. A round oak stove was situated about 3 feet behind one basket and it was the source of heat for the basketball court. Every time we played there, some of us would come home with a scorched hand or a burned leg. Nobody complained as long as we won! Bob Gordon#16 | 1934 Semi-Pro Football Team

54: Growing up in Clyde was fun from the beginning to the time Junior and I moved away. Rural America is not without it's amenities. The Grange Hall in Clyde was a gathering place for farmers and their families--and-also-town people-who loved to eat, play cards and dance an evening away. The National Grange is the nation's oldest national agricultural organization with grassroot units established in 3600 local communities in 37 states. It was formed in the years foll0wing the Civil War to unite private citizens in improving the economic and social position of the nations farm population. By the nineteen thirties it had evolved to include non -farm rural families and communities. The National Grange headquarters in Washington has a professional staff that administers policies established by democrat Grange processes at local, county and state levels. Other objectives include support stewardship of America's natural resources, local and federal support for rural education, medical, communications, road systems and assurance of safe and properly labeled food products. The fellowship, recreation and social activities in the Grange were developed with the family in mind. Children and senior citizens alike were all welcomed in the Grange. Competition in music art, crafts and a whole variety of other activities were an important part of every Grange agenda. The grange Hall in Clyde had a "bring something to eat" evening every month as long as I can remember. Every family that came brought a dish to pass, while the entree was furnished by the Hall itself. A modest charge took care of the entree and all the necessary incidentals such as such as napkins, salt, pepper, sugar and paper table cloths and best of all the band. Of course the band played square dance music with a caller that livened up the dancers with his wit. The band also played music to dance by. By the time we were 16, "music to dance by" didn't include the waltz and the two -step or that old, square dance farmer music. Meade and I were getting into jitterbugging but we still enjoyed the suppers and most of all the desserts. We learned to dance at the Grange with my Sister, our classmates, and all the other young people whose parents belonged to theGrange. We would go to the suppers and load up on just the stuff we liked - meat, potatoes and gravy, home made ice-cream, a great assortment of homemade pies and fruit in season. What more could teenage boys, with more than healthy appetites, ask of any organization? To us it was all free! After supper had been served, the men and boys folded up all the long tables and set up card tables all around the dance floor. The different families would shove tables together to accommodate their own particular party. A card game called euchre was a favorite of the card players. The game is fast and you can talk and play at the same time. Bridge was coming into it's own at the time, so the more sophisticated card players were practicing that. The people who loved to dance were on the dance floor most of the time. Those with smaller children often had them on the dance floor teaching them the different steps and dancing along with them. All this activity kept the kids and grownups | Before M | Dinners and Dances

55: sharing the same values of working hard, playing together, and sharing their good times. Often the girls danced together but never the boys. Girls did not ask the boys to dance. If you wanted to dance you had to ask a girl. Meade didn't have a problem with this but I was a little shy and it wasn't easy for me to approach a strange girl and ask her to dance. I sort of used Junior as an ice breaker. He would dance with the girl first and introduce me, then I would ask the girl to dance and tell her what a nice boy .Junior was Well - I had to say something! There was a very small town of Maringo, about 5 miles south of Clyde, that had dances and card parties in their town hall. It was not a big building but they held dances and card parties on alternate Saturday nights to provide funds for their town. One Saturday night, after we closed up the A & P grocery store, Meade and I bummed a ride to Maringo to attend the dance. It was almost 11:00 before we got there so the party was in full swing. We knew a lot of the people there so .Junior asked one fellow if he minded if he danced with his girlfriend. The fellow agreed that he needed a rest so Meade went off with his girl onto the dance floor. I presently found a girl to dance with and was next to Meade when this fellow walked up to the girl Meade was dancing with and asked her who she had cheated this time. We thought it was over at that point but when the ..,.g was over, the girl told her boy friend about the incident. The boyfriend went over to the guy and asks him to apologize for his offensive remark. One thing led to another and this guy throws a punch. The bouncer [ most dance halls had a bouncer to th.row out those people who failed to conform to gentlemen standards] came running over and grabbed the guy and held him immobile while he dragged him kicking to the door and pitched him out onto the small porch outside. The boyfriend went outside to continue the fight so the whole dance hall emptied out the door to watch them go at it. The two guys fighting were just in front of the small porch and all the people were scattered amongst the cars parked along the side of the building. The fighters were going at it "hammer and tongs" when this guy shouts from the porch " stop the fight, I'm a Sheriff." He was not dressed like a sheriff so this had no effect on the fight; the boys kept right on punching. The supposed Sheriff then draws a big 45 colt out of his pocket and yells " stand back" and fires the gun into the air. In 5 seconds there wasn't a person to be seen anywhere, except the Sheriff with the smOking gun and the two fighters standing there like they had been shot. The Sheriff then jumped off the porch with a pair of handcuffs in his hand and handcuffs the guy who started the fight. At this point the other people came crawling out from under the cars and from the back of the building to catch more of the excitement. The Sheriff hauls the guy over to his car, shoves him into the back seat and took him to the Clyde Jail. Meade and I didn't learn who the Sheriff was or where he had taken the guy until the next day.

56: Monday night they had this guy in court and .JudgeAmmerman fined him 5 dollars, warned him about fighting, and put him on probation for 2 years. The Sheriff was from Lyons, a Town seven miles from us, and said they had trouble with this character before an it was about time somebody put him in his place. Bob Gordon#17 | Before M | Bob Gordan

57: One fine spring day, a couple of weeks after school was out for the summer Junior and I decided we needed to get away from it all for a day. There were lots of places we could go - Syracuse, Auburn SoduS Point, Rochester and lots of other places. After going over all our options, we decided that Rochester would be our designated city for a day. Our finances kind of dictated the length of stay. We had 50 cents between us to buy food and transportation in the city Rochester, at that time was reached via Route 31; a long two and a half-hour drive west of Clyde. For transportation we did not have an option - we either bummed a ride with our thumb or we stayed home. We started from Clyde about 8:30 on a pleasant summer day. We stood on a corner where route 31 was headed west on the out skirts of town. Junior and I took turns standing with our thumb stuck in the air pointing in the direction we wanted to travel. It wasn't long when along comes our local physician, Dr. Allen, headed west. The Doctor stopped and asked; "where you going boys?' We told him we were headed for Rochester. He says, "get in, I'll take you there." We were definitely in luck this time. Meade got in the front with the Doctor and I sat in back. We talked to Doc Allen all the way to Rochester. He questioned us about school, our teachers, sports and was very talkative. His sort of gruff, bedside manners never showed up. We knew he was on the school board so we answered all his questions as truthfully as we could. The Doctor also told us of some of his experiences as a doctor in WW1- I might add that Dr.Allen brought me into the world in 1918, in the middle of the summer. These adventures Meade and I shared, all happened when Doctors came to your house. You did not go to the Doctors office when you were sick. Dr. Allen let us out near the Strong Memorial Hospital where he was headed for a lecture on the techniques and medicine to help patients who contracted polio. At the time there was no cure for Polio and young folks who got the disease were in for a long spell of illness with the possibility of a permanent deformity. Our son Don was classified as a "PolioPioneer" because he received shots when the vaccine was being tested. This study went on for three years in the sixties while Don was going to Irondequoit High. We were not told whether Don was receiving the real thing or a placebo. Later we were told that Don got the new vaccine. After the Doctor let us out near the Hospital, we boarded a trolley car and headed downtown to look around and see a little of the city. That trip cost us 10 cents. It was almost noon so our first stop was at a "White Tower," the early version of a McDonalds, where they sold hamburgs for a nickel. We each ate two hamburgs with water for a chaser and we still had 20 cents | Let's Take A Trip, Part I

58: Now we started our trek through the big department stores, Sibleys and McCurdys. We loved those big stores that had one item, like suits, that took up four times the space of a single store in Clyde. We walked around in the two stores for almost 2 hours before we had enough so we walked down to State Street and got on the bus to Charlotte. A round trip ticket on this trolley line to the beach was a nickel so now we had 10 cents left. State Street ends on the edge of the city and becomes Lake Avenue. Lake Avenue runs all the way north to Charlotte, which is on the south shore of Lake Ontario. In Charlotte they had a bathhouse, a beautiful sand beach, a merry go- round and a dance hall. We found out that dances were held on weekends with a different high-class band each week, playing swing music under the stars. They charged 10 cents a dance, which consisted of three songs. Our problem was we had no girls to dance with, no money to pay, and we were there on a Tuesday when there was no band. We didn't have a swimsuit with us and the bathhouse cost a nickel for a locker so that was out too. We hung around a while watching the merry-go round and decided to go home. We gave up our ticket when we got on the bus and asked for a transfer ticket when we got off. The transfer ticket took us to the edge of the East Side of the city where we stuck out our thumb again and headed for Clyde. We thumbed and thumbed until our thumbs were permanently bent in the direction we were going. A car pulled to the side of the road and we hoped it was for a ride. It was, finally! We hopped in and the first question from the man driving the car was, 'where are you going?' We told him, "Clyde" and you know he asked where Clyde was. It's kind of embarrassing to find out that your hometown is not the center of the universe. Apparently the gentleman was not a native of the territory. He was headed for Newark, which was a good break, because we would then be only 14 miles from home. We got out of his car at the four corners in Newark and walked to the edge of town. Here we started with our thumbs again, trying to get a ride to Clyde before dark. It didn't happen! All our efforts were for naught so we started to walk. My Grandmother Weber and my Aunt Eva still lived on the old Weber homestead, 1 1/2 miles east of Newark on route 31. This is the place where my Grandfather Weber was born and lived all his life. It was not a very long 1 1/2 mile walk to the farm where I knew my Grandma and Aunt would welcome us and give us something to eat. It was almost dusk when we walked in - my Grandma, Aunt Eva and the hired man Bill had just sat down to supper. We were given a hearty welcome, asked if we were hungry and two more plates appeared on the table. This kitchen where everyone ate was very large by today's standards. The table was always stretched out to its full length and would seat 12 easily. The sink with its pitcher pump was three steps to the table. A large, black, kitchen range was located on the other side of a doorway that led to the summer kitchen. A doorway led to a very large, 10 x 10 foot pantry where all the dishes and staples; like flower, sugar, and store bought goods were stored. A doorway from the pantry led to the cellar where candled eggs, smoked ham, bacon, potatoes and all the canned fruits and vegetables were stored. The rest of the kitchen was about 15 ft long with chairs and plants scattered about. A hallway on the south side led to the sitting room. This cellar with all the full canning jars in it was broken into one night when Bill, the hired man, was on a toot. Bill drank all the juice out of four jars of pickles. We don't know what kind of a kick Bill got from the pickle juice but the household forgave him because no matter what they said, Bill went on 2 toots a year. They figured this was his vacation. | Before M

59: When he was drunk he never came into the house to eat. He stayed in the barn, sucked eggs for nourishment, and came back to the house when he sobered up. The women took care of all the chores while Bill partied. Of course they asked how we got to the farm, so we explained our safari to Rochester and the things we had seen and of course the rides we didn't get on our way home. Then they asked us how we were going to get home from there. Our only answer was" bum a ride to Clyde." Both Grandma and Aunt Eva objected to this and told us we had to stay the night because they had a job for us tomorrow and we could leave after that when it was daylight. Junior and I called home and told our parents we were spending the night with Grandma and Aunt Eva. Junior had never spent the night here before and it never occurred to me to tell him how much racquet the steam locomotives made when they went by, 150 ft from the house, at 50 miles per hour. We no more than got into bed upstairs, in the front of the house facing the road when a passenger train, going full speed, passed the house with smoke and steam bellowing out the stack and throwing cinders. It was summer so the window was open and the noise and smoke was terrific. Junior sat up like he was stuck with a pin and never laid down again until the train had passed. I was used to this and when I was little I would always rush to the window to watch the train Junior had no little boy affection for trains, so the noise and smoke annoyed him no end on his first encounter. I slept like a baby but Junior told me in the morning that he had been hassled by at least four trains during the night. In the morning we got up about seven thirty and went down stairs to a country breakfast. We had fried eggs, ham, potatoes and toast with home made butter and current jelly. Grandma sat down with us, talked a little while, then asked if I knew how to use Grandpa's old muzzle loading shot gun. Of course I said"yes" because I had seen Grandpa load it when I was 10 years old. To be continued in next story! Bob Gordon #18 | Braccio, Meade, Gordon

60: It is like Grandmother Weber asked: "Do you know how to use Grandpa's muzzle loading shotgun?" I answered with a positive "yes" so she proceeded to tell us the problem they were having with the pigeons in the barn, pooping all over the hay for the horses. Grandma asked us to try and get rid of half the flock and bring the carcasses to her and she would dress them. When you ran a farm in those days, nothing went to waste. Food was food -if any creature on the farm quit doing it's job,you either ate it or sold it. No slackers allowed! Grandma went upstairs and brought down the muzzle loader and all the paraphernalia that went with it. There was the powder horn with a cavity in the end that you closed off after filling and dumped it in the barrel. The ramrod for packing the powder ,patches and shot into the barrel was nestled beneath the barrel. A large bag full of b-b size shot was included. This shotgun was a fraction advanced from the old muzzle loading gun that used flint and steel to set off the black powder. This muzzle loader used a small percussion cap to ignite the powder and cause it to explode. A package of percussion caps was also included in the stuff Grandma handed us. Junior and I gathered all the stuff together and told Grandma we would first have to try out the gun and make sure it would fire properly. We went out back of the house near the pigpen and tried to load the gun. There were no patches included to hold the powder and shot in the barrel so we decided we could use newspaper instead of cloth patches. I think I was a little hasty in telling the folks that I was familiar withe gun but I didn't want to lose the chance to try. Now I had to tell Junior that we would have to experiment a little to see how much powder we had to use. After a discussion leading nowhere,we decided to put in one load of powder from the powder horn. First we put in the powder,then a wad of newspaper and packed it in with the ramrod. Next we decided that one big handful of shot looked like enough so we put that down the barrel and packed a wad of newspaper on top. Now it was time to shoot so we placed a percussion cap on the touch hole protrusion and cocked the hammer back. This gun was heavy so we found a convenient fence post to place the barrel on. All was ready - Junior was a wee bit skeptical about this so it was up to me to pull the trigger, which I did. Boom - or more like a small bang - out the barrel came a bunch of newspaper with a handful of B-B s behind it, then a big cloud of black smoke. The whole mish-mash didn't fly more than 15 feet. A big disappointment. Now we got to figure from this how much powder we needed to make the shot carry about 100 ft. to the roof on the barn and still have enough speed to kill a pigeon. This is how we did it. If one charge of powder threw the shot and paper 15-ft. it would take 5 charges to go 100 ft. Right or wrong we charged old Betsy up with five shots of powder and two handfuls of shot and we were ready to go pigeon hunting. We located a suitable spot behind an old apple tree that we figured was about 100 ft. away from the barn ridge and waited for the flock of pigeons to light before they went into the barn. We had the shotgun resting in a crotch of the tree. I stood behind the gun with the stock | Before M | Let's Take A Trip, Part II

61: against my shoulder,my cheek against the stock and my eye looking down the length of the long barrel, waiting for the pigeons to show up. Meade was standing directly behind me as the pigeon spotter. We watched for about 15 minutes when Meade yells: "get ready,here they come." The pigeons circled the barn once and all bunched together,started to land on the barn roof - that's when I fired ! The biggest "booom" you ever heard blasted out the barrel I really don't remember that second when the blast occurred - all I remember is picking myself off Junior,who was flat on his back with me on top where the recoil from the gun had kicked me. The smoke from the black powder obscured our view of the barn for a few seconds and as it drifted away, no pigeons were in sight but we did see a few shingles missing from the barn roof. Old Betsy lay intact a few feet to our right. We were both a little shook up and the only damage besides the missing shingles was my bruised shoulder. We sat a while,pondering our mistakes, and trying to decide what to do now. We came up with two things we had to do. Number one was to replace the shingles on the roof and number two was to find a way to catch those pigeons. We climbed up and patched the roof with some spare shingles and Junior came up with the solution for catching the pigeons. We told Grandma Weber and Aunt Eva that we would be back next week with our fish net to hold over the hole where the pigeons came in in and catch them one at a time until the flock was downsized to their specs. No more shotgun booms around the barn. Just about this time there came a knock on the kitchen door. Aunt Eva went to the door and invited the man standing there to come in. He explained to us that his car was broken down and could he use the telephone to call a garage in Newark. My Aunt Eva, ever the one to offer help,referred the gentleman to me. She told him I could fix cars because my father ran a garage in Clyde. The gentleman accepted her offer for me to take a look so Junior and I went out to the car with him. It was only a few hundred feet from the house. The gentleman got in the car and demonstrated that it wouldn't start. It was a four door Chevrolet - about 1928 vintage with the new type spark coil ignition. When Junior and I raised the hood from the side the whole engine was visible. After looking around over the engine I spotted the trouble and told Meade not to be too hasty. I said to Junior "go tell the guy to try starting it again." The guy tried but to no avail. Junior came back and I showed him where the coil wire had come loose from the coil. We put the wire back in the coil and Junior went back to the driver and told him to try again. This time the car started right away. The gentleman was happy as a clam and tried to pay us for our effort. We turned down the offer but did ask him where he was headed. He said he was headed for Auburn, which is thirty miles east of Clyde. Junior asked him if he would give us a ride to Clyde and he was more than happy to accommodate us. We said goodbye to Grandma and Aunt Eva, thanked them for our room and board and told them we would be back to catch the pigeons. Bob Gordon #19

62: As Junior and I were growing up in Clyde,it seemed that cars and horses were on a collision path and one of them had to win. We know now who won but back then it was not as clear. Horses were a necessity on every farm but you couldn't fault the automobile when it came to long distance. Neither .Junior nor I ever had a horse of our own but a few kids in Clyde had ponies -and horses were prevalent in town and all the farms around our territory. Several children from farms drove horses to school and rented stalls for them from my father. Our house was next to the garage separated by a gravel driveway. A large barn was behind the house and one side of the barn was divided into 7 stalls for horses. There were always at least two horses stashed there during schooldays. One of the kids that came to play base ball in an open lot, out back of my fathers garage,always tied his pony to a fence directly behind the garage. When the ball game was over,we all came to the hose behind the garage to quench our thirst. The pony that was tied there was nowhere in sight. It was almost lunchtime and Ray,the pony's owner, said the pony must have come untied and gone home. Horses are not dumb and usually they don't wander around aimlessly. If they are in familiar territory and are loose,they usually head for home.This time the pony did not go home. After lunch Ray came back to the garage and announced that his pony had not returned. All the guys got together and went looking for the lost pony. We searched and searched all over town and the outskirts but the pony had completely disappeared. There was much sobbing,moaning and speculation as to where that pony could have gotten to. Some had him stolen or fallen in a ditch somewhere. We were all together again at this point and decided the only thing to do was get my fathers hired man "Dick "to ride around the town with us so we could cover more ground and look in all directions. Dick took five of us for a one-hour tour. Still no pony. We got back to the garage and,strange as it was,there was the pony standing in the very spot he had disappeared from. Smart pony,we all thought, to come back after wandering around for four hours. We had no clue as to where that pony had been. We never learned until years later that Dick and my father had taken the pony into the garage,put a sling on him and lowered him into the grease pit. [ Every garage had a pit dug into the floor to drive the car over so you could get to the under side to change the oil and grease the springs.] A horse that my grandmother owned named Buddy was sort of strange in a sad way - he was blind. This blind horse worked every day on my grandmother's farm in Newark but he always had to have a buddy with him. If you tried to work him alone, such as on a cultivator,he couldn't find his way in a straight line and acted very nervous. He was a good worker but shy around unfamiliar people. You had to speak to him as you approached to let him know you were a friend or he might step sideways and stomp on your foot. | Before M | Other Peoples Horses

63: When I introduced Junior to this horse,he wanted to see if he was really blind so he approached him from the rear and didn't tell Buddy he was coming. He was almost sorry he did that. The horse, of course, heard him approach and was ready for him. Just as Junior got up beside him, Buddy stepped sideways with his back legs and almost caught Junior's foot. Junior yelled - "Buddy" stop! Buddy calmed right down and let Junior pet him on the forehead while he examined his eyes which were a cloudy milk color. Clyde also had a canning factory and in late July,during pea harvesting season, wagon after wagon came through Clyde from the outlying farms,loaded with the ripe pea vines. One of our favorite pastimes was to attack the pea wagon and pull off bunches of pea vines in order to get fresh peas to eat raw. All the farmers were aware of the risk of driving their horse pulled pea wagons through town. They would get attacked by the local youth yearning for a free meal of tender,fresh peas. Their only defense against the bold pea robbers was a farm kid on top of the pea load with a buggy whip ready to slash you anywhere he could when you approached the wagon. We pea snatchers also had our defense planned. Two guys would rush the wagon, when the kid with the buggy whip rushed to the side being attacked,the pea snatchers would slow their rush and keep the buggy whippers attention while we rushed in from the other side and pulled some pea vines off into the road. We didn't always get away without a little bruising from the whip when we were a little slow reacting. After the attack we would get comfortable with our pea vines in one of the old cars sitting around behind the garage and while we ate fresh peas,we would compare our wounds to see who took the worst beating. Meade and I became experienced, battle scarred pea snatchers. We often thought the kids we knew, guarding the peas from us, got as much fun out of these brief battles as we did.

64: Frank Smith was one of the older kids in High School who drove a horse drawn buggy to school and left his horse and rig in our barn. Junior and I were drawn to Frank because of his mode of travel and also he was a friend who would let us ride with him when he went home after school. He lived about two miles south of Clyde on a farm. We would ride home with him and then walk back to town. One afternoon after school we asked him if we could ride home with him. He said "sure",so we all got in the buggy and started. As we were riding along he explained to us the new indoor toilet his father had installed on the farm. Since every farmer we were acquainted with used an outhouse- this was a first. Farmers were a little hesitant about indoor plumbing. Their interpretation of this suggested that "no animal on earth fouls its own nest." The reason for the new facility was quite apparent when you realized the number of steps it took this family to accommodate their bodily functions. The farmhouse was built about 200 ft. back from the gravel road,on a grade that left the cellar entrance,in the back, on grade level. If you were in the house when nature called you had to go down 12 steps to ground level and then the outhouse. You had to anticipate ahead or lose the race. The solution wasn't really an indoor facility. It was located at the end of a new porch built outside the kitchen door,about 6 ft. wide, running the full length along the side of the building. The little square house for the toilet was on the far end above the ground level cellar with a new moon crescent on the door. An 8-inch diameter steel tube extended down from the toilet to a steel tank, buried in the ground. Anything dropped into this toilet took a couple of seconds to land in the steel tank and reverberated like a grandfather clock. Frank's father,Mr.Smith, called this,-"voiding-with music." Another aspect of having a horse for friendship and transportation was the fact that a horse remembers where he's at. With this in mind think of the possibilities. If you wanted to go out and get loaded and could find your way back to your horse, all you had to do was untie him and tell him to go home. You didn't have to worry about getting picked up for drunk driving. You just went to sleep in your buggy and when you woke up,you were in your own back yard. If you had taught your horse to open the barn door,you would be inside out of the weather. My Uncle Henry had a horse with a strange peculiarity. Meade and I thought it was a very strange peculiarity to watch. Every morning and evening, after chores were done,the horses were led to the half-barrel tub by the well,where they drank their fill of water. This particular horse was special because he was not large and muscular and was only used to pull the buggy in the summer and the sleigh in the winter. He was also good on the cultivator. His peculiarity lie in his behavior after being watered. This 900 loved to roll in the grass on his back. This is the only horse we ever saw that did this and it was strange to behold. He would lie down,roll over on his back, and waggle his body back and forth while he kicked all four legs in the air,just like a dog.He had so much fun doing this you could almost see the smile on his face Bob Gordon #20 | Before M

65: Around 1930, after the big stock market crash in 1928, there was very little expendable money around for frivolous gifts. If you had a pair of skates to clamp on your shoes you were very lucky because no one was going to buy-you another set of skates if yours were lost, strayed or stolen. Skating was one thing that all the kids were able to do without a big expense for their parents. On Glasgow Street, where we lived,the sidewalks were made from slate. Where they got the slate to make sidewalks from is a mystery to me. It was very smooth to skate on until you came to a section that was raised by a tree root. At this point, you better give a little leap or you were doomed for a skinned knee. Sometimes the slate would have an imperfection in it where a layer had peeled off. This was not much of a hazard but you still had this bump to contend with. Most of the time,skating in familiar territory,you were aware of most of the hazards and automatically compensated for the irregularities. One hazardous thing you could not anticipate was a skate coming loose from your shoe. The skates had to be fastened to your shoe sole just right with a right and left handed screw that moved the clamps in and out as you screwed the shaft with a skate key. If you screwed the clamps too tight,your shoe sole would bend and you would get a blister on your foot. If the clamps were too loose,you would take the inevitable nosedive into the sidewalk. One solution to this problem was to take a short leather strap and fasten your shoe to the skate Junior and I had a little trick we used to play with my dog Sport. When I first got this dog,as a stray that came to our house and stayed,we used a leash on him so he wouldn't run away. When we tied the leash on Sport he always wanted to run so we ran along with him. One day Meade says, "lets put our skates on and see if Sport will pull us." Sport would start pulling when we yelled "go" but when he heard the noise from the skates,he would stop. This didn't work very well until the paper man came along. This paper man worked for the "Bramer & Scutt" poolroom and cigar store. He delivered papers around Clyde for several years using a noisy,squeaky wheel borrow as a conveyance. Sport took an instant dislike to this noisy wheelbarrow and Charlie,the man who pushed it.He barked at the wheelbarrow every chance he got. One day when we saw the man and his wheelbarrow about a block away,we said to Sport: "go get him." Sport took off like Barney Oldfield,with Meade and I trying to hang onto the old close line leash. Sport weighed about 60 pounds and was very strong for his size; also he was in good shape from the running we did with him. | Skates, Scooters & Stilts

66: What he was going to do if he caught Charlie and his wheelbarrow was at this moment a mystery. He wouldn't run with us on the skates before but now he had a mission and ignored the noise from the skates. It turned out that Sport was all bark and no bite. As we got nearer to Charlie,he heard us coming,stopped and turned around facing us. Sport stopped too. Sport stayed back there barking while Junior and I let go of the rope and were trying frantically not to collide with the man and his wheelbarrow. He was a little concerned at our approach and asked us what tomfoolery we were up to. Meade spoke up and said,"our dog don't like your noisy wheelbarrow." When he hears it, he just has to bark at it. We tried to stop him but we couldn't with our skates on so we came along for the ride!' Charlie said," I'm not afraid of Sport, he's barked at me before but you two don't seem to have much control of those skates - you could have killed me!" We apologized for our reckless endangerment and promised we would not do it again. Sport came up and smelled and marked the wheelbarrow wheel while we stood there,so we introduced him to Charlie. It was only the moving, squeaky wheelbarrow Sport didn't like. After that episode,Charlie and Sport were friends but Sport never made friends with the wheelbarrow. Sport became a fixture at our house and the only stipulation my dad made was: "if the former owner saw him and wanted him back, we would have to give him up." Nobody ever claimed him. As scarce as second hand roller skates were,there was still some around and I don't think there was a kid in Clyde that hadn't, at one time or another,tried to make a scooter out of an old pair of skates. There were two ways you could do this. All skates were made in two parts - either you separated one skate into two parts - front wheels and back wheels - and made one scooter or you used both skates to make one scooter. Junior and I separated both skates and made two scooters;one for him and one for me. Mead was always a little mechanically challenged but we got things done when the opportunity presented itself. Our two scooters took a few days of scrounging for wood to make the standard frame. The wide board for the bottom to fasten the skates to was easy to find but we couldn't find any smaller stuff to make the upright, cross T and braces. We finally went down to the dump and looked around for some scrape boards we could use.We found what we wanted and finished the scooters that day before dark. Junior and I were up with the sun the next day eager to try out our new creations. Just riding a scooter by pumping with one foot and then gliding was too tame for us. We needed a little excitement. We pumped our scooters to the hill where we sledded in the winter. The road was gravel but there were sidewalks going down hill on each side of the road. We chose the side with the least humps and bumps and used it as our own private scooter raceway. It took some grit not to drag your foot when you started down the hill and hit a speed that frightened you. The only alternative to fright was to run off into the grass and roll. At first we rolled as much as we rode but after awhile when you became accustomed to steering and jumping the bumps that would tear your wheels off,it became more of a challenge to reach the bottom without an accident. The bumps in the sidewalk that went from high to low were a cinch to navigate but the ones that went from low to high could tear your wheels off if you didn't lift the front wheel to get over it. It was a matter of practice to get a good run but we carried a hammer and shingle nails for putting the wheels back on after an accident. | Before M

67: The little steering you could do was controlled by shifting your weight on the scooter from side to side. We ended up with a lot of skinned knees and elbows and grass stain on our cloths but the thrill was worth it. One Summer when the carnival was in town a clown walked around with stilts on his legs that made him ten foot tall. Junior and I talked about how it was possible for him to do this and how he kept himself from tipping over. We watched him for a couple of days and finally followed him to his tent at the carnival and actually talked to him about his ability to walk around for hours on stilts. He explained his extraordinary sense of balance and what a good life he led being a ten - foot Clown. His wife and little boy were traveling with him and she worked in one of the game tents with her little boy while her husband Clowned around. To us,this sounded like a life we could enjoy, if ever we got the chance. Now I think, what boy hasn't thought of running off and joining a circus when boring things like school and parental discipline interrupted your playtime? We got enough encouragement from this Clown to try building our own stilts. We started out hammering together a pair of stilts about a foot tall with enough length above the steps to fit behind our armpits. After a day or two of this tame stuff, we decided to build a really long pair of stilts. We hammered together two six-ft. lengths of wood about 1x3 inches. The blocks for our feet were nailed on at a height of 5 ft. A rough gage would tell you we were approximately two feet higher than your kitchen counter.In order to get on the stilts,we stood on the porch railing. I got on first and stepped away from the railing three steps before I didn't pick up the stilt high enough and tripped, fell forward and landed like a sack of flour. The fall knocked the wind out of me so it took a few minuets to recuperate. I wasn't about to get up there again. Junior got on next and did pretty good for a newborn stilt walker. His problem came when he wanted to get off. We sat on the porch railing to get on the stilts,which meant you had to step up 2 ft. to get off. It wasn't possible without falling. Meade was getting a little tired about this time,so he told me to hang onto the stilts and he would jump off. That didn't work either. I stood in front of him trying to steady the stilts when he jumped. When he jumped,he pushed the stilts backward and fell straight down on top of me. I broke his fall but I got the wind knocked out of me again. We didn't mess with the stilt idea anymore! Bob Gordon #21

68: Winter sports in Clyde in 1930 were a far cry from what you see today. I don't remember any ski resorts,bobsled runs, skidoos or any type of motorized snow vehicles. As far as I know there wasn't a professionally groomed ski run anywhere within traveling distance of Clyde. Ski bindings and ski boots may have been available to some rich people but nobody in our town had any. We used one leather strap that threaded through a slot in the middle of the ski and you left just enough slack to make room for your boot. You could steer by leaning in the direction you wanted to go. As for stopping - the best thing to do was sit down and drag your butt in the snow. Alas to those who had a hole in the seat of their pants. All us kids tried ski jumping by making a pile of snow in the middle of our ski tracks about two thirds of the way down the hill. We employed a pusher to give us a good, fast push as we started down. This push enabled you to go fast enough to fly off the ski jump. With no bindings to control your skies you curled your toes as best you could to keep the tips of your skies up. This prevented them from digging into the snow as you landed. We never knew about coordination then. You did the best you could and if that wasn't enough,you landed with a thud on one ski or the other and tried to keep your balance or drag your butt in the snow. It was fun and not many got hurt because the snow was soft and we were young and flexible. Sledding was a bit more dangerous than skiing. Some of the older kids would sneak out at night and ice the hill with water. Our friend, Officer Gallager, would come nosing around to see that this didn't happen - but it always did ! It seems that the local coal suppliers couldn't deliver coal with their truck if the hill was too slippery. The horse drawn coal wagon didn't have any problem because the horses were shod with special shoes in the winter. One cold winter day, Junior and I and several other kids were sledding on this icy hill when the coal delivery truck started up the hill just as I started down. What do you do if you can't steer a sled on icy ground? The truck driver became aware that the hill was all ice and he wasn't going to get to the top.I was going down and didn't see the truck until it was too late to stop or steer on the ice. This truck was one of the first coal delivery trucks made.It had large diameter wheels with molded,hard rubber tires. A chain and sprocket independently drove the wheels on either side of the truck near the back. The free board of the truck must have been two to two and a half feet. Afterward,Meade told me this must have been my lucky day. If the truck had been a horse,I would have scared the horses to death and probably me too. Anyway, I sailed right under the truck from front to back while the truck driver put his hands over his eyes and waited for the crash. The sled slowed down after sliding under the truck and I was able to stop by dragging my toes on the ice. Coming back, dragging my sled and pondering my narrow escape,the truck driver spoke to me.He was pretty shook up and had all intentions of chewing my butt to a frazzle until he recognized me as the kid who put gas in his truck when he stopped at Gordon's garage. He inquired as to my wellbeing and calmed down when he saw that I was all in one piece. | Before M | Winter Sports

69: I got a little lecture on looking down the hill before getting on my sled. We parted friends and he was very relieved that he had escaped the despairing thought that he had run over a kid,even if he already had. Another place we had to slide was called "suicide hill." This hill was on the same street as the hill we regularly slid on except about six blocks to the west. It was steep and covered approximately three blocks before you came to a stop. That meant you had to have two watchers at the cross streets to avoid running into a horse or car. We only slid here when the conditions were ripe for a good snow cover and enough kids to watch the crossovers. The speed was such that you better hang on tight and watch your driving or you could crash into a snowbank or flip over if you slid a little side ways. Junior and I loved to go down this hill,both on one sled. You could steer the old sleds easier if you used your legs because the steering came from actually springing the runners off to one side or the other. It was even fun to crash into a soft snow bank on purpose and go rolling in the soft stuff. Sometime or other, Meade and I came into possession of a set of iceboat runners. As I remember,they were made from round steel bar about as big around as your little finger and shaped round in front and back so they wouldn't catch on anything.Each runner was about 2% ft. long. Winters seemed a lot colder then and most water that wasn't moving froze over. Sodus Bay was the place to go ice boating because it froze over solid and was expansive enough so you could accelerate to high speeds of 60 to 120 MPH with a good sail. They held iceboat races there every winter. My father took my brother Don, Junior and I to Sodus Point to watch the races. The iceboat bug bit us when we were offered a ride by one of the iceboat owners from Clyde. A good breeze was blowing and the iceboats were flying across the ice. The iceboat was triangular in shape and used 3 runners. The wide part of the triangle was the main frame that held a runner at each end with the mast for the sail embedded in the middle. The triangle then tapered back to hold the third runner that was used for steering. Some iceboats used a tiller,like a sailboat, and others had a rope they pulled to move the tiller left and right. You had to watch the boom as it would swing back and forth over the body of the iceboat the same as a sailboat.The boom also had a rope to tie it in position,depending upon which direction you were headed. We had a great ride and enjoyed every minute of it. The speed we traveled was phenomenal. In order to keep the center of gravity low,your position on an iceboat was flat on your stomach on the triangular body. At the speed we were going a pair of goggles would have been nice,but the guy who owned the iceboat only had one pair. After this spectacular and fantastic ride, Junior and I couldn't get home fast enough to get started on our own iceboat.

70: Before we left Sodus Bay there was an accident with one of the iceboats. I mentioned that the wind was blowing pretty hard. Apparently,when the wind blows this hard across the ice,over a large area, a great deal of force is imparted to the ice. This force often causes the ice to move and opens cracks in the surface. One of the iceboats, with one man on it, hit one of these open cracks and flipped over; damaging the iceboat and its occupant. An ambulance arrived shortly and took the man to the Lyons Hospital. It was pointed out to us that this crack in the ice thing was always a hazard and-a seasoned ice boater kept his eyes open for such perils. On the way home that day we all talked about iceboats, how they were built and how we could go about building one for ourselves,since we already had the runners. My brother wasn't interested in anything but girls,so he wasn't much help,but my Father was helpful and encouraged us to pursue the project. We did! We talked all week in school about it and come Saturday we were up bright and early to start scrounging for wood to make the body. My Dad welded an upright pipe on one runner to use as a rudder to steer with. At the dump we found a 2 x 6 plank to use for the front runners and mast support; also some 2 by 4 studs for the triangle. A few more random boards and some old plywood rounded out our platform.This thing was getting pretty heavy and we didn't have a mast or boom yet. Junior and I finally worked up enough courage to ask the farmer,who let the Boy Scouts play in his woods,if we could cut two trees down to make a mast and a boom. He said "yes" but he wanted to be there. He came along and selected the trees for us. We got the iceboat all together including two old blankets sewn together for a sail. This iceboat turned out to be the biggest bust we ever created. The winter was almost over. The ice was getting mushy. The thing was so heavy we could hardly pull it and the sail was so small the wind wouldn't push it. We left it on the ice in the canal and three days later when we went to try it again it had broken through the ice and was sitting on the canal bottom at a thirty-degree angle. We were able to pull it out of the river and salvage the heavy steel runners but the rest we let slide back in. It floated down the river with the ice,waving its humble sail goodbye. Bob Gordon #22 | Before M

71: In the roaring twenties as Junior and I were growing up,a big party was going on around us of which we were hardly aware. There was previously unheard of prosperity. Incomes grew steadily throughout the decade and consumer confidence was high;also,levels of investment were increasing to new heights. Statistics say that at year's end in 1925,the market value of stocks was 27 billion. By early October of 1929 that number had grown to $87 billion. The economy began to slow down in 1928 and the trend continued in 1929. Then came the crash in the market spelling disaster for the national economy. Investing froze and the national economy fell into an unprecedented period of depression. Income slipped lower each year from 1929 to 1932 and did not return to pre-depression levels until WW 11. Production reached a low point in 1932. Gross National Product dropped from $104 billion in 1929 to $59 billion in 1932. This drop in output caused unemployment to balloon over the same period from 1.6 million unemployed in 1932 to 13 million in 1933. This was probably the foremost problem of the depression, agricultural prices were cut almost in half and many farms were foreclosed upon. From these statistics you could deduct that there were 11.4 million people out there walking and riding around looking for work. With two railroads running through the town of Clyde stopping to get water, coal, passengers,and freight, quite a few of these jobless characters got off the trains that weren't paying passengers. They were only along for the ride. They would ride in the boxcars,between the train cars and some rode stabilizer rods beneath the cars. Junior and I often went looking on the railroad siding to see if anyone illegal got off the train. The railroads employed guards to keep these so called " hobos" from riding free but I guess it was a test between the lackadaisical observation of the train guards and the sharp eyes of the hobos. We never saw anyone apprehended or charged with anything for riding the railroads free. From our small town observation,talk and judgment, these hobos were only men who were looking for jobs and trying to make a living somewhere so they could send money home to their families. The Mexicans caught onto this scenario years ago and are still pumping it for all its worth Jobs were very scarce after 1932. When the Banks closed,even if you had saved money you couldn't get it. Banks, confidant in a raising market loaned speculators up to three-quarters of the price of stock purchases. When the crash hit it had a double effect. Borrowing investors were unable to repay their debts and banks could not collect their loans to pay back their depositors. As far as I know,the Briggs National Bank in Clyde still has my $23.00. | Hobos

72: My dad's garage was only about three to four blocks from the railroads in a straight-line north up Glasgow Street. In between were quite a few stores and businesses. Some of the transits would stop at all the places to see if they could use a little help. By the time they came to "Gordon's Garage" there were no more stores. My dad always talked to these people when they came by and tried to find out what their skills were. Some of them were accomplished mechanics and Dad would hire them to do a few things for him. Invariably he would ask them if they were hungry. If Junior and I were around,he would send us next door and have my mother make a sandwich and a glass of milk for them. Some of these men were only looking for a handout and went directly to the back door of houses and asked for food. At our house they always got something and I can remember sitting on the back porch steps wondering where they were from and hoping they would talk to Junior and I. Our parents said it was impolite to ask too many questions. A rumor that was around at the time was these hobos had secret marks they used to tell the next guy what houses were friendly and generous. My father hired one of these transit workers when his hired mechanic, Dick Boyington, got an itchy foot and disappeared for a whole year. Dick took off for the southwest because he had heard so much about Texas and its rough and tumble cowboys he wanted to experience a change. I think he knew if he told my Dad he was leaving,my Dad would talk him out of it. He did not tell anyone when or where he was going. One Saturday, after work in the middle of the summer he was seen going up and down the stairs and out to his old roadster several times. [Up until the end of the nineteen thirties it was quite common to hire somebody and furnish their room and board as part of their salary] Recently he had been working after hours on his car to get it in shape. Dick had filled the tires with sand to keep from having a blowout while he was driving. At the time,every tire came with a rubber tube inside. If a nail or sharp stone penetrated the tire wall you got a blowout. Inventive Dick solved this problem, he hoped. Dick was the guy who always helped Junior and I with our mechanical problems. | Before M

73: Somewhere in the desert out west, Dick's car broke down from lack of water. Apparently,he did not have water to drink either. Some rancher came along several hours later and found Dick in pretty bad health due to dehydration. The rancher took Dick home with him,got him healthy and put him to work on his ranch. In about a year,Dick got his fill of the sand,heat, and horses of Texas. This is when he came back east and asked my Dad for his job back. The hobo that took Dick's job while he was away was a skilled mechanic with a family still in Detroit. He sent his wages home to his wife and about the time Dick returned he had enough of Clyde and was ready to go back to Detroit. The news was Ford was getting set up to produce the Model"A". After my father and mother were married they went to Detroit around 1914 when Ford was paying five dollars a day in wages. Just a few years later,when my grandmother Gordon died,my parents came back to Clyde to take care of Grandpa Gordon and opened Gordon's Garage.Junior and I were born in 1918. Now it was our turn to hang around Clyde,learn what life was all about; try to analyze our potential and succeed in the best way possible. If I were ever to have a wish,it would be to go back sixty years and ask Officer Gallagher if he thought Junior and I would ever amount to anything. Bob Gordon #23

74: One of the most exciting, strenuous, enjoyable,"glad we are back" trips Junior and I ever took was with our Scoutmaster, Mr.Murdock. Our boy scout troop leader was a lock tender for the NYS barge canal system. Strange as it may seem for what appears to be a wonderful outdoor job, with a 4 months vacation in the winter, it had its drawbacks. Mr.Murdock was,according to Dr. Allen, within a hairs breath of having a nervous breakdown. We understood this nervous,mind altering eruption came about because Mr.Murdock was afraid he would fall asleep and not hear the whistle from a barge when it was coming up or down the canal to enter the locks. He worked the night shift from seven PM to seven AM.This phobia could be relevant to not awakening to your alarm clock in the morning and ending up late for work. Radio communication between individuals did not exist at this time so people communicated across short distances by whistles,drums,smoke or flares. On the barge canal the lock tenders depended on a screeching steam whistle signal from the tug boat to make the lock tender aware that a barge was approaching. Depending on which direction the boat was coming from established the procedure the lock tender initiated. He better be on the ball because the tugboat captain wants to slide right into the locks without a stop or maneuver. The locks are there to lower or raise the boat to a water level consistent with the direction that the boat is traveling. If the last boat that went through the locks was going west and the lock tender heard a whistle blast from the west,he left the locks as they were and let the boat into the lock, closed the west gate,lowered the water level,opened the east gate and let the boat go on its way. If he heard a blast from the east and the last boat had gone west, he had to close the west gate,let the water out and open the e; st gate to let the boat into the lock from the east and then close the east gate and let in enough water to raise the boat to the proper level,open the west gate and let the boat go on its way. There was great competition among the personel that cared for and operated the lock system. Each of the lock grounds was cared for like a mini park. The lawns were manicured,everything was freshly painted,they put up bird houses,furnished picnic tables and chairs,built horseshoe pits and the public was invited to share the lock tending scene while they played and ate their picnic lunch. Each year prizes were awarded to the best-kept locks.Even the tug boat captains were interviewed to get their input on the numerous locks and their opinion of the condition and efficiency. | Before M | Row-Row-Row Your Boat

75: The responsibility of being on the ball when the whistle blew took its toll of Mr. Murdock so the Doctor advised him to take a couple of weeks off to rest and do something different. Mr. Muddock's "do something different" theme was to dream up a trip around Cayuga Lake in a 14-ft.wooden rowboat. Our scoutmaster asked Junior and I if we would like to accompany him around the lake. Of course we said "yes". What red-blooded boys,with adventure in their souls,would turn down an 80-mile trip around Cayuga Lake in a rowboat? At the time, we never thought about whom would be doing the rowing. Rowing and work never came together in our minds. Meade and I were pretty good swimmers and our parents probably thought this was a good way to get us out of their hair for a week. Mr.Murdock had a boat available to him through a friend who kept it at the Morehouse Marina on Cayuga Lake,just to the east of Seneca Falls. [The home port of the liberated women movement] Come Saturday morning everything was set. We waved goodbye to our parents when Mr.and Mrs.Murdock came to pick us up. Mr.Murdock bought all the food for seven days to feed the three of us. You have to realize at this point that it was 1931- No freezer bags- No iced drinks- No ice chest. All the food except eggs,smoked bacon and ham was in cans. The can opener was a crude device with a sharp, flat piece of steel you jammed into the can and levered it around the outer edge; all the time being aware that those sharp points produced could lacerate your hand or fingers.

76: When we got to the Marina, Mr. Murdocks friend was waiting and helped us get all our stuff stashed in the boat. For sleeping purposes we borrowed two pup tents from the scout troop. Mr. Maddock slept in one and Junior and I slept in the other. Sleeping bags were unknown to us at that time. We used horse blanket safety pins to secure the blankets together in the form of a bed. We got started late in the morning. Our seating arrangement to start was Mr. Murdock in the stern, Junior at the oars and me in the bow seat. We took off waving goodbye to Mrs. Murdock and Junior pulling like mad on the oars to get us up to three MPH. The water was reasonably calm with just a light breeze blowing from the normal direction -west to east Junior rowed steadily for half an hour before we noticed he was beginning to tire. Junior and I changed places and I took over the rowing job. I noticed Meade rubbing his hands together and asked him if his hands hurt. He said "no" but I might be getting a blister." Blisters turned out to be our biggest worry all the time we were rowing. We kept pieces of sticky white tape handy to patch our blisters with. We began looking for a place to camp as the sun began to recede in the west. Lots of places were available but we were looking for a place with a little beach so we could swim and bathe. At that time there were miles of shoreline without a house or road in sight. A little cove came up on our starboard side so we pulled in,looked around for a good camp site, unloaded and set up pup tents,made a small fire pit to cook on, then went for a swim before supper.This was the only supper we had with fresh meat. Mr.Murdock brought along a nice big steak, which we wolfed down like hungry dogs along with the boiled potatoes and peas. The next day was rather routine as we rowed along the shoreline, noting all the trees, flowers,animals and scenery. Mr. Murdock was well versed in natures many facets and passed this knowledge on to us as we rowed along. He also insisted we use nautical terms in referring to the boat. All this time the boat was moving,we also trolled a line with a red and white plug on the end,just in case we came across a hungry fish. It happened! The third afternoon as we lazed along near camping time we got a terrific hit on the plug and almost lost our whole rig. Mr.Murdock had tied a slipknot when tying the fish line to the boat. The fish hit so hard he pulled the knot loose and the line started over the stern of the boat. He grabbed it just in time to avoid disaster. The way the fish acted, Mr.Murdock guessed we might have a big pike. He was right! After a 15-minute fight, with lots of shouting and boat maneuvers the fish came up along side the boat. To us it looked like a monster. As Mr.Murdock reached for the fish it took another dive for the bottom and went into the weeds. It took another 10 minutes to free the fish and get him in the boat. We guessed he might have gone 6 or 7 pounds. That night we cleaned him,rubbed him with butter,put him on a spit over our cooking fire and ate the whole fish. That was our very best supper on our trip. The forth day as we started in the morning,still going south,about 11:00 AM the wind had picked up and was blowing steadily 15 to 20 MPH from the south. We were not making much headway so Meade spoke up and said we ought to have a sail. Mr.Murdock said we could not under any circumstances drive nails in the boat. We solved that one also. After pulling the boat up on | Before M

77: shore,we began looking for a board we could wedge upright under the edge of the middle seat. After a 30-minute hunt amongst the flotsam along the shore,we found a board we liked;then we went hunting 3 small diameter poles for the mast and sail With forest all around us,this was no problem. Our longest upright pole was nailed to the middle of the board, wedged under the edge of the seat and tied in place. Two lines to the oarlocks and two others to the bow and stern. We took our biggest blanket and using our horse blanket safety pins, pinned the blanket to the two poles,top and bottom and tied it to our mast. We now had a crude sailboat. At this point,with the wind from the south,we figured we would never reach Ithaca no matter how hard we worked. This rowing thing was becoming old hat. We were all wearing blisters and calluses on our hands, our muscles were sore and we only had 3 days to get back to the marina. We decided to cross the lake at this point and get to the east shore to camp for the night. The waves had some whitecaps on them and it was hard to keep from shipping water going cross ways to the waves so we tried tacking northeast. The tack cut down on the wave action against the boat and we quit shipping water. It was a struggle with the sail trying to go sideways to the wind. The sail worked best when used like a spinnaker.We finally reached the east shore and started north. The wave action at this point made the boat pitch up and down as the waves rolled under us. We found a place to camp,ate our supper,and settled in for the night. The next morning the wind was still blowing strong so we put up our sail and started out. Going north with the wind at our back was a real thrill. We were going much faster than we could ever row.The bad side of the operation left us pitching up and down in a rocking motion. Poor Mr.Murdock, he wasn't taking to this motion very much.We decided to have a little lunch while we were moving so Mr.Murdock opened a can of beans. He may have been feeling a little queasy but when he got a whiff of those beans,he turned green and threw up over the side of the boat. Junior and I had to eat the whole can. We were moving at a good clip and reached the little town of Aurora before sundown. We set up in a small park there and had our supper while Mr.Murdock regained his composure and apologized for his spell of seasickness. One of the interesting things we saw there was an old racing boat. There was no engine on earth at that time that could get a small boat in a planing attitude so they used a real narrow hull about 30 feet long with an engine in the middle. They depended on pure muscle to get the boat to go fast. The day and we were on our last lap. The wind had died down some but was still a good fresh breeze.We went by Union springs about noon and called Mrs.Murdock to pick us up about six o'clock. We still had the wind at our back and arrived at the marina shortly after 6:30,all in one piece and thinking how lucky we were to have made that sail and turned the burden of rowing over to the wind. Bob Gordon #24

78: I can't recall the Meade family ever having an automobile until Eleanor got old enough to drive and got a drivers license. She was the proudest young lady in Clyde when she came driving home in her second hand,two-door,model"T" Ford sedan. This was the model that had a folding seat where the front passenger sat. To get people in the back, you folded the back of the seat down and then proceeded to fold the whole seat against the dash,thus opening a passage to the rear seat. She was so proud of that car she parked it in the front yard,parallel to the walk going to the porch. That evening,before dark, we were sitting around in the Meades living room talking about the new car and going over all the places you could go if you had the right transportation. All at once we all heard the fire whistle begin to blow.The first thing out of everyone's mouth was "Lets go to the fire". The six of us rushed out to Eleanor's new Ford and piled in. Eleanor was in the driver's seat and since I was the last one out of the house,I got the front passenger seat. The other four had climbed in the back. Eleanor started the car and then yelled "Bob,go get the blanket off the radiator." I jumped out of the car,raced back into the house,looked all over the house for the blanket on the radiator couldn't find it,rushed back to the open front door and yelled "what radiator?" [All this time they were watching me run around inside the house and wondered what I was doing.] Eleanor yells back,"You dummy,the one on the front of the car." [In 1933 they used a mixture of alcohol and water to keep your car radiator from freezing in the winter. The alcohol usually boiled off through the summer. On a cool night in the fall,if the temperature was falling,people would throw a blanket over the radiator in hopes of warding off a freeze.] Now that I knew where the blanket was,I ran back out the door,grabbed the blanket off the radiator and climbed back in the car. Everybody was laughing now and yelling at me "what radiator !" For the next six months when anybody wanted me,they yelled "Hey! What radiator?" Bob Landers was a close friend of ours who came to Clyde as a 10-year-old boy to live with his father's girlfriend. Bob's father and whatever family he had lived in New York City. Bob's father was a salesman who pedaled auto supplies to gasoline service stations and garages. Things like headlight bulbs,inner tubes,ignition points,batteries,seat covers and extra gages for monitoring your engine were common items. Many things they sold would fit all makes of cars. The year we graduated from high school,I went back for post graduate work. Meade went to Cornell for a year and Landers bought his son Bob a new Chevrolet business coupe and set him up in the auto supply business. He even laid out a driving plan for him that reached from Syracuse to Rochester and as far north as Lake Ontario and south to Corning. Bob could cover this territory in a week and the business turned out to be very lucrative. That first summer after we graduated Bob was the only one making any money. Bob was very generous with his profits and shared with us all summer along with supplying transportation to Sodus Point every Friday and Saturday night. | Before M | They Got A Car

79: One weekend Landers took Junior and I to New York City with him so he could replenish his supply of auto parts. We stayed all night with one of his aunts who lived there. The next morning we went somewhere in the city to a block that had nothing but auto parts for sale. This is where we found out why Bob was getting so rich. He bought light bulbs for 3 cents and sold them for a dime. Inner tubes he bought for 20 cents he sold for a dollar. It seemed that everything he bought had a resale value of four to eight times what he paid for it. Bob prospered in this business until he was drafted in 1941. Junior and I always looked forward to Aunt Loretta's visits to Clyde. We were always under the impression she came from Texas where her husband worked in the oil industry. He must have worked very hard because she always drove a new Cadillac or a LaSalle. She also brought with her a black, male chauffeur who could cook and clean and be generally useful around the house. Aunt Loretta always asked Junior and I to take her car down to the service station to get it washed after such a long trip. This was like letting the fox watch the chicken coupe. The first thing we did after leaving the house with the car was to see how fast it would go. We always figured if the speedometer went from 0 to 100 that the car would go 100 miles per hour- not true! We could never get the cars much over 75 or 80. After putting the car through it's paces we would then go the local gas station run by Baldy DiSanto and ask him if we could wash the car with his hose. Baldy always had one of our friends working for him that pumped gas,changed tires and did whatever was necessary around the station and the rest of us were always welcome to hang around or get put to work if things got too busy. | Baldy DiSanto

80: Another rather unique car was one my father kept after he sold his garage and we moved to Caroline St. near Meades. This car was an "Essex Super Six",one of the few cars that had a six cylinder engine. The styling of the auto brought forth many comments that it looked like a cheese box on a raft. It had a rounded hood that fit into a square body with a trunk stuck on the back.It was a homely automobile but ran good and was very reliable.My dad drove it between Clyde and Geneva New York, where he was working. None of the cars then had good,reliable heating systems. The heaters they did have were called manifold heaters. Air from the radiator fan was forced through a shield over the exhaust manifold and into the car through the firewall. Not much control- you either sweat to death or you froze. One winter when the temperature went down to a minus 15 degrees my Dad used a blow torch with a coffee can over the flame to get the car interior hot enough to melt the ice on the windows. They didn't have windshield heaters either,so when we got sleet that froze on the windshield they used a lighted candle behind the glass to provide enough heat to melt the ice. It is unknown at this time how many cracked glass windshields were replaced. Bob Gordon #25 | Before M

81: One of the most dedicated and useful tradesmen in Clyde was the local blacksmith. Mr.Schaefer could make anything under the sun if it was an item made from iron. His skills with a forge,anvil,hammer and tongs served customers as diverse as farmers, housewives,homeowners,garages and millers. Mr.Schaefer was always busy but he always had time for visitors and he enjoyed their company while he worked.Meade and I often stopped by to watch him. We liked the noise of the heavy hammer striking a horseshoe or a bar of iron,seeing the sparks fly and listening to his rhythm as he bounced his hammer twice off the anvil before striking the glowing iron he was about to shape. We liked to watch him shoe horses and marveled at the way he drove nails into the horse's hoofs without the horse kicking the daylights out of him. He explained to us that a horses hoof was made from the same material as a humans fingernails and toenails. You can imagine him going up to the horses head, talking to the horse and then going back and taking a hold of one of the horses back feet,lifting it up and gripping it between his thighs so he could see the bottom of the foot. One kick with that foot could send him flying right through the side of the building. Mr.Schaefer said this had never happened to him. He said he could sens when the horse was getting skittish. He would put the foot down,get into the horse's face again,talk to him a minute,give him a sugar cube and resume his work. If the nails holding the shoe on,went straight in from the bottom edge and exited from 1to 1-1/4 inches up the hoof edge, there was no harm done to the horse. After the nail was driven into the hoof,the protruding part of the nail was cinched over to prevent it loosening. The tender part of the horse's hoof was in the middle of the bottom of the foot.This part he always cleaned and made sure there were no stones embedded there. A sharp stone embedded here would soon develop into a problem and the horse would begin to limp. You would think that the variety of horses that the blacksmith worked on would cause him a problem but he handled all sizes and shapes with the same calm manner. Mr Schaefer carried sugar cubes in his pocket. Ninety percent of his shoeing business was repeat business so most of the horses knew him by sight, sound and also by the smell of sugar. They would nudge him with their noses and try to get their tongue into his shirt pocket after a sugar cube. The horses remembered who their friend was and treated him accordingly. They knew when he finished putting on their new shoes,they would get another sugar cube. | The Blacksmith

82: People would come to Mr.Schaefer with all kinds of problems related to the art of blacksmithing. Porch railings, stair railings,window bars and new kinds of tools for the emerging auto industry were some of the ongoing challenges he encountered. Our little Cocker Spaniel "Buster" often went by to visit Mr. Schaefer but there was a motive for his frequent visits. Buster loved to chew on pieces of horse's hoofs that the blacksmith cut away when fitting the horse with new shoes.This hoof chewing had been going on for a few years before Buster got into trouble. He became very sick and the veterinary, Mr.Gibbons,was at his wits end trying to find a cause for Buster's ailment. Buster died. Mr. Gibbons was racked with guilt over the dogs passing and did an autopsy to find the cause. The autopsy revealed that Buster had swallowed the sharp end of a horseshoe nail that punctured his intestines and caused an infection - that was his undoing. Mr. Schaefer was very careful after that to keep dogs away from his hoof parings. This little dog "Buster" was a hero to our family because he had a penchant for fighting fire. He would bark and carry on if he saw an open flame. He knew enough to stay away from a burning flame but if the flame was small enough,he would try to put it out by scratching at it with his paw. He often got teased into this fire-fighting act by someone throwing down a lighted piece of paper. One night after everyone was in bed and asleep,Buster went into a frenzy of barking by the back door and no amount of yelling could make him stop. My Dad finally got up to find out what Buster was so excited about. He found out immediately. The barn behind the house was afire on the upper story facing Bramer's garage next door. The reflection of the flames could be seen through the kitchen door and that's what set Buster to barking. Dad called the fire department and they were there within a very short time. Luckily the fire did not spread very far but a twenty foot hole was burned in the barn and Bramer's garage was scorched before it was extinguished. After investigation,the Fire Chief said whoever set the fire tried in three places on the second floor of the barn.The fire at the north end was the only one that really got going. One day when junior and I stopped by to see what Mr. Shaefer was doing, we looked in and the sparks were flying everywhere and he was hammering the daylight out of a number of one inch square iron bars.The bars had several circular bends in them. He said he was making a conveyer for the canning factory to guide cans onto the packing table. The steel he was using had to be heated until it spit sparks in order to bend it over a form. Meade and I kept moving closer and closer in order to catch all the action.The next piece he removed from the forge was sparking beautiful. He laid it on the solid form,did his usual double ding on the anvil and hit it a mighty blow with a nine pound hammer.The sparks flew in every direction. I felt something hot on the top of my head and brushed it off as best I could but the damage was already done. A haH-inch blister was where the hair once was. I still have a small indentation on the top of my head where the spark burned away at my brain. Meade said I was never the same after that. Bob Gordon #26 | Before M

83: Before prohibition a great number of farmers around the Wayne County area grew hops,barley and corn to sell to the malt house in Clyde. The malt house dried the hops and prepared the barley and corn as a malt to be sold to the breweries for making beer. Prohibition came along- the malt house went out of business and after a few years,the pigeons took over the top floor of the three-story building. If you wanted to have a flock of pigeons of your own,this was the place to get them.Pigeons are known for flying back home when released.If you wanted a flock of your own,you had to procure them young,feathered and before they could fly and train them yourself. If you procured full-grown pigeons that were flying when you got them;when you released them they would fly back to wherever their home was before you displaced them. One of the basic features of this malt house building was the three drying floors for the hops.The farmers cut the hop vines and brought them green to the malt house. The people at the malt house spread each day's intake of hops over the first floor of the malt house which was heated and ventilated.The second and third floors were also heated and ventilated,so each day the laborers shoveled all the hops on the first floor into a screw conveyer that deposited them onto the next higher floor, where the men spread them out again. It took three days for the hops to dry thoroughly. At the end of the third day,the hops on the third floor were pitched into three large bins that extended all the way down to the ground floor. It was up here on the third floor,under the roof,where the pigeons took over and made their crude nests on the one-foot wide separators between the bins and along the walls. In order to gain access to this pigeon domain,it was necessary to force an entrance on floor one and then climb through the screw conveyers to get to floor three and the pigeons. After you got to floor three you had to shinny out on the bin separators to get to pigeon nests. Crawling out on these separators was a scary feat in itself. The bins were one big black hole that ended at a concrete floor three stories down. We gripped these boards so tight you could see our fingerprints in the wood. We went looking for only the feathered out young pigeons that were almost ready to fly. Pigeons grow-from-hatching--time-to-almost full size before they begin to grow feathers. [When they are almost full grown without feathers they are called "squabs". Squab is served in the finest restaurants and is considered a great delicacy.] If we picked the pigeons too young and not completely feathered out they were liable to take a chill and die on you. Meade and I became experts in picking out the right size pigeons and guessing when we had to come back and get the next ones. | Malt House Pigeons

84: All the doors and stairs entrances to the malt house were padlocked to keep out the vagrants and vandals. Junior and I didn't think these precautions against vagrants and vandals applied to us. We never harmed nor destroyed anything. Before getting the pigeons we put together a big wooden box with chicken wire on the back and a small door so we could reach in and grab a pigeon when necessary. Inside the box we fashioned some sticks for roosts and in each corner we put a little platform for nests if any of the pigeons were inclined to start a family. This big box we nailed about head high to the west wall of the garage behind Meade's house. We sawed a small hole in the garage for the pigeons to fly in and out. The object here was to get young pigeons, all feathered out and almost ready for their first flight. As we gathered the pigeons for our flock, Junior and I became father and mother to our fledglings. We had to force feed them bread and milk because they did not know how to feed themselves. Meade and I would force their mouths open and push the soft bread and milk down their throats. It didn't take long before they were feeding themselves and picking at the wheat,cracked corn and table scraps we provided. After about seven to ten days of food training we would take a pigeon,that in our estimation was about ready to fly, place him on our finger and lower our hand fast enough to make the pigeon flap his wings. This wing flapping must be an inborn instinct and when the pigeon was ready to fly,he or she would let go of your finger and fly enough to land on the ground without hurting themselves. [We never learned how to tell a "he" pigeon from a "she" pigeon ] After a few flying lessons the pigeons were ready to hang out in their little hutch or fly around the neighborhood. Only one or two ever abandoned us and we figured they had mated with some pigeon from another flock, got eaten by a hawk or a cat or some Boy Scout ate them for lunch. After we had a flock of about fifteen pigeons all trained and flying around we began to experiment a little to see if the pigeons acted like everybody said they would. When you took them on a trip,out in the country or to the next town,they were supposed to navigate directly back home. For the purpose of transporting the pigeons to a distant place we used an old lunch box. The kind that were rounded on the cover to accommodate a thermos bottle. We left out the thermos bottle and lined the interior with an old towel,cut into pieces and glued to the inside with rubber cement. It would accommodate three pigeons comfortably. On our first try,immediately after we had made the lunch box transporter,we put in two pigeons for our first try and took them to Lyons, a matter of seven miles. When we opened the lunch box to let the pigeons go they were not even moving. Our first reaction was they were dead from lack of air even though we had punched a couple of small holes in the top with a nail. We picked the pigeons up and examined them. They were still alive but very groggy and they smelled like rubber cement. We finally figured out they had become asphyxiated from the solvent in the rubber cement. Our pigeons had now become the original glue sniffers. They recovered so we took them back home until another day. Bob Gordon #27 | Before M

85: One summer when all the kids were on vacation, .Junior went away and left me to play alone. Around this time in history, miniature golf was taking hold around our territory. Several courses had been built in the towns around Clyde but none in Clyde. I was hanging around with my older brother and the Bramer kids next door. We were all sitting and talking and trying to figure out what mischief we might get into. The talk got around to the miniature golf links that were springing up in the towns around us. We had all played at least twice and we were taken by the game. Bill Bramer suggested we build one of our own. Nobody at that point had the slightest idea how we could do this. We could scrounge tools and nails but the lumber it would take to build a nine-hole golf course was not economically feasible for a group of kids. After more discussion, pondering the layout and where we could locate a golf course, Bill went into the house and asked his mother if we could use the unplanted garden behind their house. Of course, she asked him what we were about to do in her garden. Mrs. Bramer came out with Bill and saw the rest of us sitting there waiting on her answer.She finally said "yes" but don't disturb the hollyhocks that are growing just behind the house.The rest of the space allotted to us must have been about forty feet wide by eighty feet long. We now had the where but up to this moment we had no clue as to how we could build a golf course. We all sat around throwing in one suggestion after another. Where we going to get the lumber?How many holes have we got to construct? Somebody had the audacity to say we didn't even have a golf ball. Someone suggested we could pile dirt around the edges of each fairway to keep the ball in bounds. There was a suggestion that finally give us the clue we needed to build our miniature golf course - dig it out of the dirt. It was reasoned, if we could dig the fairways into the dirt a few inches, we could scrounge the boards we would need to build the hazards. Ralph and I went scrounging around the dump behind houses we knew and anywhere else we could think of that might have a board or two we could use.You would be surprised at the conglomeration of boards we collected in one day.While we were doing the scrounging Don and Bill were trying to guess how much space each hole would take and what it might look like straight, with a dog leg or a right or left angle. This planning was all well and good but the final design for each hole was made while it was being dug into the earth. The first major concern was the edges crumbled easily if you stepped on them.We put up some crude signs informing the customers they were responsible for repairing all damage to the fairway perimeter under penalty of a severe fine. | Summer Fun

86: To improve the distance you could swing the putter for the first stroke we fashioned a ramp leading into the fairway down which you rolled the ball. All this digging was fun but it certainly was also hard work. Each shovel full of dirt had to be dragged away in a cart and dumped.If, in the design of the hole, we needed more dirt we dragged it back to where it was needed.We used pieces of water pipe, cut up auto tires, tin cans, boards, automobile radiator fans, chimney pipe or anything else we could find to make each hole as unique as possible.On the holes with a dogleg or right or left-hand angle we placed a length of board at the turning point to bounce the ball around the corner. The work went on from dawn to dusk for a week before we were satisfied that we had accomplished what we set out to do. In the meantime word got around about what was going on and people began to wander in to watch and kept asking when the course would be ready to play and how much it was going to cost. Mr. Bramer located a couple of putters for us and we paid him back with the first days receipts. Some people came to play and brought their own putters. Dr. Sherman, from across the street, gave us his old putter which we used all through our entrepreneurship of the miniature golf course. When junior returned from vacation he was voted in as a sustaining member and got through the gate free. We got so famous in Clyde that the local newspaper wrote an article about our golf course. Bob Gordon #28 | Before M | Bill Bramer | Ralph Bramer, Doc Gibbons, A Janto, S Triano

87: Junior and I never lost our desire to build an airplane after we had our first ride with the barnstormer who came to Clyde to have his airplane repaired by my father. We didn't have the slightest idea how many horsepower it took to make and airplane fly but we still had the washing machine engine given to us by Mr. Lacey. We did think about using twisted automobile innertubes as a motor but that system offered too many hazards. Suppose the twisted innertube's became untwisted after you left the ground? Unless the good fairy herself stepped in and rewound our motor, we would be goners before our first ride ended. A propeller was our next question. We had already experimented with an array of model planes, which used propellers driven by rubber bands. A propeller,we knew,had to have a pitch to it in order to grab the wind and throw it back hard enough to give the airplane a forward movement. Our solution to this was to find a four foot length of two by four to carve our propeller out of.After we found the lumber we knew our scout knives were not going to hack this one so we went to our savior, Dick Boyington, my fathers hired mechanic, to find out how to carve a propeller from a two by four. Dick was always interested in the things we tried to do and offered to carve the propeller for us. Oh course, we had to ask him how he was going to do this and he explained to us the merits of a "draw shave". The carpenters tool was used like a wood plane. It was about sixteen inches across and in between the handles at each end was a sharp blade. You held it in both hands and drew it down the length of your work and took a sliver of wood with each draw. Now we got the motor and the propeller, all we needed now is an airplane. Our first move in this direction was to hunt for the wood to make the plane from. We scoured the dump first but didn't find anything suitable so we made a sneaky stroll past the rear of the lumberyard along the canal. This place usually was our last resort because we would have to make a midnight acquisition and no lumber could be requisitioned any larger than could be pulled through the openings in the pig fence between the lumberyard and us. We spotted just what we needed and came back that night, with the blessing of the devil, and procured enough one inch by two inch pine to make our airplane with. After a few calculations we decided our airplane was going to be six feet long because that was the length of the lumber the devil had urged us to acquire. Now came the fun part. We argued,measured, hammered,sawed,nailed and yelled when we hit our finger with the hammer. The plane began to take shape but now it dawned on us that we were without wings or rudder. We forgot to plan ahead. | Our Attempt at Flight

88: Junior and I were familiar with the undertaking business and knew that the caskets delivered to Mr. Lacey came in reinforced, three ply sheets of wood similar to today's plywood. The small caskets came in a reinforced box, just the size we needed for our wings. Mr. Lacey was willing to part with a casket box if we were willing to work for it, so we mowed his lawn and swept out the garage in exchange for one small casket box to make the wings and tail cf our plane. When the fuselage of the plane was finished, we used two sides of the box and positioned the wings. We used the ends of the box for the rudder and elevators. There was an opening where the pilot sat and a control bar with two pieces of cord running to the rear wheel for steering. Two cartwheels were positioned for landing gear We were getting pretty close to having an airplane. While I was doing a lot of building and Meade was swearing at his crushed fingers, Dick carved out our propeller and had it finished long before we were ready. One forgotten fact was a place in front to bold the motor so it took &s two more days to cut and nail a platform in the front to bolt our motor to. After bolting down the motor and attaching the propeller we stood back and looked at what we had created. Our creation looked like an airplane skeleton and you could see every nail and board we had hammered together. Our airplane need a covering of some kind. It didn't take much though about what to use for a covering. We both ran for home and we both returned with a bed sheet that we reasoned our Mothers wouldn't miss. We wrapped the whole body, wings and rudder with the sheets and fastened them down with upholstery tacks. Now we are ready to start her up. Meade gets in the pilots seat and I'm the mechanic who was going to starts the engine. I got my feet planted firmly on the ground and my two hands gripping the propeller in such a way that if it started it wouldn't come around and whack me. We had no brakes so Meade had his feet hanging out of the fuselage, on the ground, to provide the stopping power. Meade yells, "switch on, gas on, throttle cracked" and I spun the propeller. [We got all this jargon from WW 1 flying magazines and stories.] I pumped that propeller for five minutes without one pop from that engine. You know what? We forgot to put any gas in that tank. Now we are ready for sure. Meade got back in the cockpit- I get set on the propeller and Jr. goes through his jargon again. I spun the propeller three times and the engine went pop pop pop and started to rev up faster and faster. At the same time the whole plane began to shake and vibrate like a thrashing machine. I got the H--- out of the way of that whirling prop and Meade was standing up in that cockpit with his feet on the ground trying to reach that little strip of metal over the spark plug that had to be held down to stop the motor. After absorbing a few jolts from the spark plug he was able to get his finger on the wobbling motor switch. We decoded we needed a better way to stop that motor without getting shocked our putting ourselves in harms way. Our mentor, Dick, solved the vibration problem by balancing the prop that he made for us. Dick also gave us a small automobile switch that we installed in the cockpit to stop the motor. We were again ready to try our luck at flying our plane. | Before M

89: This time we took our contraption out to the middle of the street. I got in the cockpit and Meade started the engine. There was still some vibration but nothing we couldn't handle. The engine only had one speed to run a washing machine so we let it get up to speed and I took my feet off the concrete. Nothing happened. The airplane and me just sat there in the windstorm and vibrated while that two by four whirled in front of my face. We stopped everything again and made an inspection of our three-point suspension, thinking we might have a wheel that was stuck. Nothing was stuck so we started it up again and Junior got behind and gave it a little push. I went a few feet and stopped again. Sitting behind that whirling two by four was not like a beach breeze. It gave you the feeling that one wrong move and you could be mincemeat. It was hard to communicate with all the noise so I stopped the engine and asked Meade if he wanted to try and I would give him a good long push. Meade gets in and sits down with his feet braced against the ground. I get in front and give the prop a couple of swings and it starts up. We wait until it gets up to speed, and again, nothing happens. Junior just sits there like a hen on an egg. The street in this area slopped down a few degrees and I though with a good hard, fast push we might get somewhere. I got behind the rudder,which was sturdy enough to push on, and began to push Junior down the middle of the street. I finally got into a good fast run and figured the plane was going to lift off any second.. It never happened. We had another pow-wow trying to figure why our plane refused to cooperate with us. Our decision was it never would unless we found a bigger engine. We started it up again and pushed it out behind our house and stored it in an empty horse stall. We never found another engine so our experimental airplane was still sitting in the horse stall when my father sold the business. We didn't think anyone ever flew it because there were never any reports of anyone getting chewed up by a whirling two by four. Bob Gordon #29

90: Our house on Glasgow Street in Clyde had a rental apartment on the north side of the first floor. The rooms were one after the other - living room,bedroom,dining room and kitchen. We had many renters over the years and one that interested Junior & I was the guy from Watkins Glen that came to Clyde to drill for natural gas. I can't recall just how long he rented but his family was with him part of the time. His family consisted of his wife and one daughter about our age. When he first came he was alone and we often talked with him when he sat on the porch in the evening. To us he was like anyone's father. His hobby was to sketch pictures with a pencil in black and white on a pad of paper. We would sit with him and were fascinated by his skill with the pencil. He would finish something and hand it to us for inspection like we knew what he was doing. Then he would give us a little lesson on how to shade the objects in the picture to make them look more natural. His first drilling job was out Northeast of Clyde on a farm off DeZang Street. The memories of this are not very clear but I remember they struck gas after drilling for a while. A spark from the rig apparently caused an explosion of some magnitude that did extensive damage. After everything was cleaned up,there was just about enough gas flowing to operate the farm but none left over to sell to the general public. This did not deter the company from doing some more exploring. Mr.Nobles,who ran the sauerkraut factory east of Clyde,encouraged the company to drill on his property. After drilling for a few months on Charlie's property they struck gas again. They thought they really had something this time but as they were patting themselves on the back,the flow of controlled gas began to subside and ended up with only enough gas to furnish the sauerkraut factory with a new source of energy. Meanwhile,the drilling chief that was living in our apartment became a fast friend with my mother and father. He and his family had a cottage on Lake Waneta, about half way between the south end of Seneca and Keuka Lake. Junior and I often went there with my parents on a Sunday outing or to go fishing. The young daughter grew up to be a bit of an attraction. There were other people who eventually became Clyde citizens who spent their first days in the apartment or as borders in our house. The two Gibbons brothers who both studied veterinary medicine at Cornell University were boarders at our house for a few years. When they were still undergraduate students they came to Clyde in the summer to work. with the farmers and pet owners on good nutrition and health aspects of their domestic animals. My father let these students use the telephone in the garage for their summer office. Meade and I always offered our services free to whomever was staying with us. The veterinary business was interesting and there was always something new to catch our attention. We saw calves and horses born, sick animals that couldn't stand on their feet, chickens and other fowl that caught diseases that would wipe out a whole flock. | Before M | Gordon House Boarders

91: This kind of thing sometimes spelled disaster to the farmer trying to make a living for his family on 40 to 100 acres. The first Dr.Gibbons set up his business in Clyde after he graduated from Cornell. His younger brother went through the same routine until he graduated and then set up his veterinary business in Lyons. At that time Cornell was a state run agricultural College and was free,but you had to provide for your own residence, board and books. It was a very good deal for those who could afford the basics and at that time not many people could afford that. Another young man that was studying horticulture stayed with us for a couple of summers. During his stay he went around to all the fruit tree growers and gave them the latest information on diseases of their fruit trees and how to combat them. This young man asked Meade and I to go out and catch him about 300 ants. That don't sound like much when it comes to ants but you go try catching ants and make them stay in the quart jar when you lift the lid to put another in. We had to keep the glass jars ventilated so they wouldn't suffocate and when you went to put one in two would get away. The horticulturist wasn't stingy. He gave Junior and I each a nickel for collecting the ants. We did this chore several times that summer. We even asked him once if he was eating some of those ants himself. The young man was using the ants to see if they were the culprits that spread blight in pear trees. He would find a pear orchard and ask the farmer if he could run some experiments on a few of his trees. He would make a clear plastic bag from cellophane, wrap it around one of the branches of the pear tree, introduce about fifty ants to their new home and seal the bag tight so the ants couldn't get away. We learned that the only way to keep blight in pear trees from spreading was to recognize the symptoms on the tree branches. Cutting the diseased branch off and burning it was the only way to kill the offending blight. The farmers always cooperated in these experiments. They seemed to be aware of what Cornell University and it's students were trying to do for them. There were very few farmers around Clyde that had much more than an 8th grade education. After all this work we never found out the results of the experiments. The summer that this budding horticulturist stayed with us we also had my cousin, Frances Lester, a recent high school graduate,staying with us because she wanted to work but had no car to commute from her fathers farm West of Clyde. She had gotten a job at Ruby Love's Millinery store in town and was searching around to see what interested her before she found a husband and got married. These two were attracted to each other and spent a couple of months that summer running around together. It so happened that the right chemistry wasn't there because he left to go back to Cornell at the end of August and was never heard from again

92: These tenants and boarders and also, Dick, my father's mechanic, were a treasure trove of information and fun for Meade and I. It afforded us some insight into how other people lived and worked other than in a small town. These College educated young people being in Clyde may have been the inspiration that prompted Lela Meade to send Junior away to Cornell for a year. Bob Gordon #32 | Richard Gibbons

93: Sodus Point Summers | Sodus Point, on the south shore of Lake Ontario and almost twenty miles due north of Clyde, was a favorite place for recreation in the summer. People from the surrounding territory went to Sodus Point to go fishing, swimming, boating, drinking, eating or playing in the sand - whatever you liked to do. Our Boy Scout troop went every summer for a jamboree that included several troops of scouts. I might point out that Bud Hinman, after which the Clyde Legion Post is named, was the fastest swimmer around. He never lost a race in the years we went camping there with the Scouts. When I was old enough to hold a fishing pole, our family would go to the bay bridge, across the south end of Sodus Bay,to fish for bullheads in the spring. I can still remember my mother yelling-" Bobby, don't pull until your cork goes under." I was always a little premature when I saw my cork begin to dance from a bullhead nibbling on my worm. | Beano Hinman and Bob Gordon

94: The opening day of bass fishing in June was another thing we never missed at Sodus Point. More often than not the lake would wash an opening in the sand spit that ran east from the channel entrance to the bay. It seemed all the bass in Lake Ontario went through this opening. Boats would anchor in this outlet thicker than flies on a dung ball. You had just about enough room between the boats to drop your worm into the water. When somebody got a good size fish on that would start taking line and thrash around,everybody would reel in their line until one of the crowd could net the fish. Everybody cooperated and everyone had a good time catching fish even if it belonged to someone else. As Meade and I grew a little older we all at once decided that girls were as good company as boys. We were learning to dance;the music: from the swing bands was giving us the itch to shake a leg and in order to do this we had to hug a girl. Jitter Bugging was the in thing to learn and contrary to other forms of dancing,now all you had to do is hold a girls hand and she was supposed to follow along with whatever crazy move you could dream up. It was always amazing to us - there were some girls that could do that so those were the ones we hung out with. The "Rose Bud",a snack bar and soda fountain is where we all gathered after school and several evenings a week. Each booth in the back room had a juke box list of songs you could play for a nickel by inserting a coin in the slot. The Canolesio family owned the" Rosebud" They were very lenient with us teenagers dancing in their back room. We were cautioned quite often about making too much noise when there were other patrons in the place. We imbibed mostly on cherry cokes. Later on, after the family put in a liquor store next door, we imbibed on some stronger stuff once in a while. One of our most anticipated things to do was go to Sodus Point on Saturday night to dance. There was always a big group of teenage kids and parents from all the surrounding towns. A great number of families from as far away as Rochester had cottages along Sodus Bay and Lake Ontario. Three places at Sodus Point had bands on weekends. With all that music there was a constant flow of patrons in and out of the bars and restaurants. All week,even before school was out,we looked forward to our Saturday night dance. Getting a ride to Sodus Point was a constant conversation point. My brother Don was trusted with our family car so we often rode with him. Other than that we had to bum a ride and worry all evening how we were going to get home. Junior and I always seemed to find someone to take us back to Clyde. If a ride was not forthcoming, we were always welcome at the Hinman cottage on the east side of the bay. Harry Smith's cottage on LeRoy island was another haven where we could stay overnight. Mr.Smith's niece,Janet Morgan,was one of our favorite dancers and a good friend. Our favorite place to dance was " Joe's Place " on the North side of the Sodus point peninsula. A portion of Sodus Bay runs along the back of the restaurant and bar. If you were rich and owned a boat you could tie up at the dock behind "Joe's" and go into the restaurant for dinner and a dance {There is still a " Joe's Place" restaurant in Sodus Point.) | Before M

95: Ken Collier, from Clyde, bought " Joe's Place' while we were still hanging around there. He hung a huge stuffed sailfish over the bar that he had caught somewhere off the Florida coast where he and his family spent the winter. Nothing changed after the sale. We never liked to have less than fifty cents to spend when we went there. Beer was ten cents a glass and two was enough to set up a little buzz and give you courage enough to ask a strange girl to dance. During the evening a couple of hot dogs would help keep your batteries charged. A few years went by and we .-n graduated from High School. Meade had met his match with Gladys and they were planning to get married. Junior was working at a job in Grand Rapids, Michigan and saving his money. I was working at the American Can Com. in Geneva where I met PeeWee. He became a good friend and he had a car. PeeWee and I would come to Clyde on weekends,pick up some friends and head for Sodus Point to go dancing. One summer four of us rented a cottage on the Ontario beach side of the resort. Not two cottages away were a group of girls from Canadaigua and Shortsville. This was the second time I got to dance with May but never gave a thought she would someday be my wife. A terrible tragedy happened that weekend. The two Devereaux boys drowned in Sodus Bay. It was a hot summer day and the Devereaux family from Clyde had come to Sodus Point to cool off. They were a very close family and the parents were very protective of their children. The older boy was a very good athlete and played basketball on the Syracuse University team. The younger boy had just graduated from High School. Neither boy had ever learned to swim. The boys were wading in Sodus Bay directly across the inlet behind Joe's Place. As the story went the younger boy was wading in the bay when he stepped off an underwater ledge and started floundering in the water. His brother saw he was in trouble and jumped in to help. They both drowned. They brought the boys onto the dock behind Joe's and performed artificial respiration to no avail. They called Lyons hospital to send a pulmotor but it arrived too late to help. Bob Gordon #33 | Bob and May

96: Farming in the nineteen thirties was a knock down,drag out fight against nature and the elements. Around Clyde there were many many farms that ranged from. 50 to 100 acres. The people who lived on these small farms were farming because their ancestors had been farmers so it was all they knew how to do. The fruits of their labor put food on the table and provided clothes for their family. Their labors also provided grain and grass for their animals. Cash flow. was always a problem but they survived by selling produce from their gardens and meat from their animals. They bartered farm products at the grocery stores for staples such as flour,sugar and other items. A good many of the farms were inherited from their families and some had scrimped and saved to get a down payment on the farm they owned and tried their best to make enough money by the end of the year to pay the mortgage. For Junior and I, helping farmers during spring planting and helping with the harvest in the fall was a way to make a little money. We loved to ride the cabbage planter that had two seats on the back where the cabbage planters sat - side by side.The farmer sat on a seat behind the two horses that pulled the rig. We sat on two separate seats,low to the ground behind the farmer. The cabbage plants were on a small edge in front of you and the barrel for the water was under the driver's seat. As the cabbage planter moved along, two small plows made a furrow in the ground and the barrel spit out a small amount of water that wet the ground where you put in a cabbage plant. Two small vanes then came along behind and pushed dirt around the plant. Southern migrant workers who came north helped some of the larger farms that raised apples,peaches,and pears. Meade and I worked mostly on cherry picking, cabbage planting and picking beans. The workers that came from the south set up their own tents and were provided with outhouses. A great many of these workers were led by bosses that dickered with the farmer for the workers pay and then kept the biggest share for themselves. Migrant workers today are housed in living quarters provided by the farmer - schooling and health care is available and the workers are paid a living wage. Cherry picking usually started shortly after school was out. For a couple of years Junior and I picked sour cherries for a farmer west of Clyde because we could walk to his place. The people who bought the cherries had a system of grading the quality of the crop that was brought to them. The whole crop was either accepted or rejected by their grading standards.Their grading system consisted of picking a few cherries from a pallet, splitting them open and identifying those that had worms in them. Out of so many cherries only a very few were allowed to be wormy. They gave the farmer a second chance and if the same ratio of worms were found, then the crop was rejected. This pleasant summer day we picked cherries from seven in the morning until noon and then broke for lunch. All the cherries the group had picked were loaded on a truck that left for the canning factory. | Before M | Wayne County Farmers

97: A short time later after we were all back to work the truck came rolling in with all the cherries still on it.The farmer called us back to the farmhouse and told us his crop had been rejected so he was unable to pay us but we could have all the cherries we wanted, free of charge. [How many sour cherries can you eat?] The farmers only alternative now was to try and peddle them house to house in town. This way he might capture some cash from his rejected crop. Raising grains like wheat,oats and rye were much more labor intensive in the thirties than it is now. Today you have one machine that cuts and thrashes the grain and you bring it home from the field all ready to use. In 1930, when the grain was ready for harvest,you went to the field with a Binder. A horse or tractor pulled the Binder. It consisted of a sickle bar cutter about 8 feet long that protruded at a right angle from the rest of the machine and rode along about six inches above the ground. Just behind the sickle bar was a conveyor belt that the cut stalks of grain landed on as the machine move along. The conveyer belt carried the cut grain to the machine we it was bunched into one-foot diameter sheaves, wrapped with binding twine and spit out on the other side of the Binder. This went on until the whole field was covered haphazardly with sheaves of grain. These sheaves of grain were then piled into pyramid shaped shocks,three high, partly for drying and if they did get wet they dried out in a day or two. These pyramid shocks is where Junior and I came in to help. Shocking the grain made it easier to load the wagon. Our next move was to pitch all these shocks of grain onto a hay wagon and take it to the barn. We pitched it off the wagon and stored it in the hayloft until the thrashing machine showed up in the fall. A man who owned a thrashing machine, run by a tractor, did the thrashing in the fall. The farmers all got together .and helped each other pitch all that grain out of their barns into the thrashing machine. A huge fan in the thrashing machine blew the straw into the barnyard and the grain into bins built inside the barn.One man placed in the barnyard with a handkerchief over his nose piled the straw into a huge dome shape.They never got Junior or I to pile straw. That was about the dirtiest job we had ever seen. They had dinner worked out so they knew where the thrashers would be at noon. The women got together and put on a huge meal of meat,potatoes, vegetables,coffee and desert. We all ate like we were starving and went back to work. One day we were working in the hot barn helping to pitch the sheaves of wheat out of the barn into the thrashing machine. My Aunt Eva came to the barn with a small pail of red wine from her cellar. No Ice ! The wine was passed to the haymow first. Meade and I took the tin cup provided and proceeded to down a whole cup full." Wow " In just a few minutes we were laughing and pitching wheat all over the place. Bill,my aunts hired man, made us get down out of the haymow before we fell out and we weren't allowed back until we sobered up.

98: Each of these smaller farms had animals to care for twice a day,7 days a week. Even before church on Sunday morning the chickens had to be fed,the cows brought in from the pasture and milked,the horses watered and fed. The milk had to be separated and the cream stored away to make into butter and the pigs had to be fed the skim milk with the table scraps and some bran includedThe farmers worked from sunup until dark. In the winter there wasn't enough daylight so the cows got milked morning and night with just the light from a kerosene lantern.The farmers all seemed happy with their lot and never complained. In the late fall it was time for the farmers to get ready for the long winter. That meant storing away enough food to last them through until their gardens started to produce in the spring. As their gardens started to produce more than they could eat the farmer's wives canned the surplus,mainly in quart glass jars.As berries and fruit ripened they were canned or made into jelly and jam. Each farmer normally raised two pigs for meat. They fattened the pigs with more food and grain before butchering time in October. Butchering time was another instance where the farmers got together,had a little party and helped one another.They all seemed to have their special skills. First they erected a triangular support out of three poles about twenty feet long. A block and tackle was suspended from the apex of the poles. Beneath the apex was a huge,round cast. iron tub full of scalding water.This tub of water was heated by a wood fire, started early to get the water hot. A platform was built next to the tub to lay the pig carcass on. Now it was time to start the process going. Three men went after a pig,wrestled him to the ground and cut his jugular vein. After the pig was completely bled out,they dragged him over near the iron tub,placed an iron bar through his hind legs, fastened him to the block and tackle and hoisted hem up so they could drop him into the scalding water. [ If you didn't know pigs had hair,that's why they dipped him.] After dipping in the scalding water,they hoisted the pig up and swung him over the platform where they proceeded to scrape off the hair. This was done with a special gadget that consisted of a single round handle you held in your fist with a flat steel disc attached. The disc had its edges turned down and sharpened to cut off the hair. Now comes the dissection. First they removed the innards that were taken into the farmhouse to the women. They removed all the fat and placed it in a large kettle on the stove to be rendered into lard.The lard was saved and used year round for everything that needed frying and baking. The smaller intestines were washed and cleaned and used as the outer skin of sausage. The head and feet were cleaned,the meat removed and cut up into small pieces,boiled and pressed into head cheese. This process resulted in a very tasty sandwich meat. The remaining carcass was then cut up into pork chop slabs,hams,bacon slabs and slabs to make salt pork. All of this was then carried. into the cellar and rubbed with salt twice a day for several days before being put into the smokehouse for the final preservation. The salt pork slabs were preserved in a solution of water and salt. The criteria here was to immerse the slabs to be made into salt pork in a solution of water and salt that would float a potato. A weighted wooden cover kept the salt pork slabs immersed in the brine.The smoked meat and the salt pork would almost keep forever. | Before M

99: Another thing the farmers did to prepare food for winter was to slaughter all the poultry that were not producing.The meat was boiled until tender and stuffed into canning jars. Boiling lard was then poured into the jars to fill all the empty space. A sealed lid was put on the jar to help preserve the contents. A substance known as water glass was used for preserving eggs. Water glass was a powdery substance that when mixed with water formed a viscous, syrup liquid. Eggs,submerged in this liquid would keep for long periods. As the eggs aged in this messy substance they became less viscous inside. At this stage the farmer's wife delegated these aged eggs to making pies, cakes,and cookies. If you wanted your breakfast eggs "sunny side up" - you had to go and ask the hen! The farmers were all used to working seven days a week, but after the chores were done on Sunday morning they went to church, came home and relaxed a few hours or went visiting friends or relatives before evening chores. Bob Gordon #34

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  • Clyde-1930's Bob Gordon
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