Olney 1960's and 1970's
Philadelphia, PA 19120

photo courtesy of noname@noplace.com :P
My Old Neighborhood

If the street corner in this photo looks familiar to you, then you may have grown up in the same area as I did. This photo shows 5th Street between Ruscomb and Ashdale. That's the 47 trolley that I used to take with my mom and my sisters all the way down to Center City. There used to be a mini-supermarket further up the street from Brown's that you can't see in the photo.

I remember the store had those squiggy poles to use for reaching merchandise high up on the shelf. I remember going into that store barefoot once and getting a giant splinter in my foot. I also stole a 10 cent Stroehmann brownie from there. My conscience got the better of me and I confessed this dirty deed to my mom. She took me by the hand and dragged me back to the store, where she made me admit to the store owner what I had done, and she made me give him the dime for the brownie. Needless to say, that was a valueable lesson and I never tried something that stupid again.

You can see Incarnation School further up on 5th street in the background. I was friends with lots of kids who went to "Inky" as it was affectionately nicknamed.

I am trying to reconnect with people who lived in this general area in the 1960's and 1970's. Because most of the kids I played with went to Catholic school, while I attended public school, Morrison Elementary and Olney High, I am trying to plan a 'neighborhood reunion', instead of a 'school reunion. I have so many fond memories of playing on the streets of that neighborhood.

I used to live at 4905 N. Lawrence Street, one block off of the picture in the photo. My family moved away from Lawrence Street in 1973, the summer I graduated from Olney High School. More than 30 years have passed by since I walked down the streets in that neighborhood for the last time as a resident of the neighborhood.

My house is in this photo, first house to the right of the 'telly' pole:

Does anyone recognize the girl in this photo?

Short, glasses, big mouth...does anyone remember who she is?
*(answer at bottom of page with email addy)

I remember a lot of the stores in the area that are long gone. Here are the ones that come to mind.

  • Vart's Cut Rate Store
    If you grew up in the neighborhood, you would most certainly remember Mr. Vart!
  • Al's Deli
  • Betty and Walt's Grocery Store
  • John's Bargain Store
  • Peck's
    a hardware store somewhere below 5th and the Boulevard (Roosevelt)
  • Zapf's Music Store
  • Bond Linen

I also remember the movie theatres on Broad Street, the Logan, the Rockland, Broad, and of course, there was the Fern Rock, way up 5th Street. I remember seeing Batman, the movie, 2001 A Space Odyssey, Herbie the Love Bug, and so many others, in those theatres. Does anyone remember Frank's, the soft drink distributor, on Rockland Street?

My best friends were Trish, Cheryl, Sadie, Betty Lou, and Genevieve. I won't list the last names, but I do remember them.

I recenty connected with kids from Morrison Elementary School, and we have planned a reunion. I would love to be able to do the same with the kids from my old neighborhood. A few weeks ago I went back for a visit to my old house and got to speak to the woman now living there. Every thing looked so much smaller to me than I remembered as a kid. And it has certainly changed in all these years!

This page for the the Olney Neighborhood Reunion is brand new. I will be adding lots more soon.

In the meantime if you, or someone you know, grew up in my old neighborhood, I would love to hear from you to make plans for a possible reunion in the near future. Email me:

*Barb Fitzgerald

You can search for your former classmates and friends at classmates.com

This was forwarded to me, and it makes me smile because it is SO true!

For all kids who survived the 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's & 70's

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking. As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and

NO ONE actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank koolade made with sugar, but we weren't overweight because .


We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day.

And we were O.K

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's , no surround-sound or CD's, WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a frien d's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of.

They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned


If YOU are one of them . . . CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good

And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave (and lucky) their parents were.

The quote of the month is by Jay Leno:

"With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks,"Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?"

For those that prefer to think that God is not watching over us....go ahead and delete this.

For the rest of us.....pass this on.

Please visit some of my other webpages: Muldrake's "24" Pages