memory lane

Completely off topic… but had to do something fun and light and I was reading other people’s recollections of growing up in the 50 and 60’s…because have been trying to remember this game we played with bottle caps, or maybe it wasn’t a game, but it was something with bottle caps from soda…

so here is what I recall from growing up in Bayside, Queens, NYC  we lived near Bell Boulevard and Union Turnpike and Springfield Boulevard in the Windsor Oaks apartments near to the Windsor Park apartments

local places: Pee Pond (Alley Pond Park), Kiddy City, Ice Skating at Roosevelt Field, Bowling Alley, Fresh Meadows, World’s Fairgrounds, Creedmoor (State mental hospital), Mays in Glen Oaks and Lake Success (Longyland) plus the pizza place, delis, candy stores, luncheonette, diners, five and dime (Woolworth’s) and the hamburger joint near Mays which brought food on Lionel trains

we not only had an assortment of ice cream trucks that came around from Good Humor to Mr Softie all with different sounds, but we also had Chow Chow Cup (Chinese food that came in an edible bowl. The bowl was made of a fried eggroll wrapper), Pizza, Knish Knosh and other foods

we had milk delivered to our apartment, it came in bottles
we also had donuts and cake delivered
we got our ice cream from cows from a farm my dad passed by called Gouz (rhymes with cows)


candy cigarettes
little bottles with sugar water colored
ootton candy
toasted marshmallows
rawhide (apricot) and licorice ropes
filled jelly candies from lower east side nyc

desserts/ice cream stores:
Dunkin Donuts
Jahn’s ice cream parlor, free ice cream sundae on your birthday
charlotte russes (sponge cake topped with whipped cream)

we lived in what we called a court (yard) of garden apartments. we had lots of trees  and grass behind the apartments and played a lot of different street games… including:

stoop ball
something with bottle caps
table hockey
monkey in the middle
jump rope
card games like War, Spades,  Hearts, Casino, 21, Poker, and Rummy
cowboys and indians
king of the mountain/jungle
ball games such as A my name is Alice and I come from Alabama and I make apples (with your spaldeen you bounce the ball and raise your leg over the ball every time the A (or B C D etc) is said, A Alice Alabama Apples
arm wrestling
sledding in winter

we used a hose to cool off…or went to Jones Beach or Far Rockaway

caught caterpillars and fire flies in jars
did not step on sidewalk cracks (it would break your mother’s back)

get dressed up for Halloween
mean boys (usually, sometimes girls) would put huge chunks of hard chalk inside socks and hit you with it

when we were bored inside on snow days :

we’d make phoney phone calls, call people we did not know up and ask if their refrigerator was running and hang up
listen to the radio and make dedications, ask for a particular song to be played for a particular person and hear our names on the radio

came home from school to watch and dance to:

American Bandstand
Soul Train (later)

we played in the playgrounds:
in the sandboxes
on the monkeybars
see-saw or teeter/totter

sang songs and made up songs:
Susie and Johnny sitting in a tree K I S S I N G
First Came Love Then Came Marriage
Then Came Susie with a Baby Carriage

we put on shows, circuses, sometimes to raise money
adults had BBQ’s and Mock Marriages where people would pretend to marry other people’s husbands/wives after they got tipsy drunk
the housewives were Yenta Center (where all the women would sit outside and gossip about everyone in the neighborhood)

played mah jongg

board games like Monolpoly, Chinese checkers

played with

hula hoops
pogo sticks

collected and traded:

baseball cards

we were crafty:

made laniards
pot holders
crocheted baby items
braided chewing gum wrappers into necklaces
pop-it beads
cut out paper dolls
sea shells

imaginary games:

write down how we’d spend a million dollars when the Millionaire John Beresford Tipton came to our house

tea parties

watched TV shows:

Howdy Doody
Little Rascals
Bowery Boys
Lone Ranger
Sky King
Wagon Train
I Love Lucy
Milton Berle
Ed Sullivan
Mickey Mouse Club
Capt. Kangaroo
cartoons (Rocky and Bullwinkle; The Jetsons)
Twilight Zone
Loretta Young
Merv Griffin
Roy Rogers
Donna Reed
George Burns and Gracie Allen
Beat the Clock
Hopalong Cassidy
Jack Benny
Truth or Consequences
You Bet Your Life (Groucho Marx)
Kukla, Fran and Ollie
The Red Skelton Show
My Little Margie
Make Room for Daddy
Life of Riley
Ozzie and Harriet
Father Knows Best
Leave It to Beaver
The Real McCoys
Dobie Gillis
Adventures of Rin Tin Tin
Soupy Sales
I’ve Got a Secret
Dr Kildare
Ben Casey
Abbott and Costello
77 Sunset Strip
Three Stooges


Old Shirley Temple movies

West Side Story

Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon beach movies

Elvis movies

Musicals: King and I, Sound of Music, Oklahoma

Ben Hur


The Time Machine


Purple People Eater

Lion Sleeps Tonight

Louis, Louis

Duke of Earl

In the Still of the Night

Itsy Bitsy Yellow Polka Dot Bikini

You Don’t Own Me

Que Sera Sera whatever will be will be

Tears on My Pillow

A Teenager in Love

Hey Paula

Book of Love

Who Put the Bop in the Bop de Bop Rama Lama Ding Dong

Tell Laura I Love Her

You Belong To Me


Peppermint Twist

Songs by: Lesley Gore, Dion and the Belmonts, Frankie and the 4 Seasons, Beatles, Supremes, Monkees, Dave Clark 5, Rascals, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Melanie, Roy Orbison, Johnny Mathis, Peter, Paul and Mary, 5th Dimension, Mamas and Papas, Herman’s Hermits, Paul Anka, and others



Cha Cha


Mashed Potatoes

Read comics:

Nancy Drew

we had:

rank out sessions (traded insults) your mother wears army boots;
gave people knucks (hit knuckles hard with baseball cards)

slam books (wrote who was most popular, best dresser, smartest person, etc in class)

cats (alley) who we named and took care of although we were not allowed to have pets in the garden apartments… my cat’s name was Ginger


Filed under Baby Boomers, cats, children and dogs, Uncategorized

7 responses to “memory lane

  1. How funny! We had the same childhood but in different neighborhoods! Was there a Jahn’s in Queens? There was one in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, near where I grew up and it was a landmark. Of course, now it’s gone.

    • funny, yes, there was a Jahn’s in every borough (five), on one person’s birthday, we went to ALL of them… I remember the song Palisades Park, don’t recall if I went although my boyfriend living in Teaneck, NJ. hah…

  2. Oh! Did you go to Palisades Amusement Park?

  3. Paul Sammel

    I remember Jahns as a kid, I lived around 210 street and bell Bvd,,in Hollis Court garden apts. I remember the place with the train bringing us the food.Wish I could rember the name. How about zips icecream make your own sundaes in baseball hats..Loved a good chow chow cup with a yoohoo! The candy man, the soda man,and the milk man, Lambstons 5& dime. Korvetts.Going to the duck pond at Cristopher morley park. Wish I could rember the name of the corner luncheonett on my way to P.S. 205. Your page sure brought back some memories.

  4. rece

    Celia, it is almost like we grew up next to each other. I lived in Glen Oaks (260th st) in the 60’s. Right across from the oval. I came across your site because my friend sent me a picture of that train restaurant and I wanted to know the name of it so I googled “the restaurant in queens on union blvd next to mays.” Your site came right up. I have not thought about the things you listed in over 40 years but it is almost like it was yesterday. I do remember the bottle top game by the way. We played it at Our Lady of the Snows in the parking lot. I think we grew up in a special time and place. I remember vaguely the viet nam war. One of the older guys went streaking in protest. With all those kids in one tight space there was always something going on. I remember playing monopoly outside. And wiffle ball was always going on. Shaving cream wars. My first kiss was on the ball field in the Oval. A special occasion was when I could afford a banana split from Mr. Softee. I could go on and on. It’s funny how so many of us had the exact same experiences.

  5. Diane Englot

    Oh my gosh…came across this blog by chance when looking up Chow Chow Cup! Grew up in the same neighborhood! Lived in Windsor Oaks, and Glen Oaks. My Dad and his two brothers were the supers for all the buildings. Remember the amusement ride trucks that used to come around? The big swing thingee? The bottle cap game was called Scully (sic?) and the restaurant was Hamburger Choo Choo. Oh boy, what memories! Behind our court was a huge (to us anyway) slope that we called Suicide Hill, and we would sled down it every winter. We’d play stoop ball with Pennsie Pinkies, and my cousins and I made up a “stoop dance” to the NY Mets theme song…”Meet the Mets, meet the Mets, step right up and greet the Mets…” LOL. BEST.CHILDHOOD.EVER.

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