Hawthorne Street

“Yes, I’m right on this one because I remember watching that movie, “The Quiet Man” on the old Philco console television,” I told Suzy.  The set was like the one at top of this ad with phonograph.

The times have changed...
The times have changed…though the prices , for size of screen, are pretty similar.  Minimum wage in 1949 was .40 an hour though. 

She couldn’t understand why – if that movie came out in Technicolor did I see in only black and white? ” The Quiet Man I believe, came out in 1952.  We had the black and white set until about 1964 and Suzy was amazed, forgetting our age, but said that I was probably right.

The cabinetry on that set was beautiful; there were two doors stained a honey color, with carved Roman arches, one arch on each door.

Mom’s polishing gave the  wood a caramel-looking depth that wasn’t there previously. And, there was a planter sitting on top of the television.  This piece was of a donkey-pulled cart and inside the planter was a long and winding Philodendron. Those items were made in the days when people still took pride in what was brought to the public. Furniture maker’s were craftsmen and the world was a more civilized place.

This planter was part of our home
This planter was part of our home

All countries emulated and desired to be like us.  The world wanted American ingenuity and American made products.  It was a great time to be an American.  “The Greatest Generation,” made us and the world exceptionally proud for ending the tyranny of Adolf Hitler in Europe and his Pacific ally, Emperor Hirohito of Japan.  But back at home…

I can still see Mother polishing all the wood items in the house, then every Saturday, I would help her wash the wooden stairs. There was no carpet in the early days which left the tiled floors like ice in the wintertime. A wind would rattle the loosely fit windows and occasionally blow in wisps of snow, and the howling sound was sometimes loud enough to keep you awake.

I recall one particularly cold morning when the pipes froze so there was no water – hot or cold; but before leaving for work Dad took his (propane) blow torch to the basement and got the hot flame going.  He constantly moved the blistering heat along the pipe, barely getting off the ladder to move it. He yelled up to Mom, “Is there a drip yet,” and the reply was no so he held it a while longer and then Mom hollered down, “Ok Fred, it’s dripping,” and soon every faucet in the house was spurting water. Remembrances like that, made it home.

“But you know, there are eight million stories like this in the Naked City…..”

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