Chapter 5 – Making a Day of It

Plagued by her tuberculosis, Richard’s mother yearns to raise her children outside the city. On special days, she takes Richard down to Penn Station in the early morning to board a train for Newark, New Jersey, where her Rehling cousins live. In downtown Newark they take the trolley ride to the outer suburbs. Then a short walk to the Rehling house. The warmth of the Rehling family lifts his mother’s spirit and opens Richard’s view to life outside of New York. On the return trip, Richard reflects on what life would be like for his mother to have a place like the Rehlings.

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2 thoughts on “Chapter 5 – Making a Day of It

  1. avatarErna

    First, Richie – this is an awesome photo of Aunt Helen- she was quite a dish back then! I think back of those days on First Avenue and would not trade them for anything ( even walking to school with my liverwurst sandwich and a jar of milk to PS 190 ) Never complained , even though the milk was warm by the time lunch came and I do not remember having anything but liverwurst on german rye- Aunt Helen packed the lunch and I ate what was in that brown bag!!! I still remember Frances Byrnes who lived at 1230 Park Ave. and her best friend – the little red headed teacher Miss Murphy!!! Mom was friendly with Miss Byrnes. I would not change those days for anything- I think now sometimes tough, sad going -but it was just everyday life back the- 10cents for an all day at the movies on Saturday- 2 movies- a weekly serial and the news. Daddy tossed the dime out the window for me to go with my friend Jeanette Bertrand. I skated with my skate key around my neck to Carl Schurz Park with my friends and thought that was “living” . GREAT memories- who could ask for more?

  2. avatarRichard Paul Poethig

    Erna:
    Great response! You need to do your own remembering and writing. In fact, I’m overwhelmed that you even remember the Park address of Mrs.Frances Byrnes. Amazing that nine years after I attended P.S. 190 she was still there. How’d you remember her address?
    You have confirmed the fact that the Saturday movies cost ten cents and this was six to seven years after I went to the movies. I know have to correct my memory since I said that the all day movie affair was twenty-five cents. You’ll be happy to know that Dick Frothingham also responded the movies in Jackson Heights cost him ten cents. You now need to share this with your own gang so they get the feel for live in the 1930s.
    Richie

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