Buddy Holly

220px-Buddy_Holly_cropped

Buddy Holly


Read Retodee’s great column on Buddy Holly, on her site, Retrodee’s Guild To The Best Era Ever! A great musican and songwriter from the 1950’s! And you can listen to Buddy’smusic on the Jukebox if you like.

Standard 50’s Music!

The music and stars listed here are mostly of rock n roll of that was out when I was growing up, But there was a lot of great standard music from the area and music stars with hits on the radio, Like the great Pattie Page who sang the great “The Tennessee Waltz”  “Old Cape Code” and more. The Four Lads had a number of hits like “Moments To Remember” “No Not Much”. and others.

The great Nat King Cole had “Unforgettable” The Lovely “Mona Lisa” “Too Young” “Smile” Perry Como had hits like “Catch a Falling Star” “Papa Loves Mombo” “Round and Round” Who sang standards better than Frank Sinatra “Young At Heart” “Witch Craft” “Tony Bennett” “Because of You” “Rags to Riches” “Cold Cold Heart” “Rosemary Clooney” Come On-My House” “Mambo Italiano” “Dean Martin” “That’s Amore”.
Yes They were very much a part of the wonderful 1950’s and many more,the 1950’s would not be the same without their contribution of great standard music!

Elvis!

Elvis

Elvis Presley

On the 41st year of Elvis Presley’s passing, I have fond memories of him in the 1950s. My friends and I thought he was the coolest looking guy with the long sideburns and he wore his collar up and dressed unlike anyone on the scene at the time!

It was amazing to see him perform on the Ed Sullivan show and the girls loved him and the guys wanted to be like him! What great songs he sang like, I’m All Shook up, Don’t be Cruel, Love Me Tender, and more.

It was Elvis that got me more interested in wanting to play a guitar and make music, he woke us up and rocked us with more great music from him early films like, Love Me Tender, Loving You, Jailhouse Rock, King Creole, the list goes on. You can listen to Elvis on the Jukebox There are a number of his great hits there.

Yes Elvis began it all for me and many more at the time! When I think back to there was some great music made then by many great stars like Buddy Holly, and many groups who were rocking back then! Thanks for the great music Elvis!

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(c) Can Stock Photo / ranker666

Retro Games!

monopoly board game on brown wooden tabletop

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When we weren’t playing ball or riding our bikes or exploring other things, we would go outside by my friend’s house a few doors down, and sit on the ground playing board games like, “monopoly”, “checkers” and others. some times we played marbles, or flipped baseball cards against the wall! Some days your winnings piled up! And the next day you would lose most of them.

It was a fun way to spend a summer afternoon, there was quite a number of board games at the time and my friend had most of them it seemed! Other board games we played were, “Cheyenne” a game from the tv show at the time, and also “Gettysburg”. and it was the first board war game based on a historical battle.

And there was also” Leave It to Beaver Money Maker Game” and many more! Yeah summer was never a boring time for us back then, I don’t think there was a kid on my block who was not doing something outside in the summer, and most of the time the boys played together and the girls did the same, but there were lots of times we all played together, I’m glad I grew up when I did and, I bet most of us from that time might agree on it,

The Monastery Grounds!

retroboy

in the 1950s, I lived right across the street from from the Church Saint Michae’s It was was built on 12 acres of land and went 2 blocks lwest to east some, and 3 blocks north to south! It was the biggest Chruch in the country at the time and many attented mass there on Sundays and many were married there over the years and my oldest sister was married there also in 1958, it was built in 1869 and completed in 1875.

I moved there when I was 4 years old and still remember when they first put down tar for cars to park in one section, and the other section was dirt with trees and it was fenced in the entire length, so as I got older that’s where the kids in the neighborhood would gather to play, and we would play stickball down where the cars parked after Sunday services. It also had basketball hoops on each side of the parking area.

On the other end is where we would play baseball, the city would add a back stop later on but the bases we made with any decent size rock we could find for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd base, but we did have a home plate the city also added. Many times you could spend most of the day there, only to go home for diner then back again to play a game.

And I remember summer days shooting off those toy water rockets that had a launcher and when you pumped it up it took off straight up and we could have sworn it was headed into orbit! And of course, that’s where the city would dump those wonderful mountains of snow! from around the city and seemed to last a year in the cold winter!

I’m not kidding it took forever for them to melt and they were large and seemed to go on forever and  the truth is, we didn’t mind if they did!  Oh but what fun we had making snow forts and making up sides to have snowball fights! The Church is still standing there but no longer active with membership it was upgraded for the area highschools for sports and looks nice and on the south end part about 3 blocks away from there are condominiums built on the land a number of years ago very nice looking.

So very once in awhile when I’m in the area I say in a quiet whisper “Hello to  Saint Michae’s Church” Thanks for the memories!

The McGill’s Farm

several bunch of grapes

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In the 1950s my friends and I would go down the to a family farm only about 4 blocks away it was a farm well-known back then and named The McGill’s family farm! I don’t know the whole history of it but it was a great place to go in those summers of the 1950s! You could find, apples, peaches, pears, raspberries, and those wonderful blueberries!

Sometimes we would bring a brown paper bag or carry what we could  but most of the time we ate the fruit before we made it home! We really weren’t allowed on the farm but it wasn’t a fenced in kind of farm and you could just walk right in but if the owner saw you he would chase you off.

Many times my sister and I would go down for fruit and other kids on the block that we knew, and my cousins who lived in the building next door from my famliy, and my Aunt would make applesauce from the apples and even the green ones! Yes there’s nothing like fresh fruit right from the farm!

All Aboard!

I read in the news that the Amtrak Great Dome Railcar of 1955 is to begin on the east coast again! The Downeaster that offers panoramic views for all riders, It will begin four daily trips as of August 11th. And it features an upper level with windows on all sides!

Domecar retro

1950s Great Dome Railcar

This photo is from 1954

The Great Domes are a fleet of six streamlined dome lounge cars built by the Budd Company for the Great Northern Railway and Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad in 1955. The cars were used exclusively on the Empire Builder from their introduction in 1955 until the end of private passenger service in 1971.

Amtrak retained all six cars and they continued to run on the Empire Builder before new Superliners displaced them at the end of the decade, after which they saw service elsewhere in the system. The Great Domes were similar in design to the Big Domes Budd built for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.

Family Picnics!

barbecue bbq beef charcoal

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Beginning in 1959 my parents and my sisters, brother, and I went on our first family picnic to Interstate Park in New Jersey. It was followed by many more including my Grandmother, all my Aunts and my Uncles at the time, and two of my oldest sisters were married so with my brother-in-law it was a great big summer day filled with lots to do!

We would all gather and meet there early as possible, to get a good table close to the bathroom area! We set up the tables with goodies that were prepared on the day before someone would make the potato salad, another would make the corn on the cob and so on, there was a boat dock right there you could go fishing if you wanted, and there was a great trail to hike on that went on it seemed forever up the palisades!

Then we take turns playing football, or tossing a baseball, the kids would fill up their water pistols, including the grownup kids! We would also go there on the 4th of July in the 1960’s over the years, It made for some great memories.

50’s Summmer Evenings!

art backlit dark dawn

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One of the best memories I have as a kid in the 1950s was the summer evenings when we got to stay out a little longer and just hanging out in front of the house with a few family members and friends, my 6 cousins lived in the building right next door from us, and would come out also especially on those hot summer nights as no one had air conditioners back then.

We would play games from the time like johnny on the pony and more. Sometimes we would have sparklers that lit up the night and then wave them around! and sometimes we would just hang out on the porch after getting a bottle of Coke, Pepsi, or 7up soda around at Mom Bruno’s candy store we weren’t allowed to leave the area other than going to Mom’s store we had to stay in front of the house or we had to come in for the night.

we hardly stayed out past 9:00pm back then and if we were lucky till 9:30! I think the parents did that just to get extra time to watch tv without the kids! There was a barber shop I used to go to over the years and it was on the way from those very buildings, and not much had changed on the outside over the years, and as I walked past them on the way I could almost see us there on the porch with my cousins and friends just being kids and having fun on a summer evening.