…..life in King William in the 1930’.s . My teenage years on Guenther Street were a happy time. The intersection of Guenther and Crofton was our playground. Traffic wasn’t a problem back then, so on a summer evening all the neighborhood kids, and there were lots of them, would congregate at the “Y” to play pop-the-whip on roller skates. The boys would play touch football. We were a rowdy, noisy bunch. No one had air conditioning in those days and with all the open windows, we must have been a real nuisance but I don’t remember anyone complaining.
…..in the early 1970’s when the property bounded by Main, Guenther, Sheridan and Flores was a vibrant neighborhood, many of them families of Italian decent. There was a Baptist Church at the corner of Nathan and Johnson Streets. The government decided that it would be a good location for the city’s main post office so the property was condemned and all the houses leveled. A few years later, the post office plan was abandoned and the property was offered to the school district as a location for their cafeteria warehouse and commissary. The surrounding neighborhood, bitterly opposed to such a use of the property, mobilized and, with the support of the King William Association, managed to reach a compromise for the Housing Authority facility and the nice park that we see today.
…..when this extremely tall, very skinny man used to sunbathe frequently in the front yard of a house in my block. He paid homage to the sun wearing a loin cloth and stood to catch the rays for long periods of time several days every week. Tour buses didn’t know whether to speed up or slow down!
. . . .back in the 1940’s when the Handy Andy that used to be on St. Mary’s was brand new. They would set up tents in the parking lot and conduct cooking classes. My mother was really into that sort of thing. She came home one day proudly carrying her winning prize – a beautiful coconut cake
....when they were building the walkways along the river in the late 1960’s after all the flood control work was finished. Our dad would tell us kids that one day we’d have a river walk all the way to Roosevelt Park. Of course, we couldn’t imagine that ever being possible, but he evidently knew what he was talking about. It looks like it’s finally going to happen.