Monday, September 17, 2012


     This is a picture of  20th and Broadway, taken in the late sixties. On the southern side of that corner building is a staircase, leading to the basement of the structure. There's a railing, somewhat hard to see in this shot, that runs down the side, east to west the time the photo was taken, the basement space was occupied by a taxicab company, the name of which escapes me, presently.The company closed up shop in about 1969, and the space went vacant, falling into disuse, debris of all sorts covering the stairs and floor below. the entrance to the stairs was boarded off, as was the door downstairs.

     Fast-forward to's about midnight, and I'm heading home, walking south on Broadway, passing the VL Cinema, and the bank, and coming to the corner. As I reach it, I hear music coming from behind me, in the direction of the building.

     I walk over to the railing, and look down....the area below is clean, as are the stairs, and the boards across the stairway entrance are gone. The door below me is open, light spilling out, along with the sounds of music, laughter, and conversation. Well, thinks I, someone bought the space below, or rented it, and they're going to have a business there, perhaps another cab company.

     I started to go to the stairs, to descend, and see for myself what's happening, but I decided to wait-whomever might not welcome the intrusion. So, I continued home.

     The next day, about eleven or so, I was headed past the spot, and went over to greet the new tenants. I walked to the railing, looked down....

     And was greeted by dust, debris, 
boarded stairway,and a long-boarded shut door.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


                If you're a kid, one of the things you've got in common with Grone Folx is a continual quest for funds. Generally, even in a good economy, jobs aren't really there for kids, except for running errands and mowing lawns,
that sorta thing; even those were iffy.

     Asking your parents for more money? Okay, if you don't mind going through a long, drawn-out process to get it.

     There WAS another way, back then, and it often literally lay there for the taking....pop bottles.

     If you needed, say, two dollars for the show and munchies, no sweat. The little bottles, like small Coke, were each worth a nickel. 16-ounce bottles, a dime. Quart bottles were twenty cents, and those half-gallon Lawson's milk bottles, a quarter.

     People threw bottles away, or sometimes let them pile up on their back porches, intending perhaps to return them. With a wee bit o' persuasion, you could often get them to gift you with ther whole lot. A wagon came in handy for such tasks, or a stray shopping cart.

      Once you'd loaded your cargo, it's off to the store....supermarkets were best, although the corner store would do in a pinch, if you could convince the owner that yes, you DID buy all that pop from him.
Eventually, you'd get shed of your load, and walk down the street, pocket bulging with coins.

      Some places, I've heard, still take pop bottles; I wish we were one of them.