Kenwood Pools

A Golden Age for Kids

March 19, 2015 1:17 am0 commentsViews: 281
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Longtime Levittowners recall spring and summer days from their own youth—when Levittown was teeming with kids and fun could be found everywhere.

 

Now that the long cold winter has finally ended and spring is here, kids have begun to appear once again on the streets and ball fields of Levittown. Their parents, no doubt, when they sniff the fresh air, remember long-departed spring and summer days from their own youth—when Levittown was teeming with kids and fun could be found everywhere.

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Mill Creek section had a creek wrapped around it, surrounded by woods. It came out at one end between Mill Creek and Plumbridge, at the other end by the turnpike. We used to skinny dip in the creek. If we came home with wet clothes, we’d get in trouble. The water there was 4-5 feet deep in some spots. We found a big aluminum tub on a jobsite, it was meant for mixing concrete and mortar. That was our boat. We sailed it up and down the creek. But one day the Italian masons from the jobsite got wind of it, and came down and took their mixing tub back.

—Darren / Levittown

 

My older brother used to gross out my girlfriends when we would go into the woods to play. If he knew we were coming, he would scatter some Raisinets on the ground beforehand and then tell my friends it was deer poop. He would act like a master woodsman, crouching down to study the little pellets and telling us what kind of deer it was, whether it was a buck or a doe, which direction it was heading, etc. Then he would pick one up and pop it in his mouth. My friends would all shriek in disgust, but he would go on chewing thoughtfully and say “And this deer had apples for breakfast.”

                                                                        —Lisa C. / North Park

 

Greenwood Dairies’ “Pig’s Dinner,” if the memories of a seven year old serve correctly, was a mountain of four thousand scoops of every ice cream flavor the dairy offered, blanketed in fudge and strawberries, slathered in marshmallow and butterscotch sauces, dusted in nuts, fortified with fifty-seven sliced bananas and crowned with enormous, fluffy clouds of whipped cream and a single cherry. (Perhaps I have gotten some of the quantities wrong, but you get my point.) Every time we went to Greenwood Dairies, invariably one brave diner would order the Pig’s Dinner. The staff would ring bells and blow whistles and make a general fuss. When the frozen concoction made its arrival at the patron’s table, it did so perched majestically upon a wood stretcher transported by two paper-hatted and aproned teens. They presented the customer with a single spoon and, amid thunderous applause, he would dig in!

Josh Pincus

 

 

My parents were original Levittowners, and I grew up in Mill Creek Falls (I’m 55 now). When I was 11 years old I had a newspaper route. So did a few of my friends. We used to deliver the Bulletin and the Courier on our bikes. Once a week, when we collected our money and got our tips, we would put our bikes away and secretly meet on Edgely Road. Then we would hitchhike down to the 3M airfield—it’s where Airport Drive is now.

There were always a lot of small planes there, with pilots standing around waiting for a call. We would approach the pilots and ask them to take us up for a ride. One guy said, “If you’ve got five dollars for gas I’ll take you up.” We gave him five dollars and he took us up in the little plane.

We were only in the air for maybe 15 minutes, but we flew all over Levittown. We even got to look down on our houses! My buddy saw his Dad mowing the grass.

We went back maybe half a dozen times. Of course we never told our parents. It’s the kind of thing that would be a big scandal today—kids hitchhiking and going for a ride in a stranger’s plane. It sure was fun, though, to sit down to dinner with your family and know that just a few minutes ago you were a thousand feet above the house. ■

   GreenwoodDairies-Illustration-w                                                                                —Darren / Levittown

 

When not playing baseball or swimming at one of our local pools, most of the kids in our neighborhood took off to go fishing. Our fishing holes were Levittown Lake in Lakeside or Lake Caroline in Fairless Hills. Both were stocked with fish; the difference, as I recall, was that Lake Levittown had no breeze when it got really hot, while Lake Caroline usually had a nice breeze.

After fishing we would often go to the Fairless Hills Shopping Center, park our bikes with the fishing rods tied to them, and see a movie at the ERIC movie theatre. Or we would watch people bowl at the Fairless Hills Bowling Alley. What a community we had as we grew up, both in Levittown and Fairless Hills!

 

David Marable

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