Series Part 12 – Extracts from Dickeyville Days Memoirs
By Ted Rosenberg.
Memories from Ted Rosenberg
Shortly after I was born, we rented our house [on Forest Park Avenue] out and went off to follow my father’s postings.
The main memories from that period were sitting in blackout listening to the Fireside Chats. Watching the radio! I also learned at an early age to recognize the pitch of a B-29 engine, because it meant my father would be home soon. Years later, I realized that all his students were training on B-29s, and his flight had been landing. Other flights were different aircraft.
One fall day in 1945, as we came back to Dickeyville, we came to a house and someone said, “I guess you won’t remember this house.”
We were all what they now call “free range “children. We didn’t have television and social calendars. Crossing the stream on stepping stones, playing kick ball with Osage oranges, feeding the ducks, and so forth, this is what we did for fun. The main people I remember well from the mists of time were the Meeks twins and K2 Loveless. That is probably because I saw them often until Kay entered her final illness, and Julie until she moved a few years ago. I also remember, my younger brother’s partner in mischief, George Choksy.
I went to school #64, because the stream was the zone line for Windsor Hill, and my grandmother lived near #64. My father dropped us off there every morning and we walked home.
A few adults I remember from the 40’s were Gillie Mackall. He was a muralist who had his studio where Barry Johnson now lives. His studio was fantastic. In the winter, I would sweep the snow off of the spillway and get food for the ducks from Mrs. Mackall. She paid in fresh baked cookies and hot chocolate. I also got a similar job from an old woman on upper Pickwick. I groomed my own collie, so she talked me into coming over regularly to do hers and to listen to her stories. Again, fresh baked cookies and hot chocolate worked.
Col. Sangston lived on Hillside. He always wanted to tell “When we were at St Lo” (I believe this was a battle during WWI), and they had a fish tank hidden in the wall of the dining room which could be revealed by a hidden switch.
Mr Tschudy would tell us about the Indian graveyard. We probably thought it was like the cemeteries on Windsor Mill. One fall day, a few of us went up the hill behind the springs to find it. Near the top of the hill, we met some huge hogs, and were at Windsor Farms where they were slaughtering hogs. They sent us out by the driveway on Windsor Mill road, much further than any of us were allowed to wander. We went down the hill, and cut back through the woods eventually coming home along the tracks.
In the winter when the pond froze everyone went to skate. Every year, my younger brother managed to fall through the ice, and the dog went in after him. We weren’t worried about Vic, but had to get a soaked collie home to dry it off,
K2 was actually Kay, but her mother was Kay, so she was always called K2.
In about 1957, there was a Fourth of July pageant, and Bob Hare made a flat bottom skiff from plywood. K2 was dressed as the Statue of Liberty, and she went out on the mill pond when the skiff started to leak, and she sank slowly into the Gwynns Falls – still holding her torch.
In the early 60s, I was away, but when visiting my parents, I kept track of the food competitions between Barbara Holdridge and Lois Choksy. Barbara was at my mother’s 105th birthday, and I believe Lois is still lecturing. They each tried to outdo the other in recipes, and both were incredible cooks.
Someone else gave their phone number, mine was Liberty 2065. I had to memorize it to pass kindergarten.
Anyone remember Ernie and Rosebud on the old #35 “Jerkwater”?
When I was in junior high school at #49, I took the trolley. When one of the only two motormen who knew how to run an old Brill double-ender was not available, the temporary replacement was made miserable by us kids who knew how to make the car behave oddly, or, just stop dead.
We left Dickeyville in May 2016. Of my kids who grew up there, one is in Texas, one in Arizona, one in China, and one still in Baltimore. Of my surviving siblings, one is still in Baltimore and one lives in Framingham.
By Ted Rosenberg
Editor’s note: Please check back each Sunday to the Dickeyville Village blog to read extracts from the Dickeyville Days memoirs – a compilation of memories from previous Dickeyville denizens reflecting on a childhood spent growing up in the village during the 1940s, 50s, & 60s. We hope you enjoy their stroll down memory lane.