1955: 11 Greenwood Lane, Valhalla NY


Visited in May 2004

We went to Valhalla on the same day that we visited Dad's Chappaqua Home. Once we finished visiting Chappaqua, we headed over to Pleasantville. Pleasantville is the town where dad went to school while living in Valhalla NY. He lived in Valhallah from 1955 to 1958, 4th through 6th grade. They came here from Victoria Texas. Victoria was an oceanfront town south of Galveston so it was a big change to come up here. His dad had a job at Union Carbide and had been promoted to the NY office. His dad was in charge of automating admin ops with IBM punch cards.

The church he went to was there - he would walk from school past the church to downtown every day for lunch. Note that their home was in the suburbs so he took a schoolbus to and from school.





The school had been torn down and they were building a new one in its place.



Pleasantville was a little village with cafes and film center. Dad would take his lunch money, pay 5 cents for a huge dill pickle then walk past the Episcopalian church to spend the rest of his money on baseball cards. He mostly had cards from the 1950s plus a box from the 20s-40s. He lost them all in games.

On the schoolbus in 4-6th grade the boys would flip cards and everyone would try to grab them in the air. This was "skimming" or "flipping". There would be "Matches" of flipping where they flip them to see if heads match, tails match or mis-matched. Someone would call "match" and the other would win if not matched. They would skim cards against a wall, who came closest won. Also who ended up on top of the others, with 5 playing. Also hold behind back and bring out together to match or not.

It was 5 miles from town to his house, which was in the suburbs. Right nearby was the Kensico reservoir. Here are radiators, that would spray water in the air to aerate it, then collect it again to send it out. Otherwise the water stagnates in the reservoir.



Dad used to play at the reservoir all the time with his friend Tim Barr. One day he and Tim were climbing the face of dam which was really high. The two climbed 1/2 way when the cops came and yelled for them to come down. The boys kept up then when walking home Dad reversed his jacket. The cops caught them, and he lied and said it wasn't them. Interestingly, from his house due east it was less than 1/2 mile to CT but to get there he would have had to cross the reservoir.

We drove to his suburban neighborhood, with lots of trees. His sister Becky went to a 1 room schoolhouse in elementary school, for K-3. We went by its location but it was gone. After a 10 mph sign and turn, we found #11 Greenwood.







Dad said there were no light-posts by the driveway before. His room was right by the door. He knew all the kids on the street, there were 5 the same age. The kids would steal wood and nails from building sites to build forts. These were mostly tree forts. The suburb was still being extended while they lived here. They could walk 1/4 mile to reservoir and play in the woods.

His best friend Tim Barr lived right next door in the yellow house.



Dad said it was not a big difference from Texas, though he had big trouble with his accent at first. Girls loved it, guys hated it. In 3rd grade in TX he was the most popular boy, girls would dance around him singing 2 4 6 8 who do we appreciate, Tony! Tony! Tonyh! Yeah!! But he was a really good athlete and things got OK when he settled in.

In 6th grade there was a play day at the high school where you stood at pitcher's mound and threw 6-10 balls, He won it even though he was only in 6th grade.

They got their first TV here, a black and white one. They weren't special though - everyone had one. Dad first saw a TV in Texas 3 blocks down, the kids were all peeking through door and were finally invited in to see it. Once they had their own TV, whoever was oldest chose the channel. There were no negotiations.

The family belonged to private swimming club. Dad remembers watching his dad do "majestic flips" such as gainers. His dad would jump and flip backwards to go headfirst (half) or full gainer. His mom swam too. In college at the Larton branch of U TN (the largest branch), his mom was female athlete of the year.

His family had a dog named Pepper - half poodle, half something. It was black and a medium size. Dad called the dog Woov-gaii. Woov came from the word dwarf, and gaii from somewhere unknown.

We passed Nanny Hagan road - Dad remembers his mother saying that phrase because it was such a funny name.

The George Pages




Lisa's Genealogy Pages



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