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Main Street, USA – Life Was Simpler Back Then (Part II)

As a Main Street bank that has been serving local communities for generations, we have a lot of employees with fond memories of their hometowns, so we asked them to reminisce. Not surprisingly, they responded with tales of family, food (especially penny candy) and simple outdoor fun. After reading their stories, maybe you’d like to share one of your own?

Earlier this week we shared a collection of our employees’ memories of their hometowns. Today, we add to that collection:

“I grew up on Adams Street in Williamsport, Pa.  My favorite memory is walking home from school past Stroehmann’s Bakery and smelling all that fresh bread! In those days Stroehmann’s had an outlet store where they sold day-old baked goods. I am one of nine children and any of us old enough to walk and carry were required to accompany my mother to the outlet store every Saturday with a wagon and get whatever we could.

If we were lucky enough to get bags of bread stuffing we knew we would be having bread pudding soon! The manager knew our family and would give us a box full of damaged but still edible items whenever he could. I still remember how great it was to get cupcakes in that box, even if they were slightly crushed. It was really great to recall those simple pleasures!” – Deb, Shamokin, PA

“I have lived my entire life in or around Selinsgrove, Pa. My five siblings and I spent summers playing in the fields, building forts in the woods and busting tar bubbles on the country roads in bare feet. We shared one bike which we would take turns riding to Charlie Musser’s store. We would buy an ice cream treat out of the cooler.  My father took me to the bank to cash my first pay check for $12.50, which I earned picking bushels of tomatoes at a friends’ farm.

The 100-year-old little white church where Mom would try to keep her brood quiet is still active. These memories aren’t captured on a computer or cell phone but in my mind and my love of the simpler country living.” – Linda, Selinsgrove, PA

“One of my many favorite traditions from growing up in Audubon, NJ, is the annual Fourth of July Festivities, because it is the epitome of Main Street, USA. There is a big parade in the morning and a beautiful firework display at night at the high school. It involves the whole town and is festive, fun, and patriotic! – Jennifer, Audubon, NJ

“I grew up in Thompsontown, Pa., a rural community in Juniata County – blink and you’ve missed Main Street. I lived next door to my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins galore on a street bearing our last name.  I remember riding my bike with my cousins into “town” to buy gum and candy at the Handy Market, to play on the swings at the park, or if we were very lucky to buy homemade custard at the Corner Deli.  My favorite was chocolate!” – Leigh, Lititz, PA

“I grew up on 222 Market Street, New Cumberland, Pa. I started first grade when I was five, no kindergarten back then.  At lunch we were allowed to walk to the “Lazy 15,” the very first hamburger fast food in the area. During the summer we played outside every day riding bikes, going to the park and collecting bottles to cash in to go to the candy store around the corner. We went to the West Shore Movie Theater on Bridge Street; admission was 25 cents, and 50 years later it’s still in operation. Every year the carnival came to town and we would watch the men in the Jaycees play “Donkey Baseball.”  In the winter we would ice skate on top of the roof of the old ice factory in Lemoyne.  There is a lot to say about the ‘good old days’ living on Main Street, USA.” – Sandra, Hummelstown, PA

“I grew up in Street, Md. My favorite hometown memory is riding bike with a gang of neighbor kids. We were allowed to range as far from home as a mile with no adult supervision and no cell phones! We were just required to be home in time for dinner!” -  Lauren, Lititz, PA

“I grew up in Clear Spring, Md. Every year the fire department would shut down ‘race hill,’ which was next to my house, and all of the kids from the entire town would come and go sledding.  When school was closed or there was a big snow, the fire department would block off the top and bottom of the road so that the kids could safely sled and we would have so much fun! We would get the snow so packed down and slick that you could flip your saucer over and barrel roll, when hitting the bank. All the kids came and parents didn’t worry about them.  A much simpler time.” – Katie, Hagerstown, MD

“The Warwick football games were always a personal favorite. Students were always tailgating before the game, running around during, and relaxed at fifth quarter at Grace Church in Lititz, Pa. afterwards. Family filled the stadium and you knew everyone you walked by.” - Kayla, Lititz, PA

“I grew up at 138 S. Main St, Chambersburg, Pa. and I have many wonderful memories of my childhood on “Main Street.’ I remember walking everywhere because those were the days before the mall came to town so we did all of our shopping, (clothes and groceries) downtown!

We did not have a yard since I grew up in an apartment building. So we played in the back parking lot and in the alley beside our building. I still live ‘in town’ but I do have a house and a yard now.”
- Christine, Chambersburg

Did this post spark memories of your own hometown? Please share your stories in the Comments section below!

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One Response to Main Street, USA – Life Was Simpler Back Then (Part II)

  1. Bonnie McKenrick says:

    I grew up in a very small rural area – no large stores – had to drive 15 miles to closest grocey store. Me and my sisters played with cousins – Hop Scotch; Hide and Seek as entertainment. Black & white TV was introduced (Ed Sullivan Show; Milton Berle;Groucho Marks and a lot of Roy Rogers & Gene Autry movies-with the help of the antenna. Snow days were fun days-parents never had to worry about predators. Those were the days; party lines on the phones. If you picked up the phone and heard a voice you had to wait to make your call.

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