Wednesday, February 25, 2015


I did not post for Wednesday because Tuesday evening was a disturbed one. At 5 pm a PSE&G person came to my door and wanted to check my basement. That would be difficult since my house and others on the east side of Knollwood were built on slabs over fill land.

This was the day they were showing video of the house at the shore being demolished  in a gas explosion, so you can guess that I was not happy when he told me that there was a gas leak on Knollwood (right opposite  my house). Although my gas line comes from Cushing, he water and sewer lines go out to Knollwood right where the “leak” was. Gas has been known to travel along utility lines into a building.

About 6 months ago PSE&G had apparently repaired a leak in that area. 

This time they dug and worked throughout the night; the last time I was up was 3:30 AM and they were still there, but were gone at 7am leaving a 
 big hole along the side of Knollwood until about 4pm Wednesday when they filled it. I am not sure if there was any surface patching.

I must assume that all the houses on Knollwood except mine were without heat since I cannot imagine them working on a functioning gas line.

I was working on my second decade, and though it needs some revisions this is the first of two parts:

Decade two was marked in the first half by the impact of the Great Depression. It had some impact on all of our lives but that is the subject of another blog.

For a teenager life was one of school and after school games and home for dinner. We played unsupervised sandlot football and baseball in season as well as sports, swimming and clubs at the JCC or YMHA, and YMWA.

There were two fields on the corners of Seventh and Grant as well as Vanderveer's at Lee and Seventh, one behind Hubbard School and another one on Sherman Ave near the South Plainfield line. Occasionally we played against some “eastsiders” in the Kenyon Gardens.

There was a swimming hole of faint memory in the Second Brook in North Plainfield.

The coaster brake bike was our mode of transportation and ventures out to Hadley to see the planes the autogiro and the Bell Trimotor Ford were frequent trips. In New Market there was a half mile dirt track and the races could be watched from the trees. There also was a “Mafia Roadhouse” at the end of Grant Ave in South Plainfield and a trotter’s track nearby.

But life was still one of innocence, marked by such events as when about a dozen of us staged a sit-in in the High School Principals Office protesting the firing of a popular athletic teacher,  Bill Cook(?).

Yes we as a “gang” walked to High School  picking up numbers along the way and after school the process was reversed. This was always a congenial experience.

There were of course the social active crowd but as one who had two left feet I did not even know what girls were for. Of course often as small groups we would entertain the mysteries of the female body. Although the National Geographic was desired (required) reading because of its pictures of “native women” with exposed breasts, the female nether parts were a mystery and open to discussion from some who had sisters.

For this youngster the first half of the 30s was an age of true innocence. That was until September 1936; when I was placed on the B&O train in Plainfield to go to a place I had never seen, the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. That was the start of what to this day due to its lack of true responsibility for others; the best seven years of life. (To continue.)

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