A Childhood Memory of Atlantic Avenue by Helen Loomis
In 1934 my friend Lois and I walked to school in a blizzard—20 below zero! Lois cut her head on a brick building that was on the corner of Atlantic and Beacon because she had kept her head down while walking in the storm. When we got to school we found out school was cancelled so we went home.
One of my friends at school was Harper Sibley Jr. We became friends partly because we had the same initials (Helen Schumann). Harper’s mother had him transfer to School #31 from a private school because she felt he would benefit from a more diverse group. Harper was the grandson of Hiram Sibley of Western Union fame.
One Easter Sunday, Mother and I were walking along Atlantic Ave. on our way to St. Paul’s church located on East Ave. As we approached the tunnel, a train passed overhead and spewed black soot on our lovely hats and clothing and faces, forcing us to turn around and go back home.
Another time I was carrying a beautiful bouquet of roses from our yard when the popcorn man came by, pushing his cart. He stopped and made a deal with me: roses for a box of popcorn next time he was on Bowman St. I asked for a caramel sucker too and he agreed. I received both the next time the vendor stopped by—value 10 cents.