What the world was like for a kid growing up in Delco

I realize that the Daily Local News is a Chester County newspaper but folks, my roots are in Delaware County. After reading some comments on a Facebook page for those of us who grew up in Delco, it reminded me of just how different our world is now – even in Delco.

Our world today is everything politically correct, people afraid to speak their minds, their kids afraid to do anything for fear of getting into trouble or getting hurt. Neighbors don’t even talk to each other. The streets are without kids, adults or dogs running around. There is no laughter, no noise. When I walk out onto my street it’s as if a bomb was dropped and I am the only one left. It’s so quiet.

So here’s a trip down Memory Lane for anyone in Chester County who like me grew up in Delco. And I’m not suggesting everything we did was smart but heck, we all survived just fine.

What were the things we Delco folks did, enjoyed, laughed about and lived to talk about?

Well…

We lit punks in the summer when the skeeters were out. And speaking of skeeters, we also ran behind the trucks spraying chemicals to kill the buggers. None of us got any horrible diseases that I am aware of.

We hopped the bus and rode it BY OURSELVES to 69th Street, went to Record Museum, the Terminal and grabbed hot dogs from Nedicks.

We ran through Arlington Cemetery and never got yelled out and sledded through the Jewish cemetery on Lansdowne Avenue — after we pulled the fence back. We made sure it was put back when we were done…

When we went down the Shore we walked BY OURSELVES on the Boardwalk and bought our own ice cream cones and went into the stores.

We played stickball, wallball, stepball until dark every night in the summer. And we played sometimes with our dads who hung out with us in their shorts and white T-shirts and no one cared what they looked like.

We went to Gino’s when it was Gino’s and not a lame attempt at a rebirth of the place. The fries were the best.

We had bonfires a day or so before we played Haverford High in football, hung out at Burger King and talked smack with the kids from Haverford WITHOUT the cops ever being called. They were our rivals but we never felt the need to shoot or stab them.

We went to the Battle of the Bands at Upper Darby High School and listened to music. That’s it. Yeh, we maybe tried to steal a kiss or two from a cute girl from biology class but there were no riots, no fights.

In the summer we drank water from the garden hose. No kidding.

So at this point I must ask, what the hell happened? When did everything get so screwed up, so uptight, so emotional, so angry? What happened? What did I miss?

Nowadays kids don’t talk, they text. They don’t play ball in the streets they play Madden on Xbox. They aren’t allowed to travel anywhere by themselves. Heck, they can’t even walk up the street without an escort. They have cell phones before puberty.

Sigh. Yes I know my world was different from my mom and dad’s world. But the changes for my generation from my parent’s generation seem universes apart from my generation and those of my kids.

I wish we could go back. But that’s never happening I know. The only therapy I get is posting on the Facebook page for people like me who grew up in Delco and wish things hadn’t changed so much.

So here’s to the skeeter trucks, drinking from the garden hose, listening to the Phillies on a small transistor radio, playing baseball with wooden bats, getting ice cream from Angelo who drove his truck all over Delco, getting fresh fruits and veggies from another guy on his truck, playing that goofy game in the summer where you knocked around a small block of wood through holes in a maze-like contraption, gas at 34 cents a gallon and more …

— Andy Hachadorian

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About fromtheeditorchair

I am the editor of the Daily Local News.
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2 Responses to What the world was like for a kid growing up in Delco

  1. Oh, Angelo’s truck was the best! And going to 69th St. on the bus by ourselves! How about playing hopscotch, Mother May I and Red Light/Green Light, catching lightning bugs and playing in the alley? I’ll never forget all the games at UDHS. Nice wholesome memories.

  2. Susan says:

    Oh Andy you bring back my memories of growing up in Springfield Delco and we must be about the same age. I graduated in 66 from Springfield High and after that married and moved to Drexel Hill , had kids who ran through Arlington Cemetary, rode the trolley although that was the Sharon Hill and I rode the Media trolley……………… wasn’t it wonderful?

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