Friday, May 28, 2010

Although my family moved away from Cold Spring, New York in 1969, I still have fond memories of Cold Spring. In fact I still have family members that live in the area and I visit Cold Spring, Garrison and Nelsonville several times a year.

Always on our visits we drive down Main Street past the stores of my childhood such as Palen's drugstore where my father would send my sister and I for ice cream cones (back in the day when it was safe enough to let your kids walk there alone). Palen's had a soda fountain counter where you could get a Breyer's ice cream cone in a dozen different flavors. The drugstore is now a collectibles shop.

My daughters especially like the Bijou Galleries shop on Main Street which has $5 grab bags for sale. You never know what's going to be in those grab bags and my girls love them. When I was a kid it was the Bijou movie Theatre and I first saw Mary Poppins there with my family.

Bijou Galleries Ltd.

We also go down by the Cold Spring railroad station and I point out the "subway" which is actually a pedestrian underpass that runs under the tracks of the railroad. I have memories of being midway through that underpass when I heard the train coming. I ran as fast as I could to get up to the other side of the underpass and out the door, leaving behind my younger sister to experience being in the middle of the tunnel when a Penn Central train rumbled overhead.

Then it's down and around the overpass bridge to the other side of the railroad tracks, around the corner at Market Street past the 3 story apartment building we lived in on Market Street. We lived on the third floor. My Aunt Louise (my dad's sister) and her family lived on the second floor of that same apartment building and my Uncle Charlie (my dad's brother) and his family lived catty corner from us in a two family apartment.

Uncle Carl and Aunt Angie (Aunt Angie was really my grandfather's cousin!) lived across the street from Uncle Charlie. Once we make that circuit we head towards the band stand which is right down near the Hudson River.

My memories include going down to the shores of the Hudson River and collecting "devil heads" which are actually water chestnuts (trapa natans) even though my mom always told me to stay away from the river.

Devil Heads

One of my most favorite memories though was the year I turned 9. I marched in the Memorial Day parade with my girl scout troop. I woke up very, very early and excited beyond anything that had happened in my young life up to that moment. I was going to march in the Memorial Day Parade!!

I could barely sit still to eat breakfast. I got ready way before it was time to leave. We marched from lower Main Street in Cold Spring all the way up Main Street and ended at the Cold Spring Cemetery.

Now for anyone who knows Main Street in Cold Spring it's pretty much straight up hill at about a 45 degree angle.

Cold Spring Main Street

May at that time of year in the Hudson Valley can be pretty hot and humid. But I was determined to march that entire parade route. We waved as we passed by our family members, cousins and friends that day. We carried a wreath to the grave of the founder of our girl scout troop to honor her. At that time I was too young to fully understand what Memorial Day was all about.

Cold Spring Cemetery

After the parade my family and I drove down to my grandparent's home on Nelson Lane in Garrison. My grandparents had a small pool set up for all of the grandkids and sometimes Uncle Dom (my grandmother's brother) would come running out from the house in his flowered bathing suit and jump in the pool with us.

My mom and I in the pool

We'd have my mom's famous (at least in our family!) potato salad, other salads, burgers, hot dogs, and sometimes chicken cooked on a state of the art charcoal briquette grill. There would always be Rheingold beer and cold orange and grape sodas and Coca Cola. We'd run around my grandparent's yard the rest of the day and then barbecue some more around dinner time. The ride home to our apartment in Cold Spring was always a quiet one as my sister, brothers and I would fall asleep in the station wagon exhausted from our day in the sun.

My siblings and some of my cousins

We moved away from Cold Spring when I was 10 years old but I'll always remember Cold Spring, New York, a wonderful place to be a kid in the mid 1960s.

The day we left Cold Spring

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Dingmans Ferry, Pennsylvania, United States
We are the owners of Mod Mary's Vintage on Etsy.