– Can You Tie My Skates?

We had many fun times such as ice skating at the Village Park pond which had a rather rustic cabin and large open fireplace with a warm fire that was kept blazing. Even today when I smell and open fire it reminds me of that place and those wonderful times with friends.




– We Simply Went Out And Had Fun Together!

This is a classic example of what we did in the Winter.  The Village Park on the west side of town had a pond that froze and gave us a great place to get together.  Many in this photo were from the North Federal Street ‘gang’ with others joining us from various neighborhoods and outside of the Village.  Many of us walked there and home… no cell phones or texting to interrupt our fun! Communication occurred via speech – mostly face to face….  imagine that! Life was much simpler in those days.

We all skated until we were tired or cold or both! Our dogs would follow us from home and faithfully stay until it was time to go home.

We knew how to dress for the weather and didn’t wear helmets. We did not sign waivers. If someone fell and got hurt we would help each other out and no lawyers got involved. If someone was hurt too badly to walk home someone would run home to their parents or to the nearest house. I’m not sure whether there was even a phone in that little skating cabin.

Growing up in The Buffalo Snowbelt of Western New York State was an education in values which developed character. My mom taught us the “DRESS TO WALK” mentality in the wintertime. You never knew when you were going to be stranded as most of us were a time or two.

When those snow or ice storms hit we would instinctively check on each other – especially the elderly in our neighborhood. “You should stop to see Miss Roche, offer to shovel her sidewalk and find out if she needs bread or milk”. And we did. Miss Roche and her brother were elderly and in NO shape to do either. After shoveling them out I would walk to “Star Market” half a mile down the road to get what she needed and carry it back. She may have paid me 50 cents or a dollar (and I’m not talking about the Rappers) [and I may have kindly refused it!]. She would be grateful for any help at all. These are the values our parents taught us and that we taught the next generation. We all saw community come out in all of us when storms or disasters hit our little village.

Proximity to The Switch – two blocks to the Northwest.