This Northern Small Town boasts four seasons. Here we were enjoying a very awesome Fall – many old big trees… and leaves like you won’t believe unless you’ve experienced it! The Village DPW – “Department of Public Works” -had some major work to do in this small town – that of cleaning up the leaves. Their dump trucks had plows for the Winter snow and large vacuum cleaner-type contraptions to collect the mass amounts of leaves in the Fall. Village residents raked their leaves to the curbside and the DPW sucked them up and dumped them at a large compost site. The uncertainty was the timing of the leaves changing color, the trees shedding their entire “coat”, and the DPW getting things cleaned up BEFORE the snow fell – between the persistent rains. A chore of big proportions.
The occasion here may or may not have been a paying job for us kids. The property here was a big mansion-like home on Lake Street – a stone’s throw from what we called “The Five Corners”. Sam Gullo owned it during my 18 years in Perry. I recall several years when we assisted our favorite local newspaper (The Perry Herald) photographer – Lyle Richardson, with this photo op. One year we raked the leaves for the photo and walked away… leaving the leaves in a HUGE pile only to kill the grass. Sam has since forgiven us.
This photo tells quite a story – the dress code here was quite 70′s. Stripes and plaid were the norm (don’t mix them). Several families are represented here – Cicero, Ferris, Scott, Beckary, Taylor, Fong, Watson, Otis… and a few unknown. We didn’t have or know any differences between our families socio-economically, we were friends and knew how to work and play hard together. Competition came in our games and activities. Most families had only one car… no cell phones or computers or satellite or cable… and the list goes on.
We would leave our homes and go “to play” with our friends for hours on end and be subject to correction by other parents (with the fear of more correction from our own parents when we got home) for doing something stupid [How would I know?]. We climbed trees, neighbors’ garages, and whatever else we could scale. The front porch light for a certain family was the signal to get home – fast – and that usually initiated a scattering of the rest of us. The sun had set, night had come and a new day would be coming soon.
Many good athletes came out of North Federal St – Sam was quite the Tennis player, Christine and Denise played softball, Glenna, Albert and I ran track, Dave and I played soccer. We all rode our bicycles – it was both a form of exercise and transportation. We were all fit and in great health. Obesity was not a word known to any of us.
Proximity to The Switch – 200 yards to the East.