By Joe Piros Junior
Growing up in CT always felt safe for me & all the people I came in contact with were always kind to me. This started even before my family moved there because I had an Aunt and Uncle who live in upper CT across from the Bush Esso station & next to Samson’s Ashland station, in what was known in our family as the “block house”.
My 1st memory was Mr. Bush (SR) giving me a black puppy, because both our family dogs had been poisoned where we lived in Henlawson around 1943-44, because he said “all little boys should have a dog”. Soon thereafter we moved to MO, for the better part of a year. But we moved back to CT in 1945, after I turned 6, so I would be able to enter CT school for the 1st grade. Otherwise I would have had to ride a horse 5miles to school.
We lived in the apartment upstairs next to Samson’s station, as my Aunt Ann & Uncle Steve lived on the other side facing CT school. At the time only my Aunt was home while my Uncle was serving in the 94thInfantry 319th Medical Corps in Europe until October 1945 when the war ended.
I remember playing with Audrey Augustine, Bob McCormack, Jack Tiller& Kenneth Tiller, & (trading used comic books) with Joe airgo. Having deviled ham sandwiches @ the Augustine’s & generally enjoying just being a kid.
The Bush’s (SR) were always good Halloween givers along with other neighbors. Anna Kiraly the cashier/clerk at Nagy’s store, where most of the neighborhood bought their groceries, was always softening the kidding by Mr. Nagy and son, with us kids.
I always felt welcome in the McCormack, Carver, & Martin Coleman homes. Mr. Coleman used to play ball with us in Mr. Atkins vacant lot where we would sneak in a game. Mr. Atkins refused to let anyone play in that lot so Martin Coleman told him he would just “buy it’ for us! John Brown who owned the black funeral home was especially kind in offering my Father Ambulance transportation rather than waiting for an ambulance to come from Logan when he had his heart attacks.
A couple of the older boy’s Ronald McCormick & Bruce Davidson were also especially kind, as they would pick-up comic books in Logan when I was ill with either mumps or measles. When the older neighborhood boy’s including, Frank Black, had either football or baseball games they would include all us younger kids.
As mentioned in McCormack’s memories of CT, my Dad would gather up a bunch of my friends & take us to our farm in Vinton, OH. The 1st trip there he stopped @ the Hill Top Café & everyone piled out of the enclosed produce box of his truck, so that when we got inside the lady who owned the cafe exclaimed “my God are those all your kids”, which my Dad being like he was, said “of course”, which got a good laugh from all the patrons.
When we got older & got our 1st bicycles riding in the “back-alley” with McCormack, Tillers, Augustine Amberger, &Elwood Carver was a fond memory. Later Elwood added a Wizard motor to his bike which kept him in front of the bike pack.
Aother neighbor, Mrs. Herald, had her own set of civil war books &she was kind enough to share them with me to write a paper I needed for schools our library didn’t have that much information and it was hard as a kid to get to the downtown library. Her daughter Lucy Webb set me up for my 1st& “only” blind date, as she did not want her son Dick Webb having a date without someone else going to the movies.
McCormack visited me during my time @ the polio hospital & later he and Doris Nagy visited when I got home.
Like Robert McCormack stated in his memories mine are much the same; kind neighbors and lots of learning experiences that have made me who I am today. The “Cherry Tree Experience” will forever be treasured within the recesses of my mind.