Thursday, June 30, 2011

They Took My Thumb

Erie-Lackawanna tugboat, Richmond Terrace and Bement Avenue

   My grandfather, the late Holger Anderson, was many things in his life; subway tunnel digger, LIE tree cutter, brass foundry worker, carpenter, floor scraper and other things.  By the time I was born he was exclusively a floor scraper, in fact, one of the best around.  Not long before I was born, though, he had still been a carpenter.

   As a carpenter he work for the Erie-Lackawanna Railway at a boatyard they maintained at the foot of Bement Avenue and Richmond Terrace.  He primarily worked repairing the wooden barges used by the railroad to shunt car around the harbor.  He had started in the yard working for Bethlehem Steel but at ome point the railroad took over and he ended up with a pension from them.

  As a railroad carpenter my grandfather worked with huge circular saws.  They had all sorts of safety guards and things to keep the users safe.  He also used little handheld saws.   With one of them he took off his thumb one day.

  Supposedly he stuck the severed digit into his pocket and drove up to St. Vincent's Hospital.  It was the early sixties so reattachment didn't work.   Later in life he used the sharp little stump of his thumb to grab recalcitrant grandchildren.  It was very effective.

   He's been gone 23 years now and would have been 102.   Still miss him.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011


   I just came across a new (to me) site called SiTreasure.  It's run by Angela D'Aiuto, a real estate saleswoman and community activist.  She also has a blog called SiTreasure Blog but that hasn't been updated in months.  Still, the more the merry and the more information and pictures the better

Moving on to West New Brighton

Civil Courthouse at Castleton and Bement

   So, Rosebank turned out to be a bit of a bust. Not enough decent free pictures to put up for examination. I'm happy with the few I posted but it's time to move on.

   West New Brighton is a huge area. I've always put it from Lafayette to the Terrace to Clove Road to Forest Avenue. Within it are the small semi-neighborhoods of Randall Manor, Livingston, Sunset Hill (ok, that's not even a real semi-neighborhood, just a real estate designation) and Snug Harbor.

   There are stately old homes as well as city housing projects. It's population is Irish, African-American, German, Italian, Hispanic from all over, and too many people from too many other places to list.  It's a great place with great stores.  New Brighton (Cottage Hill in particular) may be my home but much of my business is done in West Brighton.

   Hopefully I'll be able to get more pictures of West New Brighton than I was of Rosebank.  I'll also try to get back to a little more regular posting again.  Thanks for the support and comments.
House built and owned by Dr. Elliot,
now Our Savior Lutheran's parsonage