I Remember…

In doing the research on Heilwood, I had the opportunity to talk with many residents and former residents, directly or by sending out questionnaires about their time in Heilwood. In either case, they shared their experiences and memories of the town. While some of the memories are similar, each person had certain memories that were unique to them. The following are these memories, in most cases, just as they were given to me. Enjoy.

“Bought toys were unheard of. My friends and I would go behind the Heilwood Inn and take the flat sardine cans out of the trash. Then we would punch holes in each end of the cans, wire each end together with ‘shot wire’ from the mines and we would have a train.” fs

“The Christmas tree would go up on Christmas Eve and everyone would attend mid-night Mass at church.” –bg

“Sometimes in winter, if I had no boots my mother would put her old stockings over my shoes to keep my feet dry-it was tough on stockings.” –wm

“Buying a bike without a seat and handle bars from my friend and in time by selling scrap metal, I was able to purchase a seat along with handlebars.”— em

“Getting up early on Sunday morning and going down to the Orthodox Church to build a fire in the pot belly stove so that by the time services would be held, the church would be warm.” –mh

“On those cold winter mornings getting out of bed and going over to the pipe / chimney which went through our rooms on the second floor and getting warm-sometimes we backed up too closely to it and went to school with a ‘burned butt’! –pd

“One Halloween, a bunch of kids went over to the houses on Sunnyside and there they upset one of the outhouses, unfortunately occupied by the occupant of the house.” –ge

“Lying in bed at night and listening to the sounds of the crickets, the frogs living in the near by pond and the train steam whistle while it moved through the woods.” –la

“My grandmother, who was quite the seamstress, going to movies in Indiana and seeing all the fancy costumes in the movies and then coming home and making ‘reproductions’ of these costumes on her sewing machine to be ‘rented out’ as Halloween costumes. People would come from all the neighboring towns to rent these costumes.” –gd

“Transportation for the youth football team was provided by John Gaston and the miner’s bus. On the way home from a game in Indiana, the bus broke down on Devil’s Elbow and the kids had to walk home to Heilwood-in their cleats / football shoes.” –jk

“Kids would take the corrugated tin from abandoned mine buildings-bend the front up-put several holes in the top edge and insert a piece of rope-one home-made toboggan.” –fs

“My brother pitching against a well known home run hitter in the county league in a game at Heilwood. The hitter told my brother that he was going to hit two home runs off him in the game. His brother told him he doubted that and then told the hitter that he was going to knock the button off the top of his hat we he came to bat. The first at bat saw a pitch high and tight knocking the button from the hat from the batter-there were no home runs hit that day.” –fh

“The Catholic priest told me that I could pray anywhere and to this day I do that.” –dg

“Playing with the girl that lived in the ‘big house‘ and I couldn’t get over her having a bathroom in her bedroom.”–kn

“Our school team winning the local first aid meet in the youth division thus making us eligible to travel to Bethlehem, Pa. for the state meet. I rode on a train for the very first time in my life in traveling to Bethlehem.” –ro

“My father teaching me to drive the family car-a 1933 Plymouth. He thought that I was going to wear out the clutch.” –js

“As a teacher having to practice for the annual May Day Celebration. Not having a May Pole inside the school with which to practice, I selected the tallest child in the class and made him the ‘May Pole’ and we would wind the ribbons around him.” –cb

“Our father coming home ‘early’ from work and catching my sister and I sawing wood for our brother. Our dad said, “I see how Charlie gets his wood sawed”. When Charlie arrived home, our father took him aside and ‘paddled’ with the shaving strop.” –ab

Father Marzhauser bought a brand new toboggan for the children-on its first ‘run’ down Pennington’s Hill, they hit a stump hidden by the snow and destroyed the toboggan.” –fs

“My father at Christmas time, making these small balls of dough which my mother would bake and then he would make them into a ‘Christmas Tree’ shape and cover the entire thing with honey. How we kids loved to nibble on this treat.” –gd

“A favorite game of the children in Heilwood was marbles. The marbles used were known as ‘commies’ that were made from clay and were not always round nor colorful. If one of the kids had a ‘glass shooter’ they were considered ‘big shots’ by the other kids.” –jw

“You would go to the Company Store and get a cardboard box, break it down to be flat and then use it as a sled.” –ro

“We had a huge garden where all sorts of fruits and vegetables were grown. We canned for days when it was all ripe-made paste, sauce. Whole tomatoes, peppers and egg plants were fried and jarred-we also had a ton of potatoes.” –la

“Going to Indiana with only $1 and doing the following: bus fare-$.30; hot roast beef and french fry dinner-$.35; my favorite-a maple walnut sundae-$.15; attending a movie-$.15; and a candy bar-$.05…those were the days.”–kn

“When ‘Lightening Glider’ sleds were the kid’s favorite and clip on skates would be used to roller skate on the highway in front of the Company Store.” –bt

“We would walk through The Green’ area of Heilwood and pick those little red berries that tasted like tea berry gum. I guess they were not poisonous because we are still alive.” –cp

“The town policemen who would be up at the ‘Y’ checking cars as they came into town-he would even look into the truck.” –cb

“Walking across the road from the elementary school at recess to Buckshaw’s house to buy a $.05 bag of home made potato chips-they even had $.25 bags.” –dc

“Our Christmas tree was decorated with real candles that we would light.” –md

“The big joke was everybody had a Sears Roebuck catalog in their outhouse-the paper was very thin and used as toilet paper.” –bt

“One particularly snowy morning, my neighbor coming to pick me up in his sleigh to take both his daughter and I-we were teachers at the Heilwood Elementary School-to school since the roads were no passable for cars.” –cb

“Clayvein Stupic, after watching the Heilwood youth football team take a severe drubbing, decided to take up a collection for uniforms. He attended the Cameron’s Bottom Picnic and proceeded to gather the necessary funds from those attending to purchase uniforms for the team.” –jk

“Some enterprising kids would ‘rent’ their bikes to other kids for rides around Heilwood.” –gf

“When the temperatures plunged, our father would fire the old pot bellied stove until is was red hot-it’s a wonder the house didn’t burn down.” –wm

“Playing several years on the youth football team without uniforms. We only had one helmet and it was easy to tell who was going to run the ball-he had the helmet on.” –jk

“Selling The Barnesboro Star newspaper through all kinds of weather and getting a nickel tip – it was a big deal then – I told everyone that I got a nickel tip.” –dg

“During WWII, 4 neighboring families had 18 boys in the service; 17 in the Army and 1 in the Navy. They all returned safely following the war.” –fs

“A neighbor gave me a small button accordion that he was unable to play. I began to practice and through time became very good. I took lessons in the area, even traveling as far as McKeesport for them. My parents, though times were difficult, managed to pay for each and every lesson. In time, I was able to play at weddings and christenings and make additional monies-one time I made as much as $35. When we moved out of state, I continued the accordion and made it my life’s work-I even had several original pieces of accordion music published. The kind neighbor who gave me the button accordion really shaped by entire life.” –ro

“A young boy was visiting a friends’ family and thought they were really rich- they had 2 kinds of jelly on the table.” –js

“The night before the Catholic Church burned down in 1934, our family was sitting in the house when we heard a ‘thump’ outside. We all went out to the back yard to see what had made the noise but could not find anything. The next morning we went out to the yard to discover an medium sized hole in the ground with a large piece of rock about a foot thick-it was still hot-possibly a meteorite?” –ma

“My mother would bake ‘special cookies’ at Christmas time and would ‘hide’ them from us kids so we wouldn’t eat them all. We discovered her ‘favorite’ hiding place was behind the sofa in the living room.” –gd

“We kids went to a local ‘mom and pop store’ to buy a bottle of pop. The woman clerk would tell the kids the ‘colors’ of the pop like brown, green, or orange rather than the flavor.” –gf

“Playing the accordion at a wedding and a christening in Alverda and coming home with my pockets full of change-a haul of $35.” –ro

“Playing tricks on the policeman and have him chase us down the allies. We would put a rope across the alley and when the policeman came running, they would trip over the rope and fall in fresh manure.” –rg

“Crying each time our brother Charlie would be disciplined by our father-I had a very ‘soft spot’ in me-even now.” –ab

“We all had chores around the house and my least favorite was washing the curtains for the windows and then placing them on the stretchers with all those little nails around the outside edges-I constantly pricked by fingers.”–kn

“The little old man who used to repair shoes and watches. We would walk by his house when taking our cows to pasture and we would greet him with a ‘Hello’ and he would respond in kind. Later, when we were going home, we would again say ‘Hello’ and he would repond ‘*&%$ how many times ‘hello’, one +*&^% time a day ‘hello’ is enough.”–la

“My mother would give me some money to buy ice cream at the Company Store. Some of my friends, children of coal miners, would get their ice cream ‘free’ and I would have to pay for mine. I didn’t understand that their ice cream would be put on their father’s store book and deducted from his pay.” –jl

“Taking Latin in high school and having homework. My friends and I had help with ours-a former priest living in the area would help us translate. When we took our homework to school, the teacher read our translations and knew we were getting help other than ourselves since our translations were much better than they should. We had to confess as to our helper-the priest but the teacher was not upset.” –np

“Going to Rossi’s Boarding House where Mrs. Rossi would have a room full of Halloween costumes that we could rent. She had made them all by hand.” –wm

“You purchased something at the Company Store, they would place your money in a little metal carrier and insert that on a moving wire of sorts and the carrier would be taken to the office to make change and the device would return in a like manner.” –pb

“After ‘pooling’ their monies together, a bunch of kids would buy 1 ice cream bar at Fred Ganoe’s Store and then take turns taking a bite out of the bar-some of the sticks had the word ‘FREE’ written on them and you could then take the stick back and get another ice cream bar.” –js

“In the winter, your mother or grandmother would wash miner’s clothes in a large tub inside the kitchen and then hang them outside-they would be brought back into the house frozen-almost board-like.” –ak

“A local man had passed away and was ‘laid out’ at a local tavern. Some of his ‘friends’ took him out of the casket, propped him up in a chair with a bottle of beer in front of him. When another friend came in to ‘pay his respects’ to the deceased, seeing the deceased ‘sitting’ at the table with a beer, passed out and fell to the floor”. gd

“Walking to Pennington’s Farm as a ‘field trip’.” –cb

“Eating potato pancakes deep fried on a coal stove in the neighbor’s kitchen and how great they tasted.” –rk

“Being a teacher at Heilwood and the School Board Directors expecting us to discipline our students by utilizing the paddle-they believed that instilled the role of the teacher as the ‘head’ of the class.” –cb

“The check house man made a bat for the kids from a mine motor pole-there was only one problem with the bat-it was so heavy that only the biggest kids could use it.” –fs

“Our family couldn’t afford to buy coal from the coal company so we kids would take an empty burlap bag and walk the railroad tracks looking for any coal that may have fallen from the cars. We also would check around the mine tipples in search of coal too.” –fn

“At Halloween, putting paper bags full of manure on the porches of people and then lighting them with a match-hide-then watch the people trying to stomp the fire out.” –fh

“Hair cuts for some of the country kids would be paid for with produce from their gardens.” –gd

“Miss North encouraging me to play the cello for the orchestra. I was so small and the instrument was so large. I played a while but since my friends did not play an instrument-I quit.” –ab

“Our father would bring home ‘parts’ of buildings on his truck and then put them all back together again making a barn or a garage-sometimes even a small house.” –es

“How upset my mother would get when my father would purchase a ‘jug’ of moonshine from the guy who came to the house in his old truck. You could get any size ‘jug’ that you wanted from a ‘pint to a gallon’. Mother thought there were better ways to spend what little money they had.” –pd

“We kids slept three to a bed with sausages hanging over the bed drying.” –ro

“After our parents bought our home, they raised the house and we all took turns digging our the clay underneath and hauling it away in the wheelbarrow so that we could have a basement.”–kn

“Practicing for our school play-one scene required a boy to kiss me. Being so shy, we did not ‘practice’ the kiss during practice but on the last night of the play, during the ‘kissing scene’, the boy actually kissed me and we both almost fell off the stage.” –np

“Christmas morning was a time for church first and then we would open our gift. We usually received one gift-some type of clothing or such but we always had good food and our mom always had the inside of the house all decorated for the holiday.” –gd

“You would go picking blackberries or huckleberries in your father’s miners’ bucket and come home with it full.” –gf

“There was this long-legged fellow who was known for his fast walking ability. Not being mentally swift, he was the butt of some jokesters in town. One day while walking the highway, obviously in a hurry, a fellow townsman stopped and offered him a ride. His replay was-‘No some other time, I am in a hurry.” –la

“The snow was so high on Pine Street that each family had to shovel our road to get out.” –dg

“Making those colored paper chains for Christmas decorations and the Santa with the ‘slinky type’ arms and legs in Second Grade.” –rk

“One Valentine’s Day I gave my teachers a comic valentine-those insulting ones on a sheet of paper-I made a slight mistake-I typed ‘Anonymous’ on each card-the teachers’ soon realized that I would be the only one to ‘type’ each card.” –wm

“The Sears Roebuck Catalog was a ‘fixture’ in the outhouse with its thin paper pages.” –bt

“Mr. Thompson, a former railroad man, who worked in the sandhouse near the swimming hole. When we kids asked him the time, he would pull his watch out of his pocket and say: “Gentlemen, it is 18 minutes and 22 seconds after the hour of 3 o’clock. The kids would make a point to return often to get the ‘exact’ time again.” –fs

“A Jewish peddler who made his rounds every several months would stay at our house. He carried 2 large suitcases full of notion and what-nots. The peddler would give a piece of yard goods to my mother as payment for the night’s stay. He would bring his own meal-wrapped in a well used piece of brown paper tied with string. The exact meal is not remembered but the smell of the sardines that he ate still remains.” –js

“Corn roasts in the alley and we kids going out to the nearby farmer’s fields and ‘borrowing’ some corn for the roast. In later years, I drove the ‘get-a-way’ car from the fields.” –gf

“The many adversities that I had while growing up in Heilwood. I do believe the poverty brought us all together, out of necessity, and forged a relationship that gave us a sense of friendship and community.” –la

“As a summer job, washing / scrubbing all the walls in the high school by myself in order to make some spending money.”–em

“During a study hall in high school, someone threw something over my head and it landed on my desk. I immediately seized the object and while throwing it back over my head in the direction that it came, I looked up and there in the doorway, stood our teacher-he had caught me in the act. This was one of the only times that I misbehaved in school and I was caught.” –np

“My mom was such a great baker that many of the neighborhood kids would come over and my mother would always share her baked goods with them-either donuts or cookies.” –ab

“One day, two ‘Italian’ children, one of which had just arrived from Italy, becoming involved in an argument, one thing led to another and soon the ‘newly arrived’ student was chasing the other banishing a knife-no one got hurt.” –cb

“My father had compound fractures of both his legs suffered in a fall and was taken to the hospital in Indiana. He refused ‘pain medication’ and the bones in the legs were set back in place without any medication.” –gd

“My husband each day walking to and from Clymer to work in the coal mines.” –md

“Our parents hanging and nailing up branches throughout the house as a celebration of the arrival of Spring.” –hd

“The night the Catholic Church burned down, a nearby house threatened by the fire had a ‘funeral corpse’ for viewing and the fireman removed the casket and put it on a truck and moved it to another area of town. After the fire, they brought the casket back to the house.” –ma

“Sled riding down the streets in Heilwood until the roads were slippery and just great to sled on and then a near by neighbor would come out with ashes from their coal stoves and cover the slippery surface making it unsuitable to sled ride on but much safer to drive and walk on.” –rk

“All the houses in town were painted white trimmed in green and if you got drunk, you might end up in the wrong house and get shot.” –ge

“Receiving my one and only paddling from my father for not coming directly home from school, instead stopping at a friend’s house. My father was so upset paddling me that when my brother came home, he received a paddling too-although he had done nothing.” –hg

“If you lived close to the mines and up early in the morning, you could see a ‘stream of lights’ of the miners with their carbide lights going to work into the mine entrances.” –ro

“We kids would go to a nearby ‘shanty’ occupied by a little old couple and get dried fruit and other ‘goodies’. The house always smelled so good. They even had a little Jersey cow to milk.” –md

“In growing up, we didn’t know that we were poor-everyone else was in the same boat.” –sb

“Taking the bolts out of the bucket seat in the front passenger’s side of our car and putting mom’s boiler in its place and then driving down to Yellow Creek which was near the railroad station to get water for the garden. We had to do this when the well was low.” –js

“My mother chasing a peddler who had dropped off a pot belly stove for her to buy without asking permission. She chased him through the yard with a broom-the peddler circled around the block and came back to get his truck.” –fh

“Holding a light for the men playing poker and they would give us money from each pot. They also would send us to the store for some food and buy us some candy.” –dk

“The searchlight was ‘something to be afraid of.” –hd

“Dogs were always barking somewhere in town.” –bg

“On butchering day, a pig was shot in the head and in its terror, ran under the house-we kids had to crawl back under the house to drag it out.” –ro

“Thinking during WWII, how FDR and Winston Churchill were ‘bigger than life’ and how could we have survived without them. We also thought about all those who went off to serve their country-some never to return home.” –wm

“As a small child, living on 1st Street, all the excitement when we saw a large fire burning some distance away at a local farm. The KKK was burning a cross in the farmer’s field and this alarmed our parents so much they brought us all in the house and got their guns to ‘take care of the situation’.” –gd

“That most of the families were too poor to buy manufactured ski equipment-instead we would use barrel staves for skis.” –la

“Christmas mornings when we would go down and get our stockings-we usually got an orange, some nuts, and maybe a nickel-we were damn lucky to get that.” –js

“Potato roasts in the alley. It seemed as though the potato you got to eat was always so much smaller than the one you put in originally. Everyone would have black mouths from eating the ‘well done’ potatoes smothered with gobs of real butter.” –gf

“Our father was a very talented man who could build anything with wood. He would make wagon wheels with small pieces of wood shaping them carefully into round wheels with steel straps around them. He made a ‘child’s’ set of table and chairs for my sister and I-he even fashioned some dishes out of metal for the set.”ab

“Standing in front of the Company Store watching television-usually boxing-Ezra Charles-Jersey Joe Walcott -Joe Lewis.” –rk

“Being friends with the town doctor’s son. He had a ‘Flexible Flyer’ sled on which we would ride down some of the hills around Heilwood. He would then let me pull that sled up the hill.” –jw

“During lunch time at the school, I would usually have a small home grown apple in my lunch bag and I always ‘admired’ the large, shiny apples that some of the other students would be eating-given to them through some government food program.” –np

“My father who worked in the mines would cut burlap bags in pieces and hang them from the crossbars in the mines so when the mules’ ears would touch the bags, they would know enough to ‘duck their heads’ and not hit the crossbars.” –pd

“Living in Jewtown and how it has influenced my life. We came away with a strong faith, good work ethic, and a lifelong appreciation of all things-great and small.” –js

“Picking elder berries and selling them to some guys who came around buying them-we tried ‘wetting’ the elder berries in the baskets so they would weigh more and we could get more money.” –rk

“Christmas treats from the coal company were usually a small box of candy that looked almost like a suit case along with a piece of fruit- an orange.” –jw

“Playing ‘made up games’ as a child. We would play ‘store’ and ‘playing dead’ which was like the actual practice at this time of having the bodies laid-out in the homes.” –ms

“When we went ‘trick-or treating’, we just put coal dust on our faces.” –la

“My grandmother would ‘hold’ my grandfather’s pack of cigarettes-giving him only ‘one at a time’ during the day.” –gd

“My parents had to move to another house on Pine Street because the previous house had been badly damaged by a fire resulting from my father’s illegal liquor brewing activities.” –la

“Christmas would come and go-no special time.” –hd

“Being around the railroad station during cold weather and we would go inside and the station agent would let us get warm in front of the potbelly stove before we would go home.” –ad

“When the ‘cow punchers’ would not watch their cows carefully enough and they would wander up to Jewtown where Mrs. Griffith would hold them in ransom of $.50 or $1.00 for each cow. The boys would be in not water with their parents when they got home.” –fh

“My friend and I going to an abandoned farm to pick apples. The buildings were all gone and only the foundations remained. The orchard was neat with tall grass growing between the trees. A large walnut tree stood nearby. My friend climbed that walnut tree many times to shake down walnuts even though the lower branches were gone. Sometimes we would just lay on the grass on our backs and look up at the sky and watch the clouds drift by.” –wm

“Walking to school some mornings when it was sleeting with paper bags over our heads with eyes cut out to protect ourselves from the sleet.” –js

“On wash day which was usually Monday, the clothes would be washed in the wringer washer, hung outside to dry. Any clothes that had to be ironed would be sprinkled and rolled up. The soapy water would be used to scrub the outhouse.” –bg

“The pair of Christmas skis that my father made on the back porch by heating and bending the boards to resemble skis-I still have those skis.” –pg

“The ‘cloth sacks’ that held the flour would be used by some people to make undergarments not being able to afford better.” –la

“Having to walk to Cameron’s Bottom for church services when the Catholic Church burned down until a new church was built.” –ad

Punching cows over on Sunnyside. We would go over in the mornings and not come home until milking time in the afternoon. I would play my guitar and sing the song “My Dog Shep” –from which I got my nickname-Shep.” –fh

“Parking our father’s pickup truck, a 1917 chain-driven REO Speed Wagon under an apple tree at Pennington’s Farm (abandoned) and then climbing the tree and shaking the branches until we had a load.” –la

“Swimming in the ole swimming hole on Yellow Creek and how the older boys would dam up the stream with railroad ties and have each swimmer throw 10 stones on the breast of the dam before they would be allowed to swim.” –gf

“My parents had set a curfew for me to be home at night for an incident that I was involved in earlier. One night I was very late coming home from setting bowling pins and when I tried the doors they were all locked. I tried the kitchen window and it was open-as I began to crawl through the window my mother, who had heard the window came down and before I could crawl through he window, closed it on my back and began to discipline me right there and then with her broom-my father was on the outside of the house attending to my other end with his belt.” –fh

“The day when Willie Masconi, the famous pool player, paid a visit to our town and my father’s barbershop.” –gd

“Playing in the woods all day building log cabins and swinging from grape vines.” –rk

“Our parents would make Christmas gifts for us kids. Mom would either sew or crochet some piece of clothing and our father would fashion sometime from wood. He would just go out into the woods and select the right type of wood for the item. We were well loved and they took wonderful care of us kids.” –ab

“In the days before the miners had a ‘wash house’, watching them walking down the road all dirty from the days’ work-you could only see their eyes.” –bg

“Playing games such as caddie, hit the shoe, marbles, football (in the pines) and capture the flag.” –jk

“Riding the school bus from Strongstown to Heilwood. The bus had a row of seats along each side of the bus with the backs to the windows.” –np

“There was a very large white house with columns in front located in the Number 2 area-a Mr. & Mrs. Galena lived there-the house was known as the ‘White House’. A local resident, who was going for his naturalization papers was asked a question as part of his ‘test’ for knowledge of United States History-he was asked who lived in the ‘White House’-a reference to Washington, D. C.) , however, the resident replied-‘Mr. & Mrs. Galena.” –nl

“We had chickens, rabbits and a pig. The pig was butchered each fall and every part of the pig was used.” –la

“We kids, there were four of us, would go out to meet our father as he came home from working in the mines and sometimes, on paydays-even though money was ‘tight’, he would have bought a box of ‘zigzag’ / cracker jacks for each one of us. We all would run home excitedly to open the boxes and see what ‘prizes’ were in the boxes.” –pd

“Some families were quite poor-the kids went barefoot all summer and they would only get a pair of shoes when school began.” ad

“Pea shooters-actually we used ‘choke cherries’ and making whistles early in the spring from young maple tree branches.” –rk

“When the baseball infield was wet on the day of a game, the team’s manager would load a 55 gallon drum filled with gasoline in the truck of his car and ‘spray’ the entire infield with gas. After which he would throw a match on it and the smoke from the burning gas was so black that the town would be invisible for a few moments. The infield would be dry.” –fh

“When we kids couldn’t wait until we got a car with a shift on the column rather than one on the floor-we didn’t know how cool it was to have ‘four on the floor’.” –js

“My mother would bake apple dumplings-they were huge and one was a meal. We never suffered from hunger at our house.” –wm

“One evening some of the young guys went to Sunset where the ‘big bands’ of the 1940’s would play for dances. There were large rocks outside the building upon which one of the Heilwood group began to dance as a ‘gorilla’ to the music. It wasn’t long before the people who were dancing inside looked out the windows and saw him dancing. Soon, a large crowd had gathered around the rocks to watch him ‘dance’.” –ge

“Christmas Eve-our father would put together a manger made of wood-tree branches and grass from the woods-it would take up half the room.” –ta

“My two brothers serving as alter boys at a service and as they were kneeling with lighted candles, one of the candles caught my brothers’ hair on fire-the priest seeing the situation, began to ‘hit’ my brothers’ head with a clothe he had taken from the altar to extinguish the fire.” –gd

“The ‘medicine man show’ that accompanied the circus that visited Heilwood from time to time. The ‘medicine’ was advertised as a ‘cure all’. One balding man was rumored to have bought a bottle and rubbed it on his head in an attempt to grow his hair back and then to drink some to cure whatever ailed him on the inside.” –la

“Playing the game of jacks without the metal jacks. We would use stones as a substitute.” –ab

“Taking a bath in the large metal tub in the center of the kitchen floor. My mother would heat the water on the stove and fill the tub.” –bg

“Watching them tear down three houses on 2nd Street. They would put a chain around the entire house, attach it to a dump truck and pull it down.” –md

“Being at the Company Store when the bakery delivery truck arrived from Barnesboro. The driver would ask me to help him with the deliveries and in turn he would give me a very large cream puff as payment for my help.” –ro

“Our father asking us boys to build a fire in the smoke house so we could smoke some meat that day. Being kids, we didn’t really know how to build a good ‘smoking fire’ so we went ahead anyway. We burned the smoke house down and I can still remember ‘smelling’ the meat as the smoke house burned down.” –jw

“Playing basketball with tins cans ( empty Carnation Milk can) and ‘pretending’ to dribble and then shooting the can into the basket-that was an old tin bucket with the bottom knocked out-and the bucket was nailed to the garage in the alley.” –rk

“Getting the Christmas treat from the coal company even though my father didn’t work in the mines. We usually got some candy and an orange. I ate the orange part and then the entire skin-nothing went to waste-what a treat!” –hd

“When our neighbors would come over to visit and chat with our mom, they would ‘change’ languages from English to Polish whenever they wanted to talk about something they didn’t want us children to hear.” –bg

“As a child going over to ‘Doctors’ Row’ where some of the women had outside ovens and would make the best bread and sell it to the towns’ people-you could smell the bread all over town.” –gd

“Our father closing in the underside of our shanty so that he could keep some animals underneath the house-we had no barn.” –ms

“Those cold nights when our mother would heat bricks up on the stove and put them into the bottom of our beds.” –wm

Fourth of July Celebrations-there was a greased pig chase and they even had a greased pole with some money on top for anyone who could scale the pole.” –md

“Our house didn’t have any heat up stairs, so we slept under a ‘ton’ of blankets.” –la

“One Heilwood resident struck up a conversation with another resident in the local doctor’s office-the one resident said that they didn’t look sick-the reply was that she was not but she was tired of paying for something that she didn’t use-she just came to the office for the aspirin.” –la

“When election day came, my father would tell my mother just put her ‘X’ for the Democrats.” –bg

“Living in Buffington Township meant that I had to walk a mile to catch the bus in Strongstown to the Heilwood School. After school, I would then have to walk another mile to get back home. Through it all, I never missed a day of school.” np

“Coming in late from recess and having to stand in front of the class with my nose in a circle drawn on the blackboard as punishment.” –rk

“Christmas was a day spent with the family, good food and going to church. Few, if any presents would be exchanged.” –ak

“Sneaking into the movies that Andy and George would show in a town garage-sometimes we would get caught and would be thrown out of the garage.” –fh

“While swimming at Two Pipes, I dove in from the top pipe and came up under a large truck tire tube. The tube kept me under water and if it wasn’t for another boy who moved the tube, I would have drowned.” –md

“The tennis courts on 1st Street. There were two courts, clay, lined with white tape for the boundaries, totally fenced in and kept under lock and key. Only a few individuals got the opportunity to use the courts. However, some times we would climb over the fence and use them without permission.” –Wm

“How the young boys from town were afraid to come over to our house and ask for dates with my sister and I because of my father. He was small of stature but had a very ‘deep voice and intimated them so.” –gd

“Sled riding from the top of hill at the Company Store and then riding all the way down the hill to the railroad station.” –md

Everyone had a ‘nickname’ in town. Somehow I avoided one but I did come close when somebody started calling my brother and I ‘Mutt and Jeff’. Fortunately ‘Mutt’ did not stick. However, my brother liked the name ‘Jeff’ so much that he adopted it as his first name-his given name was Joseph.” –la

“Many families in Heilwood had a milk cow and these cows each had a name. Tatarko’s cow was ‘Molly’, Friday’s cow was ‘Heart’, Kuzemchak’s cow was ‘Rosa’, Drahnak’s cow was ‘Redena,’ and Holuta’s cow as ‘Daisy’.” –mh / md

“The Friday’s cow ‘Heart’ went below 3rd Street and ate some rye or corn that had been thrown out after making some moonshine. The cow became drunk and fell into a ditch near 2nd Street. It took all the men nearby to get the cow out of the ditch and back on its feet. It staggered into its own barn on Doctor’s Row.” –md

“Growing up in Heilwood-it taught me to be proud of my ‘foreign’ parents-with little or no education they taught us well.” –ta

“My father finding a wallet with money in it and he returned it to its owner-his reward was a bushel basket full of produce from the man’s garden.” –gd

“Traveling to Mentcle with a bunch of Heilwood kids to play a game of baseball. I was playing the outfield and a high fly ball was hit out to my position. As the ball came down to me, it was ‘moving’ all around-by time it landed in my glove all that was left was some string-the tape / cover had come off the ball and the string that had made up the ball had all unwound-game over.” –fh

“As a young girl, our mother always cut our hair at home-we always had straight hair and bangs.” –bg

“The old couple who lived in the country near Heilwood. One day I was talking to the man and he told me that his ‘old lady’ was too sick to chop wood so he was going to order a load of coal.” –md

“One time the furnace in the Company Store had almost gone out. A man working for the stove decided to restart the fire with some gasoline. When he threw the gasoline on the fire-it blew up knocking the door off the furnace as well as knocking the man for a loop-he wasn’t badly hurt-some slight burns on his face and hands.” –nl

“Some of the Jewish kids from the Jewtown area being driven to school in Barnesboro by a chauffeur rather than attending the schools in Heilwood.” –es

“Living in the ‘shanty’ section of Heilwood. As people began to leave the shanties we would be moved to another shanty and finally when the company decided to abandon the shanties, we were moved to a house on 3rd Street.” –ms

“Several of my friends and I were in the Company Store. One of our group had captured a small mouse and he placed it into the metal carrier that took all monies to the office section of the store automatically-off it went to the office and scared the office girls something terrible when they opened the carrier.” –jw

The Green-Mr. Augustine always had a nice patch of turnips growing there that we kids really enjoyed.”–md

“One of the towns’ men who had served in WWII, telling me that he had fought in the war against the Japanese and he wasn’t afraid of them. However, when he would see my grandmother coming his direction, he would go in the opposite direction.” –gd

“When I was in first grade, I had done something ‘bad’ and the teacher made me stay after school as punishment. Our family lived some distance from the school and my brothers and sister had already begun to walk home. Knowing this, I panicked and made a mad dash for the door, the teacher caught me by the arm and I, in a panic, struck her on the arm and she let go of me and I ran home. The next day, my sister ‘smoothed’ things over and everyone forgot about the incident.” –pd

“Several of my friends and I got into the shooting range below the Town Hall. We recovered a great many of the lead bullets from the matches that had been deflected into sawdust pits. We took the lead bullets down to the alley behind 2nd Street, built a fire, and melted the bullets in a tin can-my mother used it for years as door stop.” –wm

“When it rained, all the kids would go outside and play in the ditches and puddles with barefeet.” –bg

“General Grant and General Lee (men of color), the ‘honey dippers’, coming to town in their horse and wagon to dip out the outhouses that bordered on the alleys.” –sh

“A cat that our family found on The Green area of Heilwood. It would sit on the back of my father’s neck as he read the paper.” –jl

“The day we moved from Starford to Heilwood. My father was to work that day but since we were moving, he did not go to work and on that day, the mines at Starford suffered a severe explosion.” –fn

“Going to the Company Store-only for special occasions and buying maybe minced ham or catsup.” hd

“If the parents of a newly born baby didn’t have an name selected, the doctor would give them a name of ‘George Ray’ for the boys and ‘Helen Louise’ for the girls.” –jl

“The janitor at the high school having the nickname of ‘Speed’ not for the obvious reason but because he moved at a ‘snail’s pace’.” –la

“Our father buying the grandstand at the ball field from the coal company and taking the lumber and building a garage for our home on 2nd Street.” –wm

“Before we went to school in the fall, our shoes were badly worn and we would take pieces of cardboard and put inside our shoes to cover the holes.”–em

“My sister working in the Company Store and the wife of the Superintendent coming in to shop one day. She considered my sister a ‘foreigner’ and wanted someone else to help her.” –ta

“Whenever Heilwood would have heavy snow falls, the men in town would get their shovels and make walk-ways in the streets so that kids could go to school and they to work. The women in town would give the ‘workers’ hot soup and coffee.” –gd

“We never learned to swim. The boys at Two Pipe-the local swimming hole- would ‘throw’ us in and thought it was funny.” –ta

“Listening to an old man telling tales of his childhood days in the ‘old county’ while getting his hair cut. He said that one time he climbed a tree, 100 feet high and fell out of it striking a railroad track beneath the tree. He said that if he hadn’t hit the rail, he would have sunk in the soft earth and that would have killed him.” –la

“Hunting ‘black chickens’ with my .22 caliber rifle for an older resident of Heilwood. He told me that ‘black chickens’ go ‘caw-caw—they were crows.” –ge

“My father going to the doctor’s personal residence at 2:00am because I was really ill and the doctor actually came back to the house with my father to attend to me. gf

“A family who lived on First Street was not allowed to raise animals in their yards so they built a pig pen below Third Street. One day a man came to the house and asked to see the father, “Oh, one of the boys said, “he’s not here, he’s down feeding the pigs-he is the one with a hat on.” –fk

“A group of us guys bought one of the abandoned homes on Sunnyside and salvaged the lumber. We loaded up the lumber and took it to Pottersville, Pennsylvania where we constructed a hunting camp.” –ge

“I was always fascinated by the ‘life sized’ playhouse at the superintendent’s big house-it was the dream of most little girls.” –sl

“Picking elderberries and then taking them up to the Company Store and selling them for $.50 a bushel.” –jz

“Camping out with the Heilwood Boy Scout Troop. One evening we marched to the Scout camp and pitched our tents without the usual ‘trenching’ around the tents in case of rain. That night, it really poured resulting in the majority of the troop getting their tents flooded. Those of us who got soaked, proceeded to pack up and march back home. The others who were ‘wise’ enough to dig trenches around their tents spent the night in the camp.” –dk

“Waiting near the coal mine for my father to come out of the mine-he would always save his ‘dessert’ from his bucket and give it to me as we walked home.” –ck

“My mother always wondered if I was ever going to grow up and be a lady since I played with the boys so much.’ gf

“While hunting with my father near the #7 Mine, we met an old resident from Heilwood along with his old shaggy dog-the dog looked older that the man. The old man noticed that I was carrying a double barrel shot gun-he said, “I see you have a two pipe gun like me.” –I glanced at his gun and it had both hammers in the cocked position-I then told my father we better get out of here and we did.” –ge

“Christmas morning and opening my present and inside was a new Girl Scout uniform.” –mj

“Roller skating down the paved road from the Company Store to the Town Hall where the pavement ended and turned into a dirt road-not good for skating.” –ck

“Hanging our Christmas stockings behind the kitchen stove.” –sl

“The Observation Post that was located atop the elementary school during the war years. It was manned by older adults who would note the type of plane and the direction it was flying. This information would then be relayed by phone to a central location for processing.” –dk

“Picking strawberries on ‘strawberry hill’. pd

“Driving the ‘get-a-way’ car one night after we had ‘borrowed’ some farmer’s corn for a corn roast.” –gf

“Dressing for basketball games in the high school and then running down to the gymnasium to play. If the weather was bad, we would put our street clothes over our uniforms and put ‘galoshes’ over our sneakers.” –ge

“My mother would barter her home made cottage cheese and sour cream in order to have our shoes repaired by the local shoe maker-Joe Nemish.” –ck

“The scrap drives during the war years-everyone would donate something to the pile-usually worn out pots and pans. The pile was located in the school yard and with time, became quite large. We kids did our part too bringing used tires-which we sometimes were paid $.05 each if they were acceptable.” –dk

“Picking junk down around the #2 Tipple and then selling it to the junkman who came around-we were ‘big money’ makers.” –jz

“The ‘honey dippers’ were cleaning out the neighbor’s outhouses, while one ran the pump the other just sat there with him eating an apple. I didn’t eat apples for a long time after that day.” –gf

“Working on the maintenance crew for the coal company-when it was time to tear down houses-maybe on Sunnyside or in town-we would take a long chain and wrap it around the house, attached the chain to the company truck and pull the house down.” –ge

“Going to our neighbors’ house where the woman would always have the best home-made cookies for us kids.” –ck

“The gymnasium was heated by two coal stoves and when we came out of the building, we were all a little darker than when we went in and we all smelled the same.” –gh

“One of our big projects for the summer was building a dam about a half mile up from the station bridge. This took a lot of work but we got it done and enjoyed swimming in the newly completed dam.” –fk

“An employee of the coal company who owned a large automobile didn’t drive it particularly fast-actually quite slow. When he would drive past our group of kids, we would all fall down pretending that the wind generated from the automobile going so fast blew us down.” –dk

“The first fishing pole that I ever purchased was ordered at the Heilwood Company Store by W. A. Dinsmore. It was a two-piece fly rod. When it came in, Mr. Dinsmore would take me down to Yellow Creek and teach me to fly fish.” –ge

“Finding what I thought was a good coupon for $.05 near the trash barrel in the Company Store. When I showed it to the clerk she told me it had already been used and was no longer any good. However, the clerk did give me an ice cream cone anyway-free.” –ck

“When we girls would go to Two Pipes to swim, we would always call out, “girls are coming” –so that the boys-who sometimes went swimming naked, would put their swimming suits on.” –jz

“While traveling to an away baseball game in the back of an old Reo, some of the other players who knew I liked to eat cherries, pulled under a cherry tree and broke several limbs off the tree and put them in the bed of the truck so that we all could eat cherries. That was how I got the nickname of ‘Cherry Dan’.” ge

“Going to the Post Office to see if you received your cereal premium-Lone Ranger Ring-Kix Air Base or Pep Airplane Pins.” –dk

“Growing up in Heilwood gave me a good sense of values-we worked hard-played hard and learned right from wrong.” –jz

“Whenever the cows got away from us-how we would say that it would never happen again-but it did.” –fk

“Sometimes the train engineer would let us kids ride on the engine to look for our cows who had wondered off.” –wf

“Our Christmas tree had very simple decorations: a few clip on candles-which we had to be careful when they were lit; construction paper colored chains that we made in grade school and strings of popcorn.” –ck

“As a member of the maintenance crew for Heilwood, part of our job was to clean out the water tank. Several of us would climb to the top of the tank and then go down inside the tank after it had been drained. We would then remove all ‘debris’ that had accumulated there over time. We would scrap down the sides using a wooden scrapper and then flush the tank several times before refilling. If people only knew what we removed from the tank-they probably would never drink the water again.” –ge

“We had a special place fenced in down over the hill where grass was grown to make hay. My dad would cut it with a scythe and we kids would carry it up to the barn in burlap sacks that had been sewn together to make a big carrier. Once in the barn, we would have to jump on the hay to pack it down so we could kit all of it in the barn for the coming winter.” –fk / jk

“Standing in front of the Company Store watching television-usually boxing-Ezra Charles-Jersey Joe Walcott-Joe Lewis.” –rk

“As a young boy chasing after the candy (sugar coated almonds) that guests at the weddings in town would throw at the wedding party as they left the church or the reception at their homes.” –dk

“Going to the post office to get the mail-we didn’t have a combination box that you could open-we had to go to the window and give our box number-132-and then we would get our mail.” –jz

“On Christmas Eve, my father and mother would gather us kids around the tree and they would sing carols-in Polish-none of us kids had learned to speak the language so we would just ‘hum’ along.” –ck

“While hunting rabbits with my father, I came upon a ‘sitting rabbit’-I yelled to my father that I was going to kick it out and it would probably come his way. I kicked the rabbit out and it ran towards my father who shot it. Upon picking it up, he yelled back to me that it had no tail-I yelled back that while ‘kicking’ it out I had kicked its tail off.” –ge

“My memories of Uncle Pete always make me laugh. He was more at home in the woods, than anywhere else. He was notorious for making up stories and telling them as fact. He could look you straight in the eye, tell you something outrageous, and have you believe it. Once, when I was a teenager, we were talking about COLD winters. He said it got so cold one winter that the flame on the kerosene lantern froze and you couldn’t blow it out. He finally broke it off and threw it out in the yard. One of the chickens ate it, and in the spring, started laying ‘hard-boiled’ eggs. He said he shot a deer from so far away, he had to put salt in the gun barrel to keep the meat from spoiling, till he could get there. He was a fun guy to be around. When he was old, and got dementia, you could visit him in the nursing home, and he would still be able to tell you stories. He was the shortest of the Holuta boys, around 5 feet. Uncle Mike was next, then Uncle Wash. Uncle Frank (Shep) was next, and my dad John (Hoot) was 6 feet. I think about how hard that generation of men had to work. How the company store beat them out of what they earned, and how little they had materially. Still, they were relatively happy. How bad must it have been in the ‘Old Country’, for them to leave there, to live a life of ‘slavery’ in the mines. We have a ‘rich’ heritage, having experienced some of that in our lives. I want all the generations to come, to know about that way of life, so they will appreciate what they now have. The Heilwood website is doing its part to keep those memories alive.” –jh