A Green Ridge And West Hazleton Sunny Winter Walk, With A Lot Of Memories
A heavy nor’easter storm dumped almost two feet of snow on parts of Northeastern Pennsylvania two weeks ago. This kept me from my usual hike in the PPL Wetlands last weekend. Instead, I stayed close to home and walked the streets of the Green Ridge neighborhood of Hazle Township and in the adjoining West Hazleton Borough in Luzerne County. I thought I’d share some photos of this walk, and my walk the next day, with my social media friends who also grew up in these two communities. Good days they were. And also, with any of my blog followers who may be interested.
I began my five mile walk at my home on North Street on Saturday under clear blue skies with sunshine and temperatures in the mid 20’s. I built my home here , a block from my parents house, about 25 years ago. It seems like yesterday. And it seems like only yesterday we played baseball in the field next to my house when I was a child.
The streets were plowed and this made walking easy as I set out on my usual morning walk route. I have walked these streets daily , except when I was in college and law school, since I was in second grade. So many memories, some of which I will share.
Walking south from my house on North Street I came to appropriately named Winters Avenue. It was on this street I grew up. I wasn’t born here, I was born, and lived, in McAdoo for my first two years on this planet.
Two blocks away on Winter’s Avenue I walked past Gertie’s, one of many family owned stores in our neighborhood. I spent many hours in here sitting on the bench near the radiator with friends, drinking Dr. Pepper and chatting about school, our adventures and our futures.
Gertie’s also marks the border of Green Ridge. Across this street was West Hazleton and everyone in the “Ridge” knew it. I remember the “older guys” enforcing the rule that only “Ridge Runners” were allowed in the Green Ridge after dark.
The streets were clear of snow but the plows left many large piles along the streets as I continued my hike up Winters Avenue, passing my homes once occupied by family and friends, many who have died or left the area.
Even though I walk these streets everyday, this walk, with my camera, brought back many pleasant memories since I knew I would be sharing them here on my blog. Memories of places, such as this building, where Jonathon’s Nest is now located. It was originally the Catholic War Vet’s building. They sponsored a Little League team and we would always stop in when trick or treating on Halloween. They intoxicated patrons gave us good treats, usually money.
I walked up to the Broad Street, the main street in West Hazleton, and came to the War Memorial next to Citizen’s Bank. This corner is where the Memorial Day service are held. And this bank, formerly known as the Miner’s Bank is where the nuns at Transfiguration Parochial School required up to open savings accounts to teach us the importance of thrift and savings.
A block from here is the Borough Building where the Fire Department is located. A sad sight I found here. The flag flying at half mast is in memory of recently departed Robert Ward, the long time, and beloved Fire Chief of West Hazleton. I knew him from my days as a young Mayor, and we became good friends over the years. He will be missed by all who knew him.
After leaving the Fire Station I crossed Broad Street and walked in an area of West Hazleton I was not familiar with in my youth. We rarely ventured into these neighborhoods when I was in elementary and high school, but came to know them later in life.
I walked down the the Charity Home, as we called it, operated by the United Charities. This beautiful building was built in 1913. When I was in high school the facility cared for troubled boys, and a lot of them did cause trouble for our teachers. However it did, and still does serve, and important role in providing social services to our community.
and the convent will the Bernadine Sisters who taught us lived. Many happy memories in that church and school. The convent has been sold and the school closed and now serve as a community center for the parish now called the Holy Name of Jesus.
Across from the Little League field is the Mountain View Cemetery. Again many memories of this place, where my parents and my sister Linda and her husband Charlie now rest. It will not be long, in the scheme of things, when I shall join them.
And the Green Ridge War Memorial. It seems like yesterday we were scrambling for the discarded blank cartridges from the 21 gun salutes the War Veterans would honor their fallen comrades with on Memorial Day. They still conduct these services every year.
I didn’t see as much wildlife as I would have seen in the PPL Wetlands. only these house sparrows. but I enjoyed my walk through the streets of my hometown. I have seen a lot of this planet, but there is no place like home. I love Green Ridge. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike . Green Ridge hike February 6 2021.
“We are what we remember. If we lose our memory, we lose our identity and our identity is the accumulation of our experiences. When we walk down the memory lane, it can be unconsciously, willingly, selectively, impetuously or sometimes grudgingly. By following our stream of consciousness we look for lost time and things past. Some reminiscences become anchor points that can take another scope with the wisdom of hindsight. ”