A Green Ridge And West Hazleton Sunny Winter Walk, With A Lot Of Memories

A Green Ridge And West Hazleton Sunny Winter Walk, With A Lot Of Memories

Green Ridge hike (32 of 46)
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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. 

At the next intersection I came to Kreshsok’s Hill.  As a child  we would spend many a snowy days sledding down this hill.

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. 

The Borough was piling up snow on the site of the former Cranberry Ballpark.

It looks like these snow piles may be here until June.

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. 

On the next corner I walked past the former Stevens’s Bakery, and turned down 5th Street and walked past the playground and once the site of a swimming pool. We spent many summer afternoons here. 

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. 

This is the Lutheran Church  located a block from Broad Street. 

However many of my friends grew up on Spruce, East Green, Oak and Tamarack Streets. 

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. 

After walking past the Charity Home I returned to Broad Street, past my old law office.

and to the block where my church, Transfiguration ,  seen in the cover photo above, and  my school,  Transfiguration Elementary ,which I attended from first through eight grade, 

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. 

I walked to North Street, and past the former West Hazleton High School, again the source of many wonderful memories. It is now an Elementary School. 

Behind the school I walked to the snow covered Little League field. It seems like yesterday if was roaming the outfield hoping a ball would not be hit in my direction. 

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. 

So many more memories in the next few blocks so I will just mention some briefly, such as Kusek’s Tavarn, the best pizza in town back in the day,

Al’s   Market,

and Pip’s or Sypeck’s grocery store. Both of these  small stores provided  so many good times. 

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. 

And now finally I returned to my humble home on North Street.

  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. ”
― Erik Pevernagie

 

This is my first post

2 Comments

  1. Rich Nause on February 11, 2021 at 6:49 pm

    Enjoyed all the pics. I graduated a proud Wildcat in 1968. Played my high school baseball games down behind the little league field. Bully Christina assistant coach. Used to eat our lunches at Taluskies(spelling?). Two pieces of pitz and a coke. My moms sister and my aunt Helen Redwinski lived down on Ridge Ave. used to underage drink at the Catholic War Vets. 10 cents a beer. Bobbie Piscura’s father used to tend bar there. He would give us a glass of coke and a glass of beer. If someone walked in he didn’t know he would tell us to push the beers away from us. Good times.

  2. Roxann Levitsky on February 11, 2021 at 7:56 pm

    Loved the pictures Frank, the older I get, the more I miss it. We really were so blessed to grow up in that community. I wouldn’t trade it for the world

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