Snow And Some Memories: A Wintery Walk Through The Streets Of Green Ridge And West Hazleton: Part 1

Snow And Some Memories: A Wintery Walk Through The Streets Of Green Ridge And West Hazleton: Part 1

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We were lucky for most of this  Winter here  in Northeastern Pennsylvania. It has been mild with little snow or ice. Well,  it is February and I knew  Winter was  only half over here so I wasn’t surprised when the local weather forecasters started predicting the possibility of  heavy snow on Tuesday. There was a debate on the amount of snow we would get  as the storm developed. The forecasts were from 2 to 12 inches. I was hoping for 0 inches  but I wasn’t surprised when I awoke  early Tuesday and saw this wintery scene in my backyard. We got a lot!

I live in the Green Ridge section of Hazle Township in Luzerne County,  on North Street about one block from the  home  I grew up in on Winters Avenue.  I take a two mile walk through the streets of Green Ridge, every morning.  This has been my routine  every morning for over 30 years now. On Tuesday I took  my camera with me . I wanted to  share the wintery scenery and some memories on  my walk through  the snow covered streets.   I did this when we had our last snowstorm and shared some photos and memories  in a blog post.  Here is a link to my blog post from the last snow storm. You  can see some more Green Ridge and West Hazleton memories here.

Leaving my home I trudged through about 10 to 12 inches of snow in my front yard to reach North Street. . Thankfully, a plow had passed earlier  and there was only an inch of snow on the road. It was still snowing as  I walked  down North Street, one of the four main streets in  Green Ridge.  My morning walk takes me to the end of North Street where I walk down Crab Apple Lane.

Although the main streets were plowed the alleys were still blanketed in snow.  I don’t like the snow but I will admit it  did create  a beautiful  wintery wonderland. scene.

I walked  past Green Street, another one  of the four main streets in the “Ridge” ,

and then then down to Winters Avenue the street I grew up on.   If you turned right on Winters Avenue it would take you to what we knew as Kress’s junkyard, now known as Harry’s U Pull It. Turning left I walked up on the 800 block of Winters Avenue past my parents house. So many wonderful memories I have of this street.

I walked to the end of the block and came to Kreshock’s Hill. We would spend many snowy Winter days sledding down this hill.

 I changed my usual morning route on this snowy morning. My usual walk takes me up Winters Avenue,  but,, since I shared my  memories of Winters Avenue in my last blog post  I decided to   walk back  up to Green Street. First I walked past the Green Ridge War Memorial,  honoring  the heroes who made the greatest sacrifice in World War II. Korean War and Vietnam War ad and the Veterans who also served.  .  I remember scrambling for the discarded shells from the blanks fired by the Veterans during the services they conducted  every Memorial Day. The local Veterans organization still carries on this tradition.

 I continued my walk on  Green Street  on the 700 block where  I walked past Sypeck’s or “Pip’s”.  I loved this  small grocery store. The old Green Ridge school was once located across the street but it was razed in the 1980’s. It was a hang out for the “older” kids when I  first visited the store.  It seemed like yesterday I would stop in for a “Captain Crunch” ice cream and a bag of Wise potato chips.

On the next block, the 600 block,  was Al’s Market another local hangout for the youngsters.

And across the street was Butch’s Cafe a local  bar and hangout for the adults living in the Ridge,  one of many in  the neighborhood.

 Hazle Township ended at the end of the 600 block. On the other side of the street is the the Borough of West Hazleton. Although both sections were referred to as Green Ridge,  those of us living in  Hazle Township always considered ourselves the true “Ridge Runners”.

I walked back down to Winters Avenue where “Gertie” Sypeck’s grocery store stood on the corner of the 600 block. It was the official entrance to the real “Green Ridge” I  wrote more about this in my earlier blog. Gertie was a wonderful woman and welcomed the local children walking home from school to stop and sit inside. My friends and I always did   and we  enjoyed  many a Dr. Pepper soda and some candy or chips.

I continued my walk on Winters Avenue into West Hazleton. I delivered papers for five years to these homes and every morning walk evokes  memories of those wonderful carefree days of my youth.  . At the end of the next block, the  500 block, was this apartment building at 501 Winters Avenue .  When I was a child in the 1960’s it was dilapidated and we thought it was haunted. I learned recently, doing some research  that a man did die here in a fire in the early 1960’s

Across the street was two more small grocery stores Vercusky’s   and Eva’s 

I walked back to Green Street, passing the old Kusek’s Cafe. This bar had the first TV in West Hazleton and the best bar pitz in town. 

Across the street was the Mary K Bar another West Hazleton institution.

On the next block, the 400 block on found the Uchino Pool Hall, a place the  Bernadine Sister’s that taught me at Transfiguration Parochial School warned  us  to stay away from .

The next block , the 300 block had two more small family owned   grocery stores, Planutis’s Grocery

and Taluski’s . Planutis’s later became Flaims’s  Market. Both are apartment buildings.

The Grobelny  shoe repair shop was also  on this block.

The next block is were the Transfiguration  Church, School, Rectory and Convent were located. This was my parish and we had the best summer picnics for many years. I didn’t walk up Green but turned back to Winters Avenue walking past what was once Leo’s Butcher Shop.

On Winters I walked back down the 300 block. There were many memories here for me. My grandmother, Aunt Maty, Aunt Theresa, Aunt  Annie and Aunt Betty all lived on this block at various times during my lifetime. They are all gone now but I have many wonderful memories visiting this bloc over the years, ,

one of them were  the visits  another local market, Casper’s store where my aunts and granny would  get my  favorite  Tandycakes  for me, it is now a popular beauty shop  Hairworks by Kim where I get what remains of my hair cut. 

I walked down to the end of the block and down a snow covered hill to Ridge Avenue. This was the last main street in Green Ridge. My brother John lived in the last house on the 300 block for many years,  and my departed  sister Linda lived on the last house on the 200 block for a few years.

In between is Jonathon’s Nest once the home of the Catholic War Vets

I continued on my walk on Ridge Avenue.  This block also had a  bar, Benderavich’s on the corner, and across the street was Mickey’s Auto Part, one the Company Store for a coal mining company. I wrote about these in my last blog.

I walked back up to Winters Avenue and, of course, in my childhood there was another small corner store here. This was long before my childhood  but I found this 1934 clipping in  with an advertisement from a Smulyan’s Market. that was here in the 1930’s. It was known as Houser’s Market when I was a child. It later became an ice cream store and finally  a local hunting and outdoor club.

next door was a famous bar, Sailor Joe’s. Great hoagies and all night at the back door.

I also got  a wildlife photo on this snowy walk, this mourning dove was perched on a wire along Winter’s Avenue.

Across the street from Sailor’s Joes  was  Schweitzer’s garage.   We would get air for our bicycles. here. I only got gas here a few times. It closed shortly after I got my drivers license in the late 1970’s.

I walked down to a once  prominent social club in West Hazleton. I played on it’s Little League Team, the Kosciusko Club. Sadly it closed it’s doors a few years ago.  Unfortunately, it was snowing the entire time I was walking and taking photos. The cold snow exhausted my camera battery, and I forgot to bring an extra one.  So I couldn’t take any more photos. So I will  end my blog here,  it was getting too long anyway.   I took another walk  later in the day and hope to share some more photos and memories from that snowy walk soon. Here is a link to a gallery on my website with some more photos from my morning walk on the snowy streets of Green Ridge. Green Ridge morning February 13 2024.

“We didn’t realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun.” – Winnie the Pooh



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