The neighborhood consisted of old row houses no bigger than garages that were partially on the street and then their was a straight drop and the rest of the house was below, still not much bigger than a one car garage. The drop off was a whole in the ground the size of a city block, it had been their for a long time because there were old growth trees growing there. There was a burial mound in the middle of town and everyone always thought that is where the soil was taken from and I don't know how true that really is.
At night you could hear the train and in the early morning the conductor would really sound off the whistle. Once every year or so an old coal burning engine would go down the tracks and you knew it because it sounded different with the swishing sound of the arms turning the wheels and you could see the blast of the coal coming out the top.
There was an old abandoned 2 man railroad cart sitting close to the tracks I used to play on and my mom always warned to watch out for snakes because it had weeds growing through it. When I was really small the old depot was within walking distance, it had an old coke machine with bottles and an old telegraph machine. I can remember looking in the building and was fascinated with mysterious looking old machines.
The river was big, I spent time there as a young girl by the river just listening to the water splash against the banks and day dreaming while the sun sparkled across the body of water. Tugs and barges were seen every day and down the river a ways was a big bend, you'd see the barges make the turn and disappear.
Once and awhile you'd hear what sounded like carnival music coming from a river boat, at the time it was the Delta Queen with her big paddle splashing along, I always wondered what she was like to ride. She was pretty to watch going down the river
A few blocks down there was the old co-op and my grandfather and I would go down and get the things he needed to grow his garden. I loved the smell and the looks of things. Grandfather made sure I had a my size shovel and hoe but they weren't toys they were solid tools that I could really use.
The flat land the river bed land is rich for gardens, all the soot and soil from run off are deposited there. My grandfather had a huge garden by the river as most of the men did. They had shacks to sit in out of the sun and rows of carpet and things similar to walk down the rows of gardens without stepping on the plants,
We grew potatoes and pole beans in rows as well as other things. I remember the beans and the potatoes because they were planted as mounds of dirt and I hoed stuff right along side my grandfather and picked the beans on my hands and knees.
Grandpa would always on social security day walk me down to the little coke machine and treat me to a bottle of coke and he gave me two dollars every month. That was a lot of money as poor as we were, he made me feel safe and special.
Sometimes we'd go for car rides down through the hills by the river, the hillside was cut away and every so often out of the layers of rock their'd be spring water coming out, people would stop with milk jugs and fill them with that water.
We always had a feast for Easter, my mother canned and cooked three meals a day everyday and cooked extra on holiday's. There wasn't enough money for Easter Bunny things if any at all but my grandfather always said grace every time he ate a meal and they were wonderful prayers. It was enough and it is nice to think of those things today as hopefully people will take the day to be with family and remember Jesus, and be thankful.