Notes and Remembrances

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By Joe Kuehn former resident now living in Oregon

I read through what little there is written about Overbrook and Carrick. The scope of history was interesting. From my youth in the late 30s through the mid 40s I remember the 15 minute radio shows (and the sponsors e.g., Oveltine-"Captain Midnight", Corn Kicks, Wheaties - "Jack Armstrong", Pepsi, plus "Don Winslow of the Navy" and "Tennessee Jed") that played after school/before dinner to which everyone listened. Of course our favorite, the 1/2 hour "Lone Ranger" was on between 7-8 pm o'clock. We would assume the characters in those stories and carry out out adventures in the woods off Brookline Blvd (below Reamer St). There were no houses (east of Witt St) from the end of the Streetcar 39 Brookline Loop turnaround to Altmar/Jacob St - East Brookline. The street surface was smooth and a favorite place to roller skate because there was little to no traffic. The woods in what is now the undeveloped part Brookline Park was our playground for cowboys & indians and commandos. The south/east end of Jacob St had steps - a wooden structure with railings descending to a path which traversed the woods - south/west, past swamps covered by a green scum, on to Breining St which connected to Brookline Blvd, and east up the hill to Carmault School where I attended kindergarten (1939) - Ms Rosenbauer was my teacher. The north/east leg of the path led to the short pedestrian tunnel and the interurban stop of the fast rail car that went from Pittsburgh to Library, PA. The route as I recall war referred to as the Castle Shannon Line. In these woods were vines to swing on and large bushes which grew the "famous" monkey balls - light green with a rough surface not unlike the pineapple but more pimply. These balls were great for tossing at one another except you threw easy because they were heavy and soft. The balls would often splatter upon hitting a tree or the earth. To us kids, Overbrook was foreign territory with tough guys we should avoid. I can still see through the fence on the other side of the tracks the stark grey/brown building and play grounds we called Overbrook School (Overbrook Field on Google maps.).