Thursday, July 02, 2009

KPAA Softball

It was summer, school was out and that meant softball. Not just any softball but KPAA Softpall, sponsored by the Kodak Park Athletic Association. I don't believe that this program still exists in Rochester but I suspect that most men my age (just turned 70) in Rochester participated in the program. Here is my team, the Cameos, probably about 1952.

I lived in the southwest area (19th Ward)of Rochester while Kodak Park was in the northern area of the city. In addition, most of the playing fields that KPAA used were also in the northern part of the city such as Jefferson High School, etc. That meant that it was a bus ride to the game sites. A bus ride and a subway ride! Here is the subway station at Exchange Street.

Taking the subway was not the most direct and quickest way to get to some of the fields but it sure was the most fun. Wewould get a bus on Genesee Street and take it downtown to West Main and Broad Street to get the subway. Down in the subway if there was a subway going south (and we were going north) you could put a penny on the track for the subway to flatten out. Voila! A souvenier for the day!

We would take the subway north to Emerson Street and then take the bus again up Dewey Avenue to some elementary school field off Dewey. Not the nost convenient route. We could have taken the bus to the Four Corners (Main and State) and transferred to the Dewey Avenus bus but there was no way to flatten a penny by going that way.

Quite a way to spend the summer!


In the choir loft said...

So glad to see that picture of the Cameos. I use to have a lot of friends in the 19th Ward, around Roslyn Street, off Genesee. Did you live around there?

Padraic Mac Aodhagain said...

Until 1950 I lived on Flint Street and then we moved to Trafalgar Street. Glad to hear from an old 19th Warder.

Anonymous said...

Hello! I saw the picture of the subway entrance in a google search and landed eventually on this blog. (the long way around!)

I remember seeing those subway entrances fenced off awaiting demolition when I was 4 years old or so. I remember looking down them and imagining a world where people worked where they could ride a train into and out of the city every day.

I was nostalgic even then. I had a strong sense I knew what I had missed.

I remember distinctly asking my mom what was down there and she put on the most scornful tone; "nothing but a bunch of drunken bums, and don't go down there, they'll put a knife in you..."

This was 1964.

I was born and raised in Rochester, 1959 till 1971 when we moved (just in time as it happened) to Honeoye Falls. We lived on Wellington and Roslyn (south east corner) in a house that was yellow on bottom and brown on top.

That was until I was 1, when we moved to 474 Rugby Ave, a brown house in the middle of the first block of Rugby on the east side, between Roslyn and Melrose.

My grandfather was a railroader, and I always wanted to work on the railroad too, in any capacity.

I was aware in my earliest years the railroads were dead, (and the beautiful elm trees, too) and by the time I was 9 I wanted to be a lawyer so I could bankrupt and punish GM, Firestone and the rest of the scoundrels who needlessly destroyed the world's greatest inter-urban rail system for filthy lucre.

I ended up chief pilot and director of operations for a corporate flight department. Alas, I saw the golden years of that system come to an end as well.

Now I manage IT systems. And look at pictures of the bygone era of rails. And wish like heck I could have lived in a world with trolleys, subways and passenger trains when they were profitable. It was a much saner way of life. I knew this was gone from the day I opened my eyes.

And saw the government intentionally destroying it all. On purpose as it happens. See the end of this railroad promo for a 1950 dose of what's wrong with America, then and still:

See the last 10 or so minutes. The New York Central put out similar pleas in many films like this throughout the 1950's. (my grand dad worked for the NYC)

BTW anyone remember the old Sears warehouse on Exchange st, southern end of the street in the neighborhood, along the Pennsylvania RR tracks? (west side of the river)

My initial search was to find a picture of that structure... funny how this 'web' takes you around where you least expect it.

Thanks for sharing your subway story. See? My mom was wrong. There weren't any bums with knives down there... just a lot of great memories. =)

Cliff Jones
Horseheads, New York

Padraic Mac Aodhagain said...

Cliff, as to the Sears warehouse on Exchange St., I seem to recall it being near the end of Flint Street.

Anonymous said...

The sears warehouse is still there, and "sears" can still be read on the water tower.

A newer brick structure blocks the north side of the building, it used to be a steep driveway down to a few more shipping docks.

I found it on google earth, street view. I have mixed feelings about that technology...

A lot of the trees that lined the streets are gone, the neighborhood I grew up in is a quite bare compared to 40 years ago.

The spruce and Norway maple are gone from my home at 474 Rugby Ave.


Cliff Jones

Padraic Mac Aodhagain said...

Cliff, if you lived at 474 Rugby Ave., you were only a couple of blocks from my old house. We lived at 15 Trafalgar street, just three houses from West High School. Two of my sisters went to West High, I went to Aquinas. My mother moved from Trafalgar St. shortly after my Dad died in 1968.

Anonymous said...

Did you know the Kennedy family over that way? You might have known Spencer. (he's my brother-in-law)

Also I recall a Borsching (sp?) family that lived on Trafalgar, they eventually moved to 2 doors away from where we had moved, in Honeoye Falls.

That family had a rather well deserved reputation for trouble as I recall. Plus they harbored a couple of the meanest dogs in the 19th ward.

Because of their dogs we all assumed any similarly colored dog was likewise mean. I think they were some kind of Rottweiler mix. They were mean because the were chained out by the garage 24/7 and neglected.

You couldn't miss these dogs, if you were there at the same time...

I also remember Frank Lamb from around your neck of the woods, and there was a reclusive TV news anchor just around the corner from us who's name escapes me. He was weird.

Gotta love this internet. Thanks again for sharing the story, and the great pictures!

Padraic Mac Aodhagain said...

"Did you know the Kennedy family over that way? You might have known Spencer. (he's my brother-in-law)

Also I recall a Borsching (sp?) family that lived on Trafalgar, they eventually moved to 2 doors away from where we had moved, in Honeoye Falls."

No, I don't recall any of those families as I mentioned above I left that area in the early 1960s. One of my sisters lived in Honeoye Falls - Kathy Barrett. Some of her children live there now. At least I know that my nephew, Jim Barrett, lives there.

I do recall Frank Lamb, a former Mayor of Rochester. I believe that he worked at Kodak and may have lived on Genesee Park Blvd.

Jim said...

Hi PAT, Remember that little town in up state NY,Honeoye Falls? That's my home town, born and raised. I grew up on Semmel Rd, a son of a carpenter. My Grandmother lived and tended to Father vogt. I'll stop the guessing game, it"s Jim Barrett. Say Hi to everyone

Padraic Mac Aodhagain said...

Nice to hear from you, Jim. How did you come across my blog?

Jim said...

Searching my own name one day, I found old newspaper article when I wrestled in high school and your blog. I like the story of you getting off the train in Rochester running.
My dad was over this morning for coffee and I was telling him about your blog, he say's Hi,and proceeded to tell my the story of you and him painting the upstairs bathroom on Trafalgar Street. Another story was the "Pink elephant"
You should post a story on Midtown Plaza, I don't know if you heard that it being demoed. PPS Has a good documentary .

Lee Stauber @ said...

Pat, Lee Stauber here. Lived On Maltby St behind 43 school, by the playground. I think I played ball with Dave Egan there. My older brother Sid played ball with Pat Egan an attorney. Was that you ? I played KPAA in 1952 with the Dukes

Patrick Eagan said...

I knew who Pat Egan the attorney was but no relation. I can recall a number of times I received phone calls for him as my name was before his in the phone book. One early morning I received a call from a man, very upset, to tell me that his father had died. That was an awkward call.