Anne Eiswerth

The house at 270 S. Third Street, which Anne and Barry Eiswerth bought in 1967, had been spared the indignities of being used as a blacksmith’s, a warehouse, or even a rooming house. It had always been a residence. It had a couple of income-producing apartments in addition to the owners’ space, and the Eiswerths kept at least one of those rented until after their first child was born.

Anne speaks about the schools their two sons attended, why they chose them, and whether they worked out; some of the neighborhood’s lifelong residents whom they befriended; the house next door to them at 268 S. Third, which was unoccupied but received regular visits from an old woman wearing a babushka; community gardens at Third and Spruce Streets and another at Fifth and Pine Streets; the importance of Three Bears Park as a place for children and adults to form friendships.

She talks about the various places where she and others in the neighborhood did their food shopping before the A opened on Fifth Street – especially Herman the Chicken Man, whose establishment on Fourth Street was decorated with Herman’s own paintings of chickens. She describes several other neighborhood characters. And she talks about riding her bicycle all over Center City with one of her children in the baby seat on the back.


DS:      This is an interview with Anne Eiswerth. The date is May 5, 2009. The location is 270 S. Third Street, Philadelphia 19106. The interviewer is Dorothy Stevens.

            Anne, tell me when did you come to Society Hill?

AE:      1967.

DS:      1967?

AE:      1967. Yes.

DS:      Why did you come here?

AE:      Oh, that’s a good question. Barry [Eiswerth, her husband] was living in town at the time. He’d taken a job with H2L2 [Harbison Hough Livingston Larson] right out of college. He was living on Quince Street.

DS:      He went to the University of Penn[sylvania]?

AE:      No, he went to Penn State, five-year course. I’m sure he’ll tell you about that. Anyway, we came to this neighborhood just because we were walking around here on our little perambulations. We walked around and we looked at things, and eventually, (1:00) as our relationship got a little more serious – actually, we met in 1966, but by 1967 we were getting more serious, and we were walking around here and we started looking at houses. We looked at some pretty dumpy places and some pretty smelly places. We ran into Barbara Greenfield. We somehow must have found her, and she led us to this house. There was a very old Jewish couple, who had been here since, I believe, the 1930s.

DS:      Do you have a name?

AE:      The Bowers, Charlie and Rosie. I don’t know how old they were, because I was only 24, so they seemed really old to me.

DS:      This house had been lived in continually? (2:00)

AE:      This house had always been lived in. It had never been – that we knew of – it had never been a store or a manufacturing place or anything like that. They had changed quite a few things. They had paneled this room that we are sitting in now with knotty pine. It was lovely. We just painted over it. We basically came here, ripped out everything and just put paint on the walls and sanded the floors and moved in.

            We had, at the time, tenants living on the third floor, sharing a bath. I guess we had two tenants at the time. We renovated our cellar and made that into an apartment at the front with a separate entrance. When we came, we had people walking through our house to get to their apartments upstairs. We did that because we had to pay the mortgage. It was the only way we could conceivably pay the mortgage was to keep the tenants. (3:00)

DS:      They shared the bathroom with you?

AE:      No, with each other.

DS:      Oh.

AE:      We didn’t actually ask them to leave until we had children. As a matter of fact, after we had our first child, we kept on one of our tenants.

DS:      What year was that?

AE:      That was 1970. He stayed on until – that was 1970, when our first child was born. That was Jason. Then in 1973 Brendan was born, and when Brendan got too big to sleep on the second floor in a cradle or whatever we had him in, we moved him to the third floor and asked the tenant to leave. These rooms, one on the second floor, which became our bedroom, and two on the third floor, had been made into little apartments with kitchens, so we had to rip out all the partitions and plumbing and all of that.

DS:      The Bowers had rented it out as apartments, not boarding rooms? (4:00)

AE:      Yes, as apartments, because they had kitchens. They had, I believe, two sons, as well. I don’t know anything about their children or when they left. Of the houses we looked at, it was the most move-in-able, I guess, in some ways, although we had to rip a lot of things out, like wall-to-wall carpeting and linoleum floors upstairs in the kitchens and things like that. Draperies.

DS:      Do you know what the Bowers did for a living?

AE:      No, I have no idea.

DS:      They were looking to sell, clearly?

AE:      Yes, and I don’t know where they went. You don’t necessarily get to know people that you buy from.

DS:      It’s a very big house, isn’t it? (5:00)

AE:      It has two large rooms on each floor, with a large center stairway.

DS:      It goes up how many floors?

AE:      Four, as well as a storage above the fourth floor. We have steps that are built into the side of the wall of the fourth floor that take you up to the fifth level, which is storage. After Jason insulated it and put plywood on the floor, we now have storage up there, which I’m a little sorry about because now we have things up there which eventually will have to come down.

DS:      The condition of the property when you bought it was not all that bad?

AE:      No, we were living on Quince Street at the time, and we spent – let’s see, we settled on the house in March, got married in April and moved in in July. We must have spent those months –

DS:      The year? (6:00)

AE:      1967. We must have spent those months between April and July getting it livable. We didn’t use the room in the front on the second floor because that had been an apartment. We were using basically three rooms, and I think at the same time we had the basement apartment renovated too, rented out.

DS:      What did you spend to buy the house? Can you share that?

AE:      I can tell you, but if I’m wrong Barry will correct me. I think it was $39,500.

DS:      How much did you initially spend to make it livable? You did a lot of the work yourselves, did you?

AE:      Except for renovating the apartment, we did all of the work ourselves. We painted, we sanded, and we threw things out [laughs] and we moved in. It was the cost of (7:00) the paint and renting the sander and whatever we put on the floor – polyurethane or whatever – and if Barry has some figures, he’ll share those with you. We did not put on a new roof. We did not re-do plumbing or electricity or any of those things at that time.

DS:      You have since –?

AE:      Done the electricity and we have repaired the roof. I do not think we have ever replaced the roof. We still have, believe it or not, the original furnace and water heater. We’ve been here 43 years. They’re still working so we still have them. It’s a copper-lined water heater. It’s been repaired – leaks have been repaired – but it is cheaper than getting a new one, and it’s lasted. The new ones don’t last more than four or five years.

DS:      It’s amazing. (8:00)

AE:      It’s truly amazing. We did finally get air conditioning on the first two floors about five or six years ago.

DS:      You didn’t buy it from the Redevelopment [Authority]? You bought it from these people. Did you have any involvement with the Redevelopment Authority? I guess you didn’t.

AE:      No, I don’t think so.

DS:      Because you weren’t changing anything on the outside, and they weren’t telling you [that] you had to change –

AE:      No, the façade had been re-done at some point. I don’t know when all of that happened.

DS:      You mean the brick.

AE:      The brick, but probably – maybe the shutters. I don’t know what would have been done to fulfill the requirements of [the] Redevelopment [Authority]. It was – evidently (9:00) when we bought it, everything was fine. We didn’t have to change anything.

DS:      Was Metropolitan Hospital still here?

AE:      It certainly was. Metropolitan Hospital was here for three years. I believe it came down in – it may have been four years – it may have come down in the summer of ’71. It was at the corner of Third and Spruce, and it took up all that space to get to – as we called it then Delancey Park. It was not called Three Bears Park. The walkway was there. We did walk through there next to the hospital to get to the park. Then one summer we went out to Swarthmore and we came back and it [the hospital] was gone. I (10:00) think that must have been 1971, because we didn’t go out to Swarthmore until after we had a child. Jason was born in 1970, and we went out in ’71. I may be wrong. You probably got other opinions on when that came down.

DS:      Tell me about Delancey Park.

AE:      Delancey Park was a life-saver if you had a young child. It was the place to go and see other people who had young children. At that time, in 1970, when our first child was born, most of the mothers stayed home for a while with their first children. You went to the park and saw and talked with other mothers, not just care-givers. By the time Brendan was born in ’73, often I was the only mother at the park. A lot more people by then were out working, whether their children were older or what the story was. Sometimes (11:00) I was the only mother. The park was wonderful. We met people, we made friends. We started our babysitting co-op, which was not the first one, as you well know. Ours was the second one. We took our cue from the first one. We learned how to do it. It was important to have children who were of similar ages, and it wouldn’t have worked to have joined the other co-op, because the children were all older.

DS:      Tell me about St. Peter’s School.

AE:      Well, we didn’t get involved with St. Peter’s School for a while. Jason and Brendan both went to St. Charles Montessori School, which a lot of other children in the neighborhood went to. It was over on Christian Street between Nineteenth and Twentieth, I (12:00) believe. I could be wrong. I felt strongly – Barry did too – that if we were sending our children to a Montessori school, they should go all three years, because the third year was really the culminating year. We didn’t try to find out about St. Peter’s until after Jason had finished kindergarten at St. Charles. He started at St. Peter’s in first grade and went there until eighth grade.

[Tape is turned off, then on again.]

AE:      I’ll tell you one thing about the Metropolitan Hospital, though. Metropolitan Hospital served a variety of uses besides being a big, ugly thing on the corner of Third and Spruce. There were often fires there, and –

DS:      Was the building abandoned?

AE:      No, it wasn’t. Not that I know of.

DS:      They were still using it as a hospital?

AE:      They were still using it, but nobody ever went in there unless their telephones weren’t working, and then you’d go over to use the pay phones. It seemed (13:00) that quite often fires or else threats of fires or something, and the fire engines would come, and all the neighbors would come out, and we’d all have such wonderful times seeing each other and talking to each other, just because of that silly hospital that was there, that none of us liked. Then, of course, you know all about the skating rink when the hospital was gone.

DS:      Tell us.

AE:      We talked about it, I believe, at the first meeting. One of the first winters after the hospital was gone – no, it couldn’t have been one of the first winters, because our children were a little older than that – it was probably in the mid ‘70s. We had a series of bad weather in the winter, where we had snow and then we had rain and then we had freezing, and suddenly we had a whole lot of ice in the big field. The children all thought it would be great fun to go get their skates and try skating. [sounds of a cat meowing.]

            By then the Ducketts [John and Peggy] had bought their house at the corner of (14:00) Cypress and Third Street[s], and John Duckett got lengths of hose and took it over to the field and continued to add water so that we had a very large, probably very short-lived, but very large, skating area for the neighborhood children. We even had thoughts at one point that we could have a large park over there, but we were of course dreaming, because the land was far too valuable to turn into a park.

DS:      [inaudible]

AE:      Talk about school?

DS:      Yes. St. Peter’s School.

AE:      St. Peter’s School. We sent Jason there, first, second, third, all the way through to eighth grade. At that time, in the ‘70s, the economy was not so great, and private school, although it seems cheap if you look back at what we paid then, which (15:00) I can’t remember, to us it was a lot of money. When Brendan was ready for first grade, after his three years at Montessori school, we sent him to McCall’s School, which was fine in first grade and second grade. In third grade, they had a teachers’ strike, which I don’t think happens so much any more. It was – around 1981, I believe, and it went on for three months. We were able to use, actually, St. Peter’s parish house. We hired a teacher to come and teach his grade, which was third grade at the time, just in the mornings. That was the end of public school for us. He joined St. Peter’s in fourth grade and stayed until eighth grade. Of course, the school was run by Carolyn Seamans at the time. I don’t think I need to go into descriptions of how the school was run or anything like that. Everyone pretty much knows that. It was a unique place (16:00) in a lot of ways.

DS:      You feel your children got a good education?

AE:      I do, I do. I would say Jason’s only complaint was that the science program was not as strong as it should have been. When he went to secondary school, he felt a slight lack. He is very loyal. He serves on the board of trustees there.

DS:      They have happy memories of this childhood?

AE:      Jason especially was very close to his class. They still keep in touch, and they were a very tight-knit little group of, I think, 16. Brendan’s class was about 16 as well.

DS:      You also went to the church, St. Peter’s Church?

AE:      No, we were married at Old St. Joseph’s Church, and we continued to go (17:00) to church there for a while. Then we were looking at other, at the time, Catholic churches, when our children were young. Jason decided to join the choir at St. Peter’s when he was in, I believe, fifth or sixth grade. Just to somewhat support him, I would go on Sundays when he was singing, and I got attached to it; I wouldn’t say, much to my surprise, but it just sort of happened. It evolved, and so I’ve been going to church there for quite a few years, twenty years, maybe twenty-five years. A long time. [Laughs]

DS:      Tell me, did you ever become friendly or interact with the residents who lived there all their lives? (18:00)

AE:      That’s a good question. Well, we still have Frank the Bookie down the street.

DS:      Frank the Bookie. Tell me about him.

AE:      Frank the Bookie. I actually don’t know Frank the Bookie’s last name, because he’s always been called Frank the Bookie, or Frankie. He lives on the other side of the house that’s just north of us, so that would be 266 (South Third Street). He lived there with his mother, his nephew and other various family members for a long time. His mother died quite a few years ago. His nephew had some mental problems and I think does not live there any longer. His sister, I believe, died. He is the only one left in that house. We think he has sold it. He always sits out on his front door stoop on a folding chair. It used to be in the shade of an oak tree which had decided to grow there in the well next to his house. He never planted it. He finally cut it down to a reasonable height, but it’s still growing. It’s still leafing out all the time.

DS:      Was he a bookie, really?

AE:      I think yes. He may still be a bookie. People still stop and talk to him. Oh, yes. He wasn’t called Frank the Bookie for nothing. The other neighbor I used to talk to all the time was Joe Matkowski, who lived around the other side on Spruce Street at 311, I believe, right next to Eve and Frank Taylor’s old house [309 Spruce] , which is now owned by John and Sandy Moore. He lived there with his sister, Mary, and the house was owned by relatives of theirs who live in the suburbs. He also sat out on his front (20:00) door step, and you couldn’t go past Joe’s house and not talk to him, because he’d be very put out. I put in a lot of time talking to Joe. He was sometimes difficult to understand. He had grown up here, and he was very active in the Ukrainian church.

DS:      On Pine Street.

AE:      On Pine Street [between Third and Fourth Streets]. He was devastated when that place was closed. He had some medical problems, as did his sister. He’s now living in Texas with one of his children, as far as we know. He’s been gone now for a while. Besides, I wouldn’t call Bertha von Moschzisker one of the old people, because she (21:00) came here during redevelopment.

DS:      She lived in the 300 block of Delancey? [At 310 Delancey.]

AE:      Right next to the walkway on Delancey Street, for many, many years. She was also very welcoming to new people, and young people. Surprisingly, I thought, because she lived by herself and had no children. She even invited me for lunch one day with my irascible two-year-old; she was very nice that way.

DS:      Did you get involved in the Civic Association or other groups in the neighborhood, other than the babysitting co-op?

AE:      Not really. There was a time when some friends in the neighborhood had a garden on our corner, before there was a house at the corner of Third and Spruce, the (22:00) northwest corner. There was a community garden for a short time, and we provided the water for them. We ran the hose down the alley to our outlet. I believe that the Putneys [Paul and Joan] had a garden there, and the – I’ll think of their names.

DS:      There was a garden at Fourth and Lombard.

AE:      There was also a garden where the Community Center is now. We were not involved in those gardens. At that time, we were going out to Swarthmore in the summers, and we had a garden at our old family house out there; we didn’t do a garden here. I think the babysitting co-op was probably the biggest thing, and we weren’t going to the church then. The school then, of course, became another way of getting to know people in the neighborhood. (23:00)

DS:      Any stories that you can think of concerning contractors, banks, neighbors.

AE:      The house next door to us, which has been renovated about ten years ago, was vacant the entire time.

DS:      To the north of you.

AE:      Just to the north of us, 268 [South Third Street]. It was owned by some people named Poniatowski. They came and stored things in the house. We never knew quite what they were storing there. They used to come occasionally and bring in boxes of things. We went into the house a couple of times, because we had a very adventurous Siamese cat, who would go out of our fourth-floor window when it was open and (24:00) into their house through their fourth-floor window, and then of course would not come back, so we would have to go into the house and drag her home.

DS:      The house was open?

AE:      The house was virtually easily penetrable. It was either unlocked in the front or the back or somewhere where you could just kind of open the door and walk in. I can’t remember how we did it, but it was not a problem. We never broke into the house. We could walk into the house, and Barry was fascinated, because a lot of the original details were in the house. However, I think by the time the house was renovated, those details had been either eaten by termites or were not able to be restored. When it was restored, a kind of a fake molding was installed that looks nothing at all like the beautiful Federal stuff that was once there. (25:00)

DS:      It was just recently restored, wasn’t it?

AE:      I would say ten years ago. Because the people who live in there now – well, it’s close, eight to ten years. It was actually the renovators’ House of the Year when it was restored, by a man who has bought properties in this neighborhood, a Mark Wade. I don’t know what he’s doing now. He was able to get – because it was renovators’ House of the Year – a lot of – I’m not sure if infrastructure is the right word – fans, heating, things like that were donated or provided, so that these people could get credit for that. Then people would come look at the house and say, “Oh, these are wonderful fans provided by whatever.” Radiant heat was put in, probably the whole heating/cooling system, things like that. Maybe plumbing. I don’t really know. (26:00)

DS:      Was the house occupied when you moved in?

AE:      No, there was a very old Polish woman who wore a babushka, who came into the back yard and did something – grew some things back there. We never knew what. We made up stories about her, that she was perhaps – I don’t want to say it – maybe a witch or something. She would go around in the back yard and bend from the waist, like an old peasant woman, in her skirts and her babushka. When our cat would escape, which he did with great regularity, I would sometimes ask her if she had seen the cat. She would never look at me and she would never answer me, and I don’t think she spoke English. I think they were Polish. Poniatowski I believe is a Polish name. We did have a few problems with that house early on. There was a water main leak, which flooded our basement where we had a tenant living, and she woke up (27:00) one morning to a few inches of water on the floor that had come in through the cellarway from the house next door. We got the city to come and shut off the water but, of course, a lot of her things were ruined. We never got anything from them. We threatened them – to sue them – and so forth, but we didn’t really have anything to back it up with. We didn’t have enough money to hire lawyers to go after them. So basically –

DS:      It was a loss.

AE:      It was a loss.

DS:      What did your families – your parents – think of you moving here?

AE:      Well, Barry’s parents were living in Montoursville, Pennsylvania, right next to Williamsport, at the time. They were pretty appalled that we would move to the city. Barry had been living in the city, and that was OK, because he was working there and renting a little place.

DS:      And he was a bachelor.

AE:      He was a bachelor. To buy a house, in our twenties, in this formerly (28:00) depressed area – and it still didn’t look all that great to them – was still taking pretty much of a chance, they thought. We did have someone look at it, who had been recommended to Barry by one of his architect associates who assessed the condition of the house and said it was sound. We did it without their approval; not that they were saying, “You can’t do it.” Certainly, they didn’t say that. We were lucky that we had some money that I had inherited from my father to pay the down payment. At that time, you had to put 25% down. That was a lot of money to us in 1967. It was basically $10,000. I took all the money that I had in my trust and that’s what we used. My parents had both died by that time, and my step-mother was fine. She had grown up in (29:00) Philadelphia, West Philadelphia, actually, when that was a place to live, and had gone to school at Friends Select. People lived there then, back in the ‘20s. She was born in 1911, I believe, so she probably lived there until the end of the ‘20s.

DS:      She was not concerned?

AE:      She was not concerned. My brother lived at the other side of town at the time. He was not concerned. We were not concerned. We thought it looked like a lovely place to live. [Laughs]

DS:      All right.

[Tape is turned off, then on again]

AE:      Well, some people may remember Nana Sells. Everybody called her Nana. I don’t know what her name was. I’m sure her last name was not Sells, but she lived in the Sells’ house and took care of her children. (30:00)

DS:      And the Sells lived…?

AE:      The Sells lived, at the time, at 281 Locust Street, in the 200 block of Locust Street. And they had daughters who sometimes babysat for some of us. Now, none of the girls in the neighborhood were particularly interested in taking care of our two wild boys; so we usually had the Davies boys babysit for us. Not Geoff; he was too young, but Eric and Kert. One time we were going somewhere with some other friends in the babysitting co-op, and none of us could babysit for each other. The Snyders brought their daughter – I believe it was just Alexandra, at the time, probably Alexandra and Jason, who must have been around two-and-a-half or three years old. They lived at 3 Blackwell Court, right (31:00) next to the Richardses [Lee and Harriet].

            Somehow, we got Nana Sells to come and stay at our house. Nana fell asleep while we were out. I think we were doing a big neighborhood party. We may actually have had all four children, because they had Megan by then and we had Brendan. I think it was the night we were saying good-bye to the Smiths and the Todds, and we had a big party. It was a party that went from house to house. We had cocktails at one house and – I could be wrong on the timing. I may be getting the two events confused. We came home – or the Snyders came home first, and nobody could wake up Nana Sells. Nana Sells was not to be awakened. Skip Snyder started           somehow banging on the window on our second floor by climbing up (32:00) onto the cold cellar window or something like that. Nana was petrified and wouldn’t answer the door and wouldn’t answer the phone. I can’t remember how we ever released her from her job of taking care [Laughs] of these children, but we never had Nana, nor would Nana ever come, to our house again. She would babysit for quiet infants who stayed in their cribs, but not children who ran around and parents who banged on windows to awaken her. [Laughs]

[Tape is turned off, then on again]

AE:      When we first moved here, there was no Superfresh, formerly known as the A&P. We had to drive to South Philadelphia, I believe. Put child in car seat. Take (33:00) child out of car seat. Put in shopping cart and go to something in South Philadelphia. I don’t even remember what it was now, but it was probably down near Oregon Avenue. We shopped. We bought food also locally. There was a fish store on Lombard, I believe near Sixth. Between Fifth and Sixth on the south side of Lombard was a fish store.

            Of course, there was Herman the chicken man, who was on Fourth Street. We would go to Herman for chickens. He also would deliver chickens. We’ve heard many Herman stories, so I won’t tell you any Herman stories. He was wonderful. He even had paintings that he did of chickens. I believe he did those at the Fleisher Art School.

            The dry cleaner’s, which nobody seems to remember, was on the corner of Fourth (34:00) and Spruce, and I believe it was downstairs. It was on the southeast corner where the Jensens [Ejner and Pozi] live now [340 Spruce St.]. It was a dry cleaner’s and, of course, there was one next to the synagogue, which is no longer there.

            There was a barber shop, and there’s still a barber pole on Spruce Street, in the 200 block on the north side, where Barry got his hair cut before he went into the National Guard, which was six months after we were married. He was sent to Fort Dix. He got his hair cut as short as he thought he needed to have it cut, but little did he know what was waiting for him when he got to Ft. Dix. One eighth of an inch of hair.

            Shopping besides that: the Italian Market. We did go to the Italian Market. Occasionally, we went to the Reading Terminal Market. It (35:00) was not so great in those days. It was much smaller and had much less to offer.

[Tape is turned off, then on again]

AE:      Dierdre Snyder and I took our then very young children, Alexandra and Jason, who were born within two months of each other in 1970, we took them to the Women’s YWCA on – I believe it was 22nd and Chestnut Streets. They had an infant swim program. We took them there to learn how to swim, which they learned how to do. Both of us felt strongly we were probably going to have more children. We didn’t want to have two children, two little ones toddling around a pool or an ocean or whatever, not knowing how to swim. We decided to teach the first ones and, as a matter of fact, (36:00) there was even a program on the news once showing these children, infants, swimming. They had to pass a swim test. They were about a year old. They must have been a year old, because Jason didn’t walk until he was 15 months old. Maybe they were a little more than a year old, maybe a year and a half. We had to toss them into the pool fully clothed, because that’s how children drown. They fall into a pool fully clothed. The idea was that these children would be water safe. They were tossed into the pool fully clothed. They came up rather angry, I believe, and swam to the side and held on. There were films of them doing this to show that there was a good –

DS:      Tell me about the Y. (37:00)

AE:      That Y. I can barely remember it. There was also a children’s gymnastics class there for very young children I took Brendan to. The pool, I believe, was downstairs, very strong chlorine smell. We all took our babies there to teach them how to swim.

DS:      David and I took our scuba diving certification classes.

AE:      Oh, yes. I also took – because I wanted to teach swimming I had to be recertified in my swimming – my lifesaving course. I took a course there as well, probably about that time, because that’s when Jason was small was when I was teaching kids to swim at the Y.

DS:      That would have been early ‘70s?

AE:      It was the early 70s. Yes, and the children were so tired. We would ride them up there on the backs of our bicycles, and as we would be coming down Pine (38:00) Street, they would be slumped over the sides of the baby seats, fast asleep, because they were exhausted from the whole swimming.

DS:      Did you use your bike a lot?

AE:      I did. We had horribly flimsy baby seats. No helmets for the children, of course. They were those English things that folded. They were not the nice molded things they have now. We all rode our children around on our bicycles from early on.

DS:      Did you have a car?

AE:      We did have a car, yes, and we parked it sometimes – there was a field, actually, across the street before those houses were built on Locust Street, there was a field where we could park our car early on. I don’t know when those houses were built. It must have been the early ‘70s, the ones that run down the south side of Locust between (39:00) Third and Second, going towards the Towers. We always had a little Volkswagen square back or something like that, that we used, and no parking facilities.

DS:      You used your bikes as much as possible.

AE:      We used our bikes to take the children around to go wherever we needed to go. Bikes were it.

[Tape is turned off, then on again

AE:      …. and Herman the chicken man, and Barry and I were trying to remember things about Herman. I remember real vividly the chicken paintings that he did. He studied at Fleischer so that he could learn to paint. He had wonderful paintings of chickens behind the counter on the walls, and the other thing was how he would come by at holiday times, the Christian holidays usually, because he was Jewish, and he would always be invited in to have a drink or two. Sometimes after he had stopped at many places, it was probably difficult for him to get home. He didn’t want to insult anybody [by refusing] a drink in his house.

[End of interview]


© 2009 Project Philadelphia 19106™. All rights reserved.

About the Interview

Dorothy Stevens
Cynthia J. Eiseman
Interview Location
270 S 3rd Street
Interview Date
May 5, 2009
Eiswerth, Anne
Narrator Type
Redeveloper - Restoration
Oral History Sources