September 7, 2011


Bill Matteson
Uptown Chicago History Correspondent

Every kid had his own crystal set to listened to the radio, no power source required , all I would have to do is ground it to the radiator. and it worked. I could never figure out why?
Today I try to explain what a radiator is, to the Grandkids.

Comic books were legal tender on Kenmore, and wealth was measured by how many comic books you had. We all had stacks of Comics about three feet high, we would meet three days a week for Comic book trading. comics with a cover on were worth three with out a cover.
Always some Idiot Do Gooder would try to get comic books off the street because it was leading the youth of America to a life of crime or would lead us into homosexuality , Captain America and Bucky, Batman and Robin, etc, Even at an early age we just figured there were a lot of adults with to much time on their hands.

Of course marbles , YoYo's and Tops were part of our treasure trove
the Jack Knife was always a major part of every boys things, it was almost a right of passage when reaching a certain age, to get a pair of "Lumberjack Boots"
These boots had a built in snapped pocket that held your jack knife, Our teachers thought nothing of our sharping pencils with our knives
"Try that today and there will be the SWAT Team and a school lockdown"

Model Air Planes
Father and Son Shoe Stores, gave you a model air plane, if you bought a pair of shoes
So would Thom McCann
I would spend a month putting a model air plane together.
The kits, available at the time, were not the snap together plastic junk they sell today, it took real skill to make a model airplane.
the structures would be printed on a thin sheet of balsa wood including all the ribs, these were painstakingly cut out and glued together.
Rich kids had Xacto hobby knifes, but the kids on our street were lucky to find an old single edged razor blade.
Thin paper was stretched around the ribs and then "doped" then carefully heated with a candle to tighten it against the fuselage .
we could purchase all supplies in the hobby section of either Woolworth's or Kresges

It was powered by a rubber band and they flew pretty good, then after all that work we would power them up light the tail on fire and let them go and watch them crash and burn,

Today I haven't the slightest idea why we did that, but we did nevertheless
Back In the day we needed Batteries for flashlights only.


clarendon park said...

do you remember Ernie's hobby shop down the street from the Riviera theater, it was in the basement.

old guy said...

Oh Ya I remember Ernie's my friends and I used to go there on saturdays after we got paid from our part time jobs. It was always something we looked forward too.
Hey Bill your life in uptown wasn't
all that different than mine.
Trading comic books, building models. I once had the first issue's of the fantastic four and the silver surfer.
My buddies and I would pool our money so we could buy estes rockets and shoot them off at Clarendon park or the hill.

bill Matteson said...

Hey C P & old guy thanks for the feed back always great to hear from the boys for the hood
where did you guys live in uptown and when?
I think I'm a little older than you guys

clarendon park said...

lived right across the street from clarendon park, from 1957 to 1972, also other areas of uptown earlier

old guy said...

I lived in uptown from 1950 to
1976. I was the fourth of five generations to live at the same address a couple of blocks south of Clarendon park.
My family moved to uptown a couple of years and Im not sure what year but I do know it was before the Spanish American war because of some letters from family still in Germany. I still have family there so I'm in the neighborhood at least once a week.


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