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This is kind of funny. I didn’t remember Cork Lane at all until I saw this map. Moyallen Street in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania was alive with kids in the late 1950’s. We were always in the street doing something. We played football in the street and we used the football of the time. It was made out of old socks, but it was good enough. More than one ended up in the sewer.
Yesterday I mentioned our trek to the Hart Theater and how cool it was to walk along the wall on Bank Street. We didn’t walk on the street. Like every kid of the day, we walked the path on the other side of the wall. I remember going to the Hart Theater to see my first monster movie. My brother Tony had seen “War of the Worlds” and I don’t remember why I didn’t go. The first one I saw was called “Twenty Million Miles to Earth.” It was about a spaceship that goes to Venus and brings back an egg, and the egg hatches and turns into a Godzilla type monster. In those days theaters had display cases out front showing coming attractions. I remember standing outside looking at the preview pictures for the movie “When Worlds Collide.”
We did have that nice hill that ran down to High Street and we figured out how to use it. We were among the millions of kids that learned to build buggies out of wood, a few bolts and baby carriage wheels. Billy Cosby did a comedy skit about building and riding buggies. It was on his album “200 Miles an Hour.” We built those things and rode them done that hill. The buggies had a little piece of wood that was supposed to be the break, it was just a decoration. We were out of control going down that hill. We would careen across High and run into the little barriers there. We were very lucky that we never rolled in front of a car. It was going down that hill that I first heard a kid curse.
At that time, the area between High Street and Main Street was grassy hills with railroad tracks running through them. From High Street there was a slope that leveled out to a set of tracks that were no longer in use. From there the slope continued to the tracks that were in operation. Those slopes were our adventure area. We called it the embankment, or the bank. We explored there like we had never seen it before, we would attack the enemy on the slopes and generally goof around. I remember hearing the rumors about Roswell and I looked out over that area. On the other side, close to Main Street was a large building, a factory or a warehouse. I got it in my head that the story originated in Wilkes-Barre and that maybe they had the aliens in that building.
Being one of the younger kids at Dodson during that time, we were delegated to the part of the schoolyard that the big kids didn’t use at recess. There was one strange thing that I remember. I hope someone can help me out with this. There were two older kids that organized the younger kids into two play armies. One of the older kids, I think his name was something like Krats, would have a bunch of kids gather in the alcove of the building near Harkins Lane, and the other fellow had kids lined up by the little wall at the Jones Street entrance to the schoolyard. Then the groups would take turns attacking each other, usually meeting someplace in the middle. We would just run into each other yelling and that would be it. It was all for play, at least I think it was. If anyone remembers anything about that, let me know.
That’s it for Moyallen Street. From there it was on to Dodson Lane and my days with the Pool Gang.