Back in the Day

Last Saturday, I was returning home from running some personal errands and tending to some “honey dos” when I observed a young boy doing something that I could never do. As I continued my drive home I thought more about this youngster’s actions and my thoughts turned to other things I did as…

If you follow my column, you are aware of the regular references to my old West Philadelphia neighborhood, “The Bottom.” Some refer to this area as “down the way.” I know its parameters as the area from 50th Street to 33rd Street and Market Street to Girard Avenue, with the area from 40th St…

It annoys me to hear folks criticize the Black family. You have frequently heard many of those derogatory comments. A December 2017, Washington Post article by Tray Jan, titled “News Media Offers Consistently Warped Portrayals of Black families, Study Finds” identified many of the concerns h…

Some days can be sad and challenging while others can be uplifting and inspiring. Today, Mother’s Day, is one of those sad and challenging days. If you no longer have your mother, you may have done as I did and attended church today. Perhaps your church members followed an old tradition of w…

This past Saturday, I did something that I have not done in two years. Even though it had been my practice, on the last Saturday of April, since my high school days, I returned to the Penn Relays Carnival, an event that had not been held since 2019 due to the COVID Pandemic. I did not expect…

I was speaking with a friend who shared her observations of neighborhoods as she and a friend drove from Cape Cod to Philadelphia. She was impressed with the cleanliness of the neighborhoods in each state and town through which they passed. However, the positive comments ended when she reach…

People who know me are aware of my love for candy. A pharmacy not far from where I live has a candy section that takes me back in time. At The Tribune offices, employees treat me to various candies. My sister-in-law regularly sets aside candy for me from candy containers she keeps on a coffe…

I have long been a “church going” person. For me, attending church on a regular basis stems from my upbringing in a very religious household. As a result of my parent’s guidance, when I was seven, I was baptized, at White Rock Baptist Church’s old 52nd and Arch Street location under the past…

I do not like to physically go inside a bank for transactions. Using the drive-thru window can be just as annoying. When doing so, it always seems there is someone in line taking a great deal of time to complete their business; invariably there is someone asking questions or carrying out tra…

Traveling around the city was challenging, if you did not have access to an automobile back in the day. It was even more challenging to get to the train station or airport. How did people get to their various destinations? They used public transportation, sometimes they were forced to walk, …

There are a variety of things that are clear indicators that you are from back in the day. Let me share some of them with you: the ice box, a wood burning stove, windup alarm clocks, black and white televisions, typewriters, bank books, rotary telephones with party lines, Blue Laws, plastic …

For many, our elementary school days contain unforgettable memories. There were the games played during recess, class projects, particularly in science classes, assembly programs with interesting speakers, indoor and outdoor safety patrols, and for me, Goldie Watson’s Drama Club. But there w…

As I sat at my computer one day last week, I began typing an email to a friend. I thought about what I was doing, and my thoughts focused on something I have not done in years; I suspect the same is true for many of you. You must recall the days when most homes had a box of stationery, a fou…

I place great value in maintaining old friendships and as a result talk regularly with a couple of friends. These conversations often inspire my back in the day columns. A call to one of my closest friends last week was surprising in that he answered the telephone with perfect diction and sp…