Little Sally’s Big Visit With Her Grandparents PT II

Vintage childrens illustration 1940s

It was Thanksgiving weekend of 1960.

Just like the mythical Dick, Jane and Sally would visit Grandmother and Grandfather on their farm, I was off for an overnight visit with mine in their apartment in Queens, NY.

Back To The Future

Vintage Childrens Schoolbook illustration 1940s

Because my grandparents still lived in the same brick, Art-Deco-Moderne apartment house that my father grew up in, by the simple act of walking through the graceful arched entrance way of the once fashionable Buckingham Arms Apartments, I was entering the world of my father’s youth.

Early the next morning, it wasn’t the crowing of a rooster that woke me , but the hiss of the steam heat coming up from the radiator, its old rickety pipes rattling and knocking like some arthritic ghost of Christmas past,  drowning out the roar of the Electrolux, sucking up nonexistent dust.

In the end it was the pungent scent of Parsons Ammonia assaulting my nose that was my final wake up call. It didn’t matter that it was a Sunday, or that it was November, with feather duster firmly in one hand, a mop in the other, it was always spring cleaning for Nana Rose whose motto  was- “the only way to keep a house clean was to make sure it never got dirty.”

Shaking the sleep from my eyes, I peeked out the window but the dismal view of an air shaft had a funereal gloom about it, as far from a pastoral view of meadows as you could imagine. The close proximity of a neighboring building blocked the bedroom window of whatever sunlight there may have been, giving little clue whether it was morning or still night.

As the unfamiliar light washed over me, my eyes became adjusted to the familiar surroundings. The same room where only just last night my family had nibbled on mounds of chopped liver and drank sparkling cut crystal glasses of Canadian Club and Cott’s Cream Soda, had, before being re-commissioned as a den, been the bedroom where my father and uncle slept as boys, and where now once again it was transformed into a bedroom where I had spent the night.

That my father had spent so much of his time cloistered in this cheerless, view-less room, building his balsa airplanes, reading The Hardy Boys, and listening to The Shadow on his red Bakelite radio, made me a little sad.

Vintage magazine 1932 American Boy illustration boy in bedroom

vintage illustration 1935 children in school

vintage book hardy boys

(L) Vintage Hardy Boys Book “The Missing Chums”1928 by Franklin Dixon illustrator Franklin Booth (R) “The Hardy Boys Footprints Under the Window” by Franklin Dixon 1933 illustrator J Clemens Gretter

books tom swift

(L) Vintage Book “Tom Swift and His Air Ship” by Victor Appleton 1910 illustrator Rudolf Menel (R) Vintage “Tom Swift Among the Fire Fighters” by Franklin Dixon 1921 illustrator Walter Rogers

Vintage Tom Swift Book

Vintage Tom Swift and His Photo Telephone by Victor Appleton illustrator Walter Rogers 1914

vintage childrens schoolbook illustration 1930s train

Vintage children’s school book illustration On the Train “At Play”1935

Vintage ad Campbells soup 1935

Vintage childrens illustration 1930s listening to radio

Please watch for Little Sally’s Big Visit With her Grandparents Pt III and Pt IV

Copyright (©) 20012 Sally Edelstein All Rights Reserved -Excerpt From Defrosting The Cold War:Fallout From My Nuclear family



  1. Pingback: Little Sally’s Big Visit With Her Grandparents « Envisioning The American Dream

  2. Pingback: Little Sally’s Big Visit With Her Grandpartents Pt III « Envisioning The American Dream

  3. Pingback: Little Sally’s Big Visit With Her Grandparents Pt IV- Radio Daze « Envisioning The American Dream

  4. Pingback: When Flying Was Fun for Thanksgiving | Envisioning The American Dream

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