Memories of Leisure and Recreation

"As far as recreation was concerned, most of it was baseball." Mr. D., born 1923I

  • "My family used to listen every night at 7 o’clock to the radio news with Lowell Thomas. Sunday night was the big night to listen to the radio. It seems to me that right after he went off Amos and Andy came on. We listened to the comedian who played the violin, Jack Benny. Sunday night was the best night that they had the best programs. Saturday in the afternoon they had opera but my bigger brother decided that we would not listen to that. You have to remember that reception on radios at that time was very poor. If you could really listen to the radio without static you were in tiptop shape." Mr. D., born 1923

  • "There were 7 bocce courts in McIntyre once, and now there ain’t a one. Seven of them! Every Sunday you’d hear them Italians talking in Italian, smoking them cigars and really playing that game for blood, boy, they really played that game for blood. I liked that game, oh I liked that game. They’d play four men, you’d have one guy, the referee, called the "signor." Mr. Y., born 1928

  • "We had a Philco radio and we weren’t allowed to touch it but my mother would turn it on and Saturday night we’d listen to station WWVA and we’d sit there and listen but we weren’t allowed to touch it or turn it on." Mrs. M., born 1921

  • One of the things the Coal Company did to keep the people happy or interested was each town had a baseball team. So my father played semi-professional baseball during World War I time. Anyway, they recommended that he would be good to get on the team. He was a good pitcher so he got the job in McIntyre and we moved to McIntyre and he played some baseball. And one of the things they do is go to the bosses and tell him if there was going to be a game in the evening, don't work too hard because we want you to play well today." Mr. S., born 1920

  • "I remember I must have been about 3 or 4 we used to have a place to see movies, it was a nickel, no talking, all we would see was horses. It was silent and we thought it was great. For fun we also used to sled ride on homemade sleds that I think my brothers made. A bunch of us kids would get on one of these homemade sleds and go down a hill and fall off on the snow." Mrs. F., born 1915

  • "There was 3 dance halls here once. Right where the post office is was the Union Hall and right down in front of that there tavern, that used to be a hospital once where people were dying off from the flu they got." Mr. R., born 1911

  • "At the Union Hall we had dances when I was young and we only paid a quarter to get in. And that’s where we did our dancing. We used to wear all long dresses. These dresses we bought at the company store. The young men would wear just a shirt and pants, nothing fancy. They had a small orchestra and an accordion player, a saxophone, and a drum. That was a big thing in McIntyre. That’s where I learned to dance. The men would come from around McIntyre, Coal Run, Iselin and other towns nearby. We would know them all." Mrs. P., born 1920

  • "Dad was Scout Master for 14 years. What he did is he trained them in first aid. The first aid teams were all dressed in white. It kind of led into them going into the mines. They had first aid teams and every year they would compete at the fairgrounds and they would win prizes that were offered by what was called the Holmes Safety Council. And Dad’s troop generally did pretty good. The Holmes Safety Council was part of the Rochester and Pittsburgh Coal Company. It was sponsored by the coal mining company because of the need for miners to be trained in first aid." Mr. D., born 1923

  • "For entertainment we’d tie a can on the end of a rope and swing it around. Other games kids played were jump rope, hopscotch, follow the leader, leap frog, hide and seek., you’re hot/your’re cold, and a game on a table with beans." Mrs. M., born 1921

  • "Usually after we came home from school we played baseball. As kids about age 12 or 13 we used to play down near the Catholic Church. Between the church and the railroad tracks there was enough space there so that as little kids we could play." Mr. D., born 1923

  • "The wedding receptions in town were just in the house where the bride was. And they would have an accordion player and the neighbors were invited. The food was cooked by all the neighbors, they all pitched in." Mrs. P., born 1920

  • "There were a lot of Slovenian people and Italians and Poles in town. They [the Slovenians] used to have an organization here, they used to call it the SNPJ. You’d pay so much a month so if you got sick or something they’d give you a little bit of benefits. If you’d go to the hospital for an operation like say, like appendicitis, they’d give you 75 or 100 dollars. It would help a little you know. My dad was the secretary. He used to collect money off the members, the dues were something like 2 or 3 dollars a month. If you had an operation or were sick for a while you got some benefits. They used to hold dances in the Union Hall to raise money. They had a meeting every month in the Hall and used to talk about who was sick, who had operations. That organization is still going in the United States. They have their main office in Imperial, Pa, big office. The Polish had some kind of a lodge here in McIntyre too, I think and the Croatian people they had one too." Mr. Y., born 1928

  • "I remember we used to go to the dances at the Union Hall and they’d dance the cakewalk. I was about 13 and at amateur night I sang, "Let A Smile Be Your Umbrella on a Rainy Day", my sister sang, "Among My Souvenirs" and my friend sang "My Blue Heaven." My sister won first place and me second." Mrs. F., born 1915

  • "As far as recreation was concerned, most of it was baseball. Tennis courts were put in when I was about 15. They were clay courts and they were lighted, it was pretty unique. It was free and open to anyone who wanted to come." Mr. D., born 1923

  • "They used to go and dance in the house One Saturday one family would do it and others would too and that was our speakeasy and they’d sell booze, 35 cents for beer and maybe have an accordion to dance. Other times the men they had a table and they used to play an Italian hand game called morra, like they play today. All Italians. He used to go play cards with these guys and one Saturday they’d gather one place next Saturday in another. They used to play cards not for money, but for drink, there was no money." Mrs. G., born 1912


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