When I was growing up in the late 1930s my family lived in the Winton Rd. Merchants Rd. area. One of my fonder memories is walking down Winton to East Avenue with my father and younger brother to catch the subway or trolley. The subway ran through the old Erie Canal bed (where I-490 is now), and would actually get going rather quickly. It would sway back and forth as the Conductor built up speed, and wed hang on to the straps for dear life…
We would ride across the aqueduct bridge out to the Lexington Avenue stop, where we got off and walked to up Lexington to Mt. Read and the old German American Sports Club field. There we would watch soccer games with teams like the German Americans, the Italian Americans, and the Kodak Thistles. I remember the subway ride being more fun than the games we watched!
I also remember as a very small boy taking the trolley with my mother. We would go downtown, for shopping at Sibleys and of course a trip to Toyland! Later in my youth, my friends and I would take the bus Downtown, then ask for a Transfer. You could then switch to the trolley for free, and we would head to Widewaters at Cobbs Hill Park to go ice skating. To this day, I can still smell the snap of ozone and see the sparks that flew when the trolley bounced on and off the cable. Once, I placed a penny on the tracks to see what would happen to it when the trolley car ran over it. It was flattened to the size of a quarter!
One story my friends and I never told our parents was the day we walked onto the bridge behind the old Sears building (on Monroe Avenue). The trolley ran below the bridge (I-490 still does) and we bravely made a snowball and waited patiently for the trolley to come through. Someone let the snowball rip, and I remember being astonished to see the Conductor throw his hands up over his face in fear. My astonishment turned to unadulterated fear when the snowball hit the trolley window and cracked it open! Needless to say, we ran like hell!
Tags: bridge, Cobbs Hill Park, conductor, cracked window, East Avenue, German American Sports Club Field, I-490, Lexington Avenue, memory, Merchants Road, Monroe Avenue, Mount Read, overpass, penny on the tracks, Rochester Subway story, Sibley's, snowball, trolley, Winton Road
This entry was posted on Friday, February 20th, 2009 at 12:11 am and is filed under Rochester Images, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.