The Irish homes in my grandparents’ neighborhood, East Falls, were mostly row houses with two stone steps leading up to the porch. Behind the front door was a small hall which led to the stairs to the second floor. To the right were the entrances to the parlor with windows looking out onto the front porch and the steep street out front.
As many as a dozen grown-ups and big kids would squeeze into chairs and a couch in that little room. The little kids would sit or lie on the floor.
My grandparents called that room, “The Parlor.” Storytelling, singing, and a little dancing went on there. One of my favorite childhood songs was, “If You’re Irish, Come Into The Parlor.”
More To Come….
Sometimes on a Friday or Saturday evening, Dad would drive me into a part of Philadelphia where two movies were being shown for the price of one.
Food before or after at a nearby restaurant would complete a great adventure. Telling my mom and maybe later Uncle Tommy about the movies would be part of the fun.
They would not be children’s movies. They were usually war movies or crime stories and sometimes the life stories of inventors or athletes. They were not new movies. I loved them.
Dad would point out stores, churches, theaters and ball fields in the neighborhoods we drove through in the pick-up truck. Dad made sure that I’d be curious about the city as I grew older.