Graduated NYU 1963. Worked in NYC in public relations 2 years then as reporter/news editor 32 years at The Hour newspapers. Retired in 2000.
No. 7 Trolley on Main Street in Yonkers, New York, passing Genung's at Getty Square
Hitler's Face on the Palisades Viewed from the Hudson River
Newsies & Bootblacks
None of us is getting any younger, of course. But some of us, who have seen 50 come and go, tend to become a little nostalgic.
We long for "the good old days," the days of yesteryear when the music was our music, when the dances were our dances, when girls were girls and boys were boys, friends were friends -- and good triumphed over evil.
It's pleasant, after you've begun the back nine of life, to recall the days when it was a sin to tell a lie, when convicted criminals went to jail, when the kids -- nonviolent and drug free -- that roamed the halls of our grammar schools and high schools couldn't wait to grow up to become responsible adults.
We all thought, in those days, it was a good idea to love one's country, to be proud and patriotic, to be willing and ready to fight for our country -- and for the rights of our friends and neighbors, whatever their race, religion or nationality.
Remember the Trolley Cars
Today, we look longingly back at those days; days when trolley cars rode the rails on our main streets and took us everywhere we wanted to go -- cheaply, efficiently and, more to the point, enjoyably.
We resist the temptation now to say, "Those days are gone forever."
Where there's life there's hope; what goes around comes around. Maybe we'll all wise up one day and take a good look at ourselves; at what we were, what we've become.
Not long after you've passed the south side of 50, you begin to notice things, little things. It's a cliché, but true, that one of the things you observe very quickly as you get a little older is that the cop on the beat -- I beg your pardon: the cop you see in the patrol car -- seems to be getting younger all the time. You want to ask: Is he -- oops, I mean he or she -- really over 21?
The Times They Are A-Changing
And, there are other things! For instance, have you noticed:
* * * Banks don't give you clean, new money all the time anymore when you cash your check. In the old days, they'd weed out the faded, torn bills and often give you crisp new ones.
* * * When the telephone rings these days it's just as likely to be somebody trying to sell you something as your long forgotten aunt calling from Keokuk, Iowa.
* * * It's not easy to get fresh fruit anymore, even in season -- especially tomatoes (Oh, what I'd give for a good old-fashioned, vine ripened tomato!)
* * * Getting your car fixed is about equivalent to what it used to be like getting a tooth pulled.
* * * That guy you saw digging a sewerage hole in your neighborhood recently was a girl!
* * * It doesn't take half the time it used to take to make out Christmas cards.
* * * Few people turn their front tires toward the curb anymore when they're parking on a steep incline.
* * * A lot of things that used to be free -- such as festivals -- now charge you a fee, or, perhaps ask for a donation.
* * * Your golfing partners are a lot more likely to talk about their recent quadruple bypass than yesterday's basketball scores.
I wrote this "My View" column for The Hour newspaper of Norwalk, Conn., on April 23, 1994.
Bing Crosby Sings 'That's What Life Is All About'
'Mama Beth' Torpey Revels Sings a Song She Wrote: 'Bitter Times'
Andrews Sisters Sing (Ya Gets No Bread With) 'One Meatball'
More Good Old Days with Bing Crosby: 'Love Thy Neighbor'
The Good Old Days with Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters
Bing Crosby Sings 'Brother Can You Spare A Dime'
William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on March 03, 2016:
Thanks for commenting, Patricia. A while back I saw a photo of an "elevator" near Getty Square but I've been looking but haven't been able to find it. I remember seeing the Putnam RR bridge over New Main Street in the '40s. I love railroads (and trolleys) and I've written two or three columns on the subject back when I was a reporter/editor for The Hour newspaper. In fact, I've read recently where NYC is proposing trolleys in some areas -- and I'm hoping Yonkers will follow suit.
Patricia Fennessey Cala on February 26, 2016:
I now live in Silicon Valley, CA. And when I happened upon the fact that there were old pictures. And I could see what my mother and father lived near. I had to look obituaries to find old friends.
I went to BSA on Park. Found out through your posts that the school was actually owned by the Flagg family. In BSA at that time, one of the students was Maryanne Flagg. They were a family of 12 and lived in the castle at the top of Broadway / Park Hill. There was an elevator that moved travelers from Broadway to the train, that used to move from the Professional Building, stop at Flagg's Castle and then towards NYC.
I saw that the elevator has gone and so has the train.
It was not an elevator but I can't think of the name it would be called.
William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on January 19, 2014:
It sure was wonderful along the Hudson in Yonkers, Sue. I lived at 142 and 156 Woodworth. Only two years ago my best friend from Yonkers, who lived on the floor below us at 142 Woodworth, made contact again after not seeing each other since 1952. It's a wonderful world.
Sue on January 19, 2014:
I grew up on Woodworth Ave. in the 40's also. Had the best times.
William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on October 12, 2013:
You are too kind, Lori. I'm glad that you enjoyed the great old music -- and special thanks for the offer regarding repair of old photos. You are special, too.
Lori on October 12, 2013:
Well my Dear Bill,I truly need to let you know my amazement of your wonderful writings and of course your intelligence (not like me...lol) I am so thrilled you sent me your HUB, I am tickled Pink Love it,and as you brought out we get nostalgic (sorry about my spelling) as we age, my favorites are Feankie Lain, sinatra,andrew sisters,Nat king Cole..Aww hell all of the wonderfuill singers from way back when, So A Very Special Thank Youfor all the enjoyment you have given me,especially the rough(est) time in my life.You remind me of my late hubby
Same age and so onbto earth and helpful,sharing all your wonderful knowledge,bringing back such wonderful memories, as a One time Graphics artist, (still dabble)my buiness cards read
"Only Memories Last Forever"
Thank You Mr. Bill,you ever need photos/or repair of photos ( old photos
I love working with) just yell for me.
You are very special !!!!
William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on December 13, 2010:
Thank you, DRT0005.
Doug Robinson from Midwest on December 13, 2010:
William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on September 06, 2010:
There's definitely nostalgia there, Shalini Kagal, nevertheless I still believe society has been going in the wrong direction for the past several decades. Both our social and economic systems are flawed, I think, causing unnecessary international tensions and poverty and homelessness here at home. We need to do better. But, as you say, we'll always have the memories.
Shalini Kagal from India on September 05, 2010:
Hi William - quite a bit of nostalgia there! Yes. there is a sadness with the passing of old ways but is it because we are getting more reflective and sentimental? At least we have the memories!
William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on September 05, 2010:
The good old days were tough for most people, Putz, I agree. But close, friendly neighborhoods -- which exist only rarely today -- made up for a lot of hardships. The friends and neighbors we had then had to leave the neighborhood to seek work many miles from home, breaking up family unit and scattering former neighbors. As bad as the factories may have been, they provided jobs and stability for many. Today, families and friends are badly separated by geography and income disparity. Change is needed.
Putz Ballard on September 05, 2010:
The good old days were tough but to be honest they probably were the best of our lives. Each day of our life is a gift from our Creator measured in time and since we are not promised tommorrow, we must make the most of our today.
William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on October 05, 2009:
No doubt about it, Mr. David, the good old days left a lot to be desired. The history of the world is rife with shameful prejudice and violence. If you look at the state of the world today, I'm not sure that we've made much progress in this regard. I can only hope that all of us will make every effort to right the wrongs of the past -- and present. At the same time, each of us is obliged to make the most of our lives in the face of adversity. We are also obliged to work toward achieving equality for all. But don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Let's make the "good old days" good for everyone. If you think we can't, I say what President Obama says: "Yes, we can!"
William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on December 06, 2007:
I'm glad you enjoy my hubs, Marisa. Thanks for your kind comments. Everything I write comes from heart. They say one person can make a difference -- I'm trying to do my part.
Kate Swanson from Sydney on December 05, 2007:
Love reading your Hubs, even though some of the politics is lost on me (I'm an Aussie). It's the quality of writing - you can tell you're a professional writer. Being just on the wrong side of 50, I have no trouble identifying with this particular Hub, though!
William F Torpey (author) from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on December 02, 2007:
Thanks, Bob and compu-smart. Patty, Before I retired in 2000 our newspaper put together a basketball team from our old editors and managers to play a game against the senior ladies basketball champs (I actually have a video tape of the charity event.) Our team was called The Hour Newsies. although the police chief and superintendent of schools were starters on the team. (We won!)
Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on November 30, 2007:
I never realized that "Newsies" are the paperboys and not the newspapers until I saw the photo at the top of your Hub! Now I finally understand what Charity Newsies fully means. here it's either tomorrow or next Saturday. Boy! - a lot of people stand in the middle of the street that day!
Tony Sky from London UK on November 24, 2007:
The good ole days;)
Bob on November 23, 2007:
Thought you were on your way to Maine... Anyway , this column I really enjoyed. I guess when you reach our age it's nice to remember the 40's and 50's.