Episode I

I was born at 958 Lincoln Street, Dickson City, PA. All our neighbors in the 900 block lived in harmony with one another, compassionate and humble. On the east side of the street - were the families of Sowinski, Witkowski, Matuszewski, Janowski, with a (cobble regair shop), Kulick, Valtus, Shargay, and their grocery store. On the west side Matusiak plus a (beer tavern), Biro, Vanston, Kozlowski, Novack, Nuzbach, Przychodny, Zalewski, the mine property and mule barn.

Upon a rising slope from our main street, our street was intersected by an alley called Grant Court. It was customary for neighbors to walk thru one's property withour seeking permission to shorten a homeward walk. Latch keys attached to the inside of our front doors, but never in a locked "positon" Such was the faith of my people toward our local community. A front yard view was of a picket fence or a privet shrubery hedge, the backyard on the alley was a make-shift of an uneven patchwork of whatever kind of lumber one came upon to erect a fence. I recall as a young boy running with a stick brushing against the neighbors front yard picket fence to compact a sound like a whirling carnival raffle wheel - tat-tat-tat-tat-tat!

Into our family came a puppy dog, a breed known as a bull dog. As he grew to maturity he had a low-slung body, wide shoulders, short fore-legs and long hind-legs, a short tail, a jaw with a grip that was difficult to break, weight about fifty (50) pounds. We named him "Bully", believe me he "lived up" to his name! He had free range of our neighborhood which he roamed at will. An instinct with Bully was he hated cats, many neighborhood cats had no chance for nine (9) lives when they crossed Bully's path, especially in the grip of his lower jaw. We had some discontent with a few neighbors about this. At home we had a cat that slept behind the kitchen coal range and Bully laid along side her.

Once we had a relic of an old automobile that was rusting away in our backyard. anyhow, I was outside when I saw a grown-up stranger climb over the back fence with the intention to remove a part or parts off the relic car. I faced the man and told him to leave, he replied "Beat it kid, get lost!" How fortunate for me the Bully just entered the yard from one of his jaunt's, Ha, I called Bully toward me with the command of "Sic him Bully" - well! that man made a rapid leap over the fence as the dog bored-down" on him living a hammer and wrench behind, (ha, ha). It give me a feeling of a new found courage, to standup to strangers as long as Bully was around.

Episode II

On the east side of Lincoln Street, off to the very end of our block was Shargay's Grocery Store. Not much cash was transacted with the grocer. Most everyone had a credit-line with the owner. When the mine payday came about, which was twice a month; we settled the debt with the grocer - who in turn reciprocated with a few pounds of assorted cookies for the children. One day a meat truck was making a delivery to Shargay's Grocery, with his truck panel door ajar. The delivery man was inside the store. Low and behold came Bully to smell and find the aroma to an open invitation to a dog's heaven, he entered the truck, with his strong jaw Bully set his grip upon a long thirty (30) inch piece of baloney, and he just trotted down the sidewalk to reach home and deposit it to a family member. There was no witness to this theft. Since Bully had a wide jaw, he was given the center-cut, where his grip held the baloney. The remainder was a family treat to us from bully, as he barked a contented sound....arf! arf!


As Bully reached is fourth (4th) year of animal life, he strutted in our 900 block with a defiant commanding trot, long ago, set a claim that this domain was solely his. He never was secured to a leach, the free spirit flowed within him to roam about wherever he pleased.

Came a spring day, twas during the lent season before the Easter Holiday. Bully made the mistake to venture out of Lincoln Street territory below to the busy Main Street which was part of Highway 6. This being the town's main thoroughfare,, thou traffic was light, Bully was struck by a motor vehicle while crossing the street, he managed to reach an open field across from Main Street. No longer his strong body sustained him he fell and awaited what was to be his end. I remember the news swept our neighborhood like wild fire, most all other children ran from their home to see Bully lay mortally wounded. I cried that our dog was in such deep pain. Sometime later, a town constable came by and shot Bully with a police pistol, so ending the suffering. With family help we secured a large cardboard box and carried the dog to our yard to bury him near the relic car. Now Bully's ghost can keep a stranger from coming over the backyard fence, and for some reason cats do not stray close to Bully's final resting place.

Telling time Memoir Index Sunday