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Peter Kolarik
Oct 7, 2014
The year was 1950 and the event was my birth at the Allentown Hospital. For the first three years of my life we on Green ST. adjacent to one of the many silk mills in town. And down the street was BERHINGER's BAKERY. In later years I would stop to buy one of their sugar coated donuts that puffed sugar on your face when you took the first bite. Then travel up to Tilgham St. to the pretzel plant and watch the pretzel makers twist each pretzel by hand. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
When I turned four, my parents purchased twin home on Club Ave in MIDWAY MANOR. Across the street was Bethlehem Country Club and down the street was the old CENTRAL PARK. I still remember the small heard of buffalo and the roller skating rink. In later years, we would go sled riding in the back section of the park or walk over to the main hill at the STATE HOSPITAL located on Hanover Ave. Either was, what fun we had. And than in summer, we would take the bike ride of our lives going down the small road behind the hospital. It ended at the banks of the Lehigh River and the READING RR tracks.
Most of my life was centered in east Allentown where I grew up. MIDWAY MANOR Elementary School, OUR LADY HELP OF CHRISTAINS SCHOOL, CENTRAL CATHOLIC HS and finally DIERUFF HS (68'_) MIDWAY MANOR was all blue collar with the exception of Lee Iaacco. He moved out after graduating from LEHIGH UNIVERSITY. The little league baseball program was always thrilling. Especially when we traveled to Jordan Park or some other team out west. For a twelve year old, travel was a big issue. For basketball we played mid-town teams like Union Street Boys Club and the YMCA. Here again, travel was thrilling. When I turned fifteen, I got my first real job, busboy at WALP'S RESTUARANT. Eventually was moved into the kitchen and worked there through college, eight years.
Although I was an only child, I did come from a large German family. My Mother had ten siblings which produced sixteen cousins. And we had fun whenever we got together. Like the many family picnics in the ROSE GARDEN where us boys would float down that small stream on inner tubes. It was only six inches deep at places and you would rub your butt if you weren't watching.
And then there was the RITZ out at the fairgrounds. Butter Brickle ice cream, I'll never forget. Nor the Friday night drag car races on the track. They were legendary and the winners had bragging rights at the RITZ where the older high school kids hung out. The younger crowd

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