CHANGING THE TROLLY ON THE HAMPDEN JERKWATER:

By Owens Pomeroy <opomeroy@msn.com>

     Every Summer, during the depression years, several of us neighborhood guys would earn our Movie money to the Ideal or Hampden Theatre's by waiting at the intersection of West 36th. Street and Roland Avenue for the Jerkweater whose route was from that location to Balmar Tool Works (that recently burned to the ground), at the bottom of Union Avenue near Woodberry.

     We would wait there on the corner and when the Trolly stopped, we would help the motorman change the trolly for the trip back. We would also change the directional seats that were now facing the rear of the Trolly so they would face the front on the way back. I can remember the motorma removing the control lever and carrying to the far end of the Trolly and place it in the gear box for the return trip.

     For this, the Motorman would pay us from .10 to .25 each trip according to how much we did for him. The journey back and forth usually took about 20-30 minutes, so if we started real early in the morning, we could earn enough by noon to go to both movies and have some money left over for snacks. Ah, what memories those Depression days bring back. to me. I am now 73 years young, and every time I approach that intersection, I can still see the old Jerkwater standig there waiting to return to Woodbury. I visited the Streetcar Museum recently and saw my "old friend" there ready to ride the rails again.

Owens Pomeroy
Hampden Boy

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