I’ll never forget lunchtime at good old Public School 230, or as we called it Canton. (The school is now Friendship Academy of Science and Technology, 801 S. Highland Ave.)
To begin, the cafeteria was in the basement, a memorable location for two reasons. First, as we came down the stairs, we could catch a whiff of what was cooking. Second, it was the warmest room in the school .
I lived (and still live) across the street from the school on Fait Ave. It would have been easy for both my brother Art and myself to go home for lunch, but because our mother worked, we stayed at school for lunch—and I’m glad we did.
We brought packed lunches each day. My sandwiches were most often one of two selections: either summer baloney with mayo on white or—believe it or not—cream cheese sandwiches, which I loved. My mom also made braunsweiger sandwiches which were fantastic with ketchup and butter. What we ate and where we ate it, and whose mom cooked what, could be a whole other article.
Anyway, there we were in the cafeteria. After finding our assigned tables, we got in line for our milk, which came in glass bottles and cost us three cents each, I believe. If you wanted chocolate you needed to be quick, because they ran out fast.
On Thursdays, Barbecue Day, my brother and I would insist to our mom that we be allowed to buy our lunch. Does any reader out there remember lunch back then? In those halcyon days when the lunch ladies really cooked, and the food was served on real plates with almost real silverware? Wow! We really did not know how good we had it, did we?
And of course when we were finished we had an orange dreamsicle—nothing like it, and only a nickel. Along with that we would buy a hard pretzel or a pretzel rod or two.
The lunch ladies even baked. There were things like the cinnamon sticky buns which would put any modern bakery to shame.
I attended Canton 230 from kindergarten through the eighth grade, and then moved on to Hampstead Hill—the old Patterson—for one year, and then out to Patterson on Kane St.
Lunchtime was a good time. We kids ate what was served, and we enjoyed it—and, like me, lived to write about it.
Roland would love to hear from anyone else with memories of the old neighborhoods. He can be reached at email@example.com.