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Re: [Slovak-World] Re: The Ragman

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  • Donna Manuel
    Hi, I just saw this message about the Ragman in your neighborhood, in Chicago.  It reminded me of a ragman who used to frequent the neighborhoods in my
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 21, 2010
      Hi, I just saw this message about the Ragman in your neighborhood, in Chicago.  It reminded me of a "ragman" who used to frequent the neighborhoods in my hometown of Schenectady, NY.  He would do the same, look for rags, newspapers, etc.  It turned out that he was the father of Kirk Douglas, who is from Amsterdam, NY, not far from Schenectady.  Matter of fact, Kirk Douglas wrote a book called "The Ragman's Son," which tells about growing up in Upstate NY.   The family was originally from Russia.
        I just thought it was an interesting story.....
      Donna Manuel

      --- On Sun, 3/14/10, John J. Nadzam <jjrail@...> wrote:


      From: John J. Nadzam <jjrail@...>
      Subject: Re: [Slovak-World] Re: The Ragman
      To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Sunday, March 14, 2010, 4:45 PM


       



      Thanks for jogging my memory as I had completely forgotten about the umbrella, sissor/knife sharpening man ringing a bell when he would come to our neighborhood.

      John

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: BJLK@...
      To: Slovak-World@ yahoogroups. com
      Sent: Sunday, March 14, 2010 5:27 PM
      Subject: [Slovak-World] Re: The Ragman

      When I was growing up on the southwest side of Chicago, the alleys were
      alive all summer with many kinds of small businesses conducted with a horse
      and wagon--the rag pickers, who would sing "Regsalie!" (which meant they were
      looking to buy rags, paper, and iron scrap), fruit and produce dealers
      (who would always treat the little kids in the neighborhood to the odd grapes,
      cherries, or some kind of berries), watermelon sellers, and sellers of
      many other kinds of wonderful goods. I don't believe that a single summer day
      went by without at least one or two visits from the wagons. Starting
      around the late 40s and early 50s, some of the vendors began selling from the
      back of open trucks.

      We also had a man who repaired umbrellas and sharpened knives and
      scissors. He traveled on foot through the neighborhoods, pushing a huge, bulky
      wagon with all of his equipment, and ringing a loud bell to announce his
      presence. He didn't come around more than once or twice a summer to the same
      neighborhood, so he often drew a huge crowd of housewives brandishing dull
      knives when that bell sounded. When he had a group of customers, he would
      uncover the wagon and set up shop for a couple of hours before moving on to
      the next place. But, the summer visitor we all loved the best was the
      organ-grinder and his monkey, dressed in a funny little costume, who would dance
      and then tip his tiny cap whenever he was given a coin.

      It was a very different world back then . . .

      B. J.

      ____________ _________ ____
      B. J. Licko-Keel (_BJLK@..._ (http://BJLK@ aol.com/) )

      In a message dated 3/14/2010 1:37:32 P.M. Central Daylight Time,
      hfed@... writes:

      I just barely remember the rag man coming around (down the alleys), maybe
      once a month or less, on the south side of Chicago, in the early to
      mid-1960s.

      H
      All opinions my own

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