Bridgeport Memories of Lillian Bayerle

        I remember Home Pride Bakery & Wonder bread. Read School was in the middle of the two. They were between Housatonic Avenue and North Avenue.  We went to St. Patrickís School and then had to walk past the bakeries. The smell was like Heaven. We would buy day-old bread for a nickel and the man would give us kids a cookie or cupcake. 

        Mitchellís Dairy was also on North Avenue, near the school and bakeries. They would bottle the milk right in the big glass window for all to see. They also delivered milk and in the winter the cream would rise to the top because it froze. They also had an ice cream parlor.

        Then there was the riding academy on Glenbrook Avenue, next to where a car wash is now. They also rented out bicycles, my sister learned to ride there. My brother, Ritchie took care of the stables and horses. 

        Beardsley Beach also rented out row boats for a short while, in 1940 and 1941. There was Alís hot dog stand across from the beach. I also remember how the guys would come after working and bring a bar of soap and suds themselves and then dive off the brick wall (not many houses had tubs then). In the evenings we would build a fire and have good clean fun (no drugs or drinking). Then maybe go to Alís and play the jukebox (if anyone had any money to play it). 

        I remember the Candlelight Restaurant. I lived across the street from it. It was a casket company before the restaurant. Carl Burnetto was the owner and known as the "Banana Man." He had kids from the East Side help him out. Before the Candlelight open air theater it was the Candlelight Stadium. A lot of ball games were played there and they also had an old-timers night. 

        Bridgeport Brass gave their workers and family a free outing at Pleasure Beach. I remember making ice cream cones for them. I was just helping out in one of the restaurants. The ice cream you mentioned that you had to unwrap was called a mellow roll. 

        And Halloween, before Treat or Treat came along, there would be a parade on Main Street. All the kids would dress up and go see the parade. Thursday nights all the stores would stay open until 9 o'clock. The guys would line up in front of Leavitt's Department Store on Main and Fairfield Avenue to see who they could pick up, and the girls would look, too. 

        I really have a lot of fond memories of the East End of Bridgeport back then. 

From the memory of Bridgeport resident, Lillian Bayerle, born 1924. Many thanks to her niece, Paticia Slivinski of Bridgeport, for compiling her "Aunt Lil's" memories and sending them in to us.

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