After thinking about doing this for more than 2 weeks, wondering what I should put in here, how to write it, and if readers out there would read it, I’m gonna give this a good try. I’m predicting that some of these Posts may become rather long-winded, but I hope you all will bear with me.
MY EARLY YEARS.
I don’t remember me being born, but it was on March 11th, 1947 at 12:32 in the afternoon. I came into this world at the Reading Hospital that is still here, but much, much bigger than it was back then. I did have good care between my Grandparents & my Mother. When I was brought home, my Grandmother said: “Well, isn’t he a Corker!” For some reason, the name stuck to me. Thereafter, I got the nickname Corkey. It’s been with me ever since then.
MY MOTHER & FATHER
My Father, pictured above, was Wilford Francis Lawson, and my Mother was Dorothy Jane Johnson. They met in London, England when my Mother was stationed at the Allied Head Quarters during WWII. My Father landed in Normandy, June 6th, 1944. Both of them were in the Army and how my Father got to London, I don’t know at all. He was just there and they got together. Then sometime late in 1944 or early 1945, they married in Paris, France. After being discharged from the Army they came back to my Grandparent’s home in Hamburg, PA. after the War was over. I came along in March of 1947. I look just like my Father pretty much.
Here I am around 1950 or so. I was named Lester Paul Lawson. I’m not sure just when this was taken or by who. Taken in the back of the old house way before the new Interstate was being built that would take away the home and have it placed in another location just up the road.
Here I am again. This time with my Grandmother on the dirt road that was known as North 5th St. I don’t recall this Image being taken, either. The house in the background was Beckers Farm where I used to play a lot. The barn is in the back. The white arrows show where the new Interstate went thru. All of this is gone now and the road is now mcadam. I can remember having good times here.
This is the old home that I grew up in as it is today. It looks so small now. Back then I thought it was big. It has not changed all that much. The small trees were not there then, but everything else is about the same. I still can go to this house and know where everything is and where each room is. I remember it so well.
My Grandparents had this home built. My Grandfather passed away in 1954 & my Grandmother in 1956 leaving my Mother to be the only one to raise a young boy. My Father left her just before I was born or just after. Not sure which one. She had no one else. She had to work a job and care for me at the same time. Back then, I never even thought of that. She must have had a rough time. I’m sure it was not that easy.
Since my mother had no one else to watch over me, she would drop me off to this play area in Hamburg. I was told very sternly to stay here until she got back from work at the Disher Knitting Mills where she was a typist. I did what I was told! At that time there was no play area like you see. The large building in the background was there, but not as fancy. There were lots of things to do here during the Summer months. Us kids could make little crafts, play in a sandbox, go down a big sliding board, be on the swings, and play box hockey. Swimming was a hit or miss for me. Lot’s of times Mom didn’t have the money for me to get in the Pool. I think it was .50 cents to enter for the whole day. If Mom didn’t have any money, some of us kids would go swimming in the old Union Canal that was just down the way from here. It didn’t cost a dime.
The place in the old Union Canal where I used to go swimming, at times. It has changed over the passing years. Not as much water in it as before. We’d go swimming here with the frogs, the mud, and an occasional snake. Didn’t bother us at all.
I had a really good childhood in Hamburg. Mom always was there for me. She made sure that I was dressed the best for school and church. She would always lay out my clothes that I was to wear for that day on the bed. I never ever had anything dirty to be worn at all! Always had good shoes to wear, boots for winter. I don’t remember ever being without something that was important. Mom was a very stern Mother. She kept me in line, taught me right from wrong, taught me manners that I still know to this day. If I did something wrong, I’d get told about it or get my butt busted, which happened 2 or 3 times.
I was enrolled in the Hamburg Elementry School from 1st – 5th grade. Don’t recall much about 1st – 2nd grade, but in the 3rd year, I can still remember the smell of the school. It still smells the same as it did back then. It was not a bad smell. Just different. I was taught reading, writing, and Arithmetic. I hated Math and still do to this day. I was not good at it at all. Think I barely passed addition, division, subtraction, and multiply numbers. I didn’t do too bad. I learned as I went along in school. Spelling is another one. I’m sort of ok doing my English words, but I still spell stuff wrong.
Thanks for reading.