Jane Lackner remembers shopping with her mother in downtown York when stores sold a variety of merchandise at reasonable prices.
Wiest's Department Store was one of their favorite stops.
From the basement to the third floor, the store was stocked with everything from dishes, furniture and pots and pans to clothing and shoes. The shoe department had an x-ray machine where you could check the fit of the new shoes before you bought them.
"My brother and I used to run up and step up and stick our feet in and we could see our feet through our shoes," she said.
The store's furniture department on the third floor had a great selection, pretty much everything a young couple would need to set up housekeeping, she said.
"My mom said to me 'we'll pay for your wedding and your furniture.' They bought it at Wiest's furniture for our bedroom, dining room and living room for $1,000," Lackner said.
The year was 1964 and style of the day was Early American or Colonial. The list of items included a bed, mattress, box spring, dresser, chest of drawers, mirror and two bedside tables for the bedroom; a round table, four chairs, hutch, buffet and large braided rug for the dining room; and a sofa, two wing chairs, a coffee table, two end tables and two lamps for the living room, all for $1,000, she said.
When it came to shopping for a wedding dress, Lackner went to Pat Morgart's Bridal Shop near Dover and found a wedding dress and veil for $89. She had six
"My dress was a simple sheath, the style of the day, and a veil," she said.
Talking about the price of furniture and the cost of her wedding dress prompted Lackner to check her wedding memory box, and she came up with some other interesting cost figures.
Her husband, Eugene, is from Allentown, where it was customary for a wedding reception to include a dance band and beer. This was new to family and friends in this area, where the typical wedding reception was held in the church basement with sandwiches and cake and lasted maybe an hour or so.
"Nobody had ever been to a wedding reception where they had a dance band," Lackner said. "We had Bob Huska's Dance Band for $200. They played for three hours."
They skipped the beer, however, thinking that might be going a bit too far in conservative York County.
The list of other costs included 300 wedding napkins printed with their names and the date of the wedding for $4.95, and invitations for $19.34. Lackner estimates the flowers cost about $125.
"We went to the Finger Lakes on our honeymoon and paid $11 a night for our motel," she said.
The newlyweds moved into their first apartment, where the rent was $75 a month including utilities, she said.
When he was single, Eugene Lackner paid $3,000 for a 1963 black Chevy Super Sport. He sold that car and bought a less expensive one, she said. They regret they did not keep that car, today a collectors' item that would be worth about seven times the original price, she said.
Lacker remembers going to York Township Elementary School. In first grade, she carried her lunch because the cafeteria had not yet been completed.
"It seemed so big. I was overwhelmed with how big it was," she said.
She also remembers the early days of television, when it was black and white, color was unheard of and being the first in your neighborhood to have a TV set was a big deal.
"My cousin had the first television in the neighborhood and I went there to watch Howdy Doody; and the Today Show was the first morning show on TV," she said.
Eugene and Jane Lackner live in the house her parents built in 1946. It was originally part of her grandfather's farm. Glatfelter Insurance is now on a portion of the farm, she said.
More memories of Dogtown
Charles Snyder grew up on Salem Road in Dogtown and his backyard was the most popular spot in town.
"Our yard had to be the largest in the area. The other kids all had small yards and our yard was the best place to play ball," said Snyder, who now lives in York Township.
Loosely defined, Dogtown was the 1300 and 1400 blocks of West College Avenue, between Salem Road and Highland Avenue.
"Everyone had a dog, some had two or three, most of them tied outside and when one barked they all barked and howled, and I guess that's where the name came from," he said.
On rainy days Snyder and his pals played Monopoly, but when the weather was good they played baseball in his yard. The house next door had a lot of windows that faced the Snyder property and on occasion someone would hit a baseball through a window, he said.
"The old guy who lived there would come out and shake his fist at us. Everyone else could run home, but I couldn't go anywhere because I lived next door," Snyder said.
Flickinger's was a popular spot with Snyder and his friends.
"It was a grocery store and had a lunch counter where we would hang out," he said.
Bikes were the preferred form of transportation in those days.
"We all rode our bikes everywhere. We spent a lot of time working on our bikes, taking the fenders off and changing the seat and souping them up. My dad got upset with me for taking the fenders off, but it was the thing to do," Snyder said.
There were several places to swim, many with rope swings, he said.
"There were the quarries and there was Ed Newman's pond, where the York Ice Company cut ice in the winter that was sold to keep things cold," Snyder said. "We went fishing and swimming there and in the creek at Twin Arches. The water was deeper there, and they had a rope swing there."
Getting by in the Great Depression
John Stambaugh, 91, grew up during the Great Depression.
Things were very different in those days, he said.
His father, a machinist with Pennsylvania Tool, was laid off during the Depression but the family got by in a variety of ways.
"My dad raised rabbits. He had as many as 200 at a time, so we always had plenty to eat. There was a big, open field near the quarry and it was my job to cut clover and lay it out in the sun to dry for food for the rabbits," he said.
Local businesses sold day-old products that helped families get by, he said.
"My mom had a big muslin bag and we would go to Fishel's Bakery and get day-old bread and rolls and banana buns, (covered with icing and coconut). The icing got hard and would break off and us kids would find those little pieces of icing and that was a real treat," he said.
Stambaugh went to the back door of Green's Dairy with a 2½-gallon milk can and got skim milk for 10 cents.
"There was a cigar factory at Overbrook and Poplar, near Mount Rose Avenue Hill. The cigars were made by machine but a row of women put the outer wrapper on. The cigars came along a conveyor belt and the pieces of tobacco that fell on the floor were swept up and sold. I had a rickety old wagon and I would put three muslin bags on that wagon and go down and buy the tobacco they swept off the floor," he said.
They would shovel the tobacco into the bags and sometimes Stambaugh struggled to hold the three bags on his wagon.
"It took me a long time to get home," he said.
Once he got the tobacco home, his father would sieve it to remove the tobacco dust.
"My dad put the dust on the garden, like fertilizer, and he would fill five-pound brown bags about two-thirds full of tobacco and sell it for 15 cents. There were a lot of people who would pay 15 cents for a big bag of tobacco," he said. "People would come by and say 'grandpa needs more tobacco,' and they would go away with bags of it."
His parents grew sweet corn and lima beans both to feed the family and to sell, he said.
"We sold the lima beans in one-pound bags, and one year we made enough money to buy a small garden tractor, not the kind you ride on, but the kind you walk after and it had a motor on it," he said.
Stambaugh has fond memories of the old wooden hand plow they used before buying the newer model.
"My brother and I would get out in front of the plow and our dad would guide it. We would pull the plow pretty fast and Dad, he was pretty short and he had to almost run to keep up," he said.
He attended Park School in Dogtown until eighth grade, then transferred to William Penn High School. He graduated from William Penn in 1941.
He got a job almost right away, but when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in August of that year, Stambaugh enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He left for basic training and learned to love being out on the ocean.
He served aboard several ships including a heavy cruiser that was eventually put in moth balls because its hull was radioactive. He saw the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the U.S. dropped atom bombs on the Japanese cities, and was discharged in 1948 with the rank of Senior Petty Officer.
He came back to York County and took a job with American Chain and Cable, a job he held for 54 years.
"A buddy of mine served on a second-class sub during the war and saw Mount Fuji from the periscope," he said.
Once Stambaugh retired, "my wife and I were going to sell the house and buy a boat and live on it and sail any place we wanted to go. Then we began hearing reports of pirates in the inner coastal waterway, holding up boats, killing the passengers, using the boat to pick up and smuggle drugs and finally scuttle the boat," he said.
They reconsidered their dream to sail the world seas and instead remained in York, but Stambaugh is a member of the Tin Can Sailors Association and the Cruiser Association and keeps busy sharing sailing stories with other sailors who love the open seas.