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Nostalgic Parts

May 2024
1min read

In regard to your “Postscripts” item in the August/September 1981 issue: The First Schwenkfelder Church stands at the corner of Thirtieth and Cumberland streets in Philadlephia.

When I was a boy my companion and I would play half-ball (a rubber pimpleball cut in half plus a broomstick for a bat), utilizing the churchyard as an outfield. Cumberland Street at that time was paved with rectangular-shaped cobblestones for the largely horse and wagon traffic. It has since been paved with asphalt.

My friend would stand on the church pavement and throw the ball across Cumberland Street. A hit ball that rolled to the curb was a single; if it hit the pavement it was a double; if it hit the ornamental fence it was a triple; and if it went over the fence it was a home run. The home run presented problems since we had to climb the fence to retrieve the ball. At that point old Reverend Heebner (of blessed memory) would come running out of the church to chase the juvenile trespassers.

Although we were hardly Schwenkfelders (the neighborhood was almost exclusively Jewish), we remember the church with fondness. It was indeed small; in the twenty-one years that I lived there I don’t recall anyone but Reverend Heebner going in or out!

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