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July 03, 2006


That was such a beautiful post. The only possible ill side effect is that I will now never refer to you as anything but Boss of the World -- a nickname which fits again today just as perfectly as I'm sure it did then! But you sure can write, Boss of the World -- and thank God for that photojournalist, Susie the Swinger.

Danny, you are a true archivist: you capture time and history so well, as one would catch fireflies in a jar...and then you let them out into the world.

It's a pleasure to read about your world time and time again, the world that was lost, and is regained via your words.

Thank you.

Have a great Fourth of July with family and friends.

P.S. I'd like to become an honorary member of the Drake Club. I can be the club's official poet, okay?

I know what you mean -- we can idealize the past. But I, too, am a sucker for reminiscing. I enjoyed your post.

We loved your blog. You caputured the years of our childhood in your blog so well--it gave us the chills reading it. The picture of you and Sandy at the top is priceless.

For all the readers of your blog, Drake Avenue was the place to be! The Miller household was the "favorite" house on the block. Amongst many other things, it had an endless candy bowl on the kitchen counter for all the kids. We marveled at every new electronic gadget that Danny's dad brought home (eg.clap your hands twice and the lights go on)and can still remember trick or treating every year with Danny's mom Judy. She was everything and more that Danny has written about.

Danny, thanks for all the memories. And to Susie and Kendall, Sandy too is still BOW. I guess personalities don't change that much!

I love the old photos, BOW -- what I wouldn't give for some black and white polaroid film! -- and as usual, your writing brings me away from my desk and into another place.

Long-time reader, first-time poster....

That was just awesome. I was talking with my husband the other day about how information overkill has destroyed whatever innocence was left in our society. What a charming analogy you've made between blogging and your childhood neighborhood. Maybe I don't feel quite as jaded as I did a couple of days ago!


It was strange seeing my own photo taken so many years ago with all the kids. There was an 11 year age difference between myself and my kid brother Marc, who sadly did die in a car accident, killed by a drunk driver. In some ways, I was a pseudo older brother for all the kids. I believe it was because they had so readily accepted my brother into their group, and my brother and I had been close back then. The memories the blog brings back are pleasant ones for me. I remember all of the kids in the photo's, I would like to thank Danny Miller for the blog, and for the memories.

Wow, how great to hear from some of the charter members of the Drake Kid Club! Thanks, June and Sandy. That bottomless candy bowl got us a lot of friends! Alan, thank you for commenting, what a surprise, I'm sure we haven't seen each other since Nixon's first term! I was so sorry to hear about Marc.

Still waiting for those lyrics. Sue??

Okay, at least now I get to live on your blog "block," since I missed out on the wonder years. Seems like your house is still "the place to be."

BTW, I cringe when I think of all the things we did when I was a kid, most of which were done when my parents had absolutely no idea where we were nor what we were doing (we were often miles away from home on our bikes). It's amazing we all lived to see adulthood.

Wonderful post Danny. I often feel that the street I live on now has the same blessings as your Drake.
Also, the most amazing response to my book of 1940s Chicago has been the outpouring of e-mails from people who lived in my old Humboldt Park neighborhood. Not just Jews like me, but the Catholic boys from St. Marks, all of their buddies, my grammar school classmates, and dozens of people who grew up somewhere on the block. Despite my sometimes dark memories, all of my correspondents stress "the good old days." Evidentally nostalgia trumps everything else.

that was a great post...skipping thru our childhood or just the past seems to be going doing a salute to the 60's...
i can remember going out to breakfast and maybe coming home for lunch and then going back out and not coming back again till it started to get dark...never a care...never thought about anyone getting hurt...parents never worried about me...if that happened today...well, it wouldnt happen today..although here in west, the kids do get dropped off at swimming pool and stay there all day long..but what i really find...odd? is that with the exception of Kinky friedman...I dont know any Jewish people...It just hit me while reading your post..raised in military by broad minded parents who taught me not to judge anyone..and could care less what religion or race you are...well, im not crazy about evangelical bible thumpers..ha

Danny, such a wonderful post. I love posting about my childhood memories as well, but certainly cannot do it with quite the heart and soul that you do...I can almost taste and feel Drake Avenue. Thanks for sharing those memories.

I know a Frank Messina from Chicago. He's now a Family Practice doc in SW Indiana, probably in his late 30's. Same Frank??

Loved the post! Your description of the guy in the window brought back a memory of a guy a friend of mine and I saw at Polliwog Park. He exposed himself to us and we ran as fast as we could, never telling our parents for fear they wouldn't let us go to the park any more.

What a lovely look into your childhood, Danny. I'm a bit older than you are, and I had such a similar childhood in my neighborhood in the west Valley. We ran just as free, rang each other's doorbells, had no boundries, and lived a carefree existance alone in our suburban utopia. It was a great way to grow up.

My kids are lucky to have that kind of freedom now. Or sort of. They do wander all around town, hang out at each other's houses, take public transportation to the Y and to other neighborhoods. We are lucky to live in a place that isn't too restricted by playdates and scheduled afterschool activities. But there is no such thing as just hanging out all summer. Camp takes all the kids out of town for the summer, and the streets are quiet and empty. It makes me sad and I long for the days when kids just hung out and played in the street.

Your post brought that all back. Lovely.

Thanks for such a wonderful post! I really enjoyed reading it.

I was thrilled to come across this article,
As a Drake Street KID i can tell you that is was a simpler time!
I always wanted to know what happened to the Millers! and Kaisers etc.

please get in touch


My family grew up on Drake Avenue, but we were evicted by the new owners of our two-flat who claimed to own the building in partnership. That was in 1948, so I can't relate to your memories. Thanks for the note. I was born at 4932 and moved to 4948 at age 18 months.

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