A Walk Down Memory Lane

++Above%2C+from+left%2C+Sarah+Billings%2C+Patty+Billings%2C+and+Rachel+Billings
  Above, from left, Sarah Billings, Patty Billings, and Rachel Billings

Above, from left, Sarah Billings, Patty Billings, and Rachel Billings

Rachel Billings

Rachel Billings

Above, from left, Sarah Billings, Patty Billings, and Rachel Billings

Rachel Billings

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Have you ever wondered what your hometown will be like in ten years? Twenty years? Fifty Years? A lot can change in a town in that time. Businesses open and close , events come and pass, people come and go. Recently, Bronxville was visited by a old member of it’s community who lived here a very long time ago– 74 years ago to be exact.

Martha Billings was born on June 3, 1930 in New York City. Her grandmother had lived in Bronxville since the late 1800s and her parents had moved here a couple of years earlier. They lived in a little white house on Ridgecroft Road, up on the Hilltop by Siwanoy Country Club. For the next eleven years, Martha, also nicknamed Patty, would continue to grow up in our little town that was very different back then from what we know today.

Patty began attending the Bronxville School in 1936 as a first grader. Her first grade teacher was Mrs. Rose and their classroom was in the same area of the building that the first grade classrooms are today. Back then, however, there was only the main building with the flagpole as the only entrance and a separate one-story building behind that for the kindergarten. The playground and the football field were in the same place and the school’s brown brick design was all the same as well.

After school, Patty would go to her Girl Scouts troop meeting, which was in the same place it is today, although the cabin that the girls used to meet in burned down in the 1990s. Patty would then be driven home where she would proceed to play with her friends until dark.

In an interview with Patty, she described her experience driving through Bronxville this past November and seeing her old town for the first time in over fifty years.

“It was so different. Everywhere is covered with buildings and houses now where there used to be just grass fields filled with cows! And the streets are so narrow now and filled with cars, I can’t imagine how anyone could get by. There are some of the same places, though. There used to be a little penny candy store right in the middle of town (where Candyland is today), the railroad was there, Christ Church, the movie theater, which of course was much different back then, and the Gramatan Hotel (which is now an apartment building that also leads up to Gramatan Court). ”

Patty also visited her old house, which she says looks exactly same, as well as her grandmother’s house on North Ave. Her old neighbor’s house was still there as well, whom, she said, had moved to America to escape the growing conflicts with the Nazis in England. Patty only lived in Bronxville for the beginning of her life, however, since she moved to Connecticut with her parents in 1941. The last time she was here was the early 1950s to visit her grandmother.

Bronxville has been shared and loved by many of its townspeople throughout the decades and although some parts have changed significantly since the 1930s, other parts will never change and will never be forgotten. Patty Billings will certainly never forget Bronxville. For her, “It was like a walk down memory lane.”

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A Walk Down Memory Lane