The Perry Projects in the 50's
sjz

Tonawanda, NY

#62 Jul 6, 2013
Lifeeeeee Coachhhhhhhhhhh wrote:
<quoted text>
There is a reason for painting the doors different colors. These rows of housing projects all look the same, and it is common for drunks to stagger into the wrong unit, especially back in the days when people would leave their doors unlocked, or bang on the wrong door yelling to be let in. The different co
lored doors cut down on that.
Did you live in the Projects
aka Mad Dog

Brooklyn, NY

#63 Aug 5, 2013
I would like to add two further things about growing up in the Perry Projects in the 1950s and 1960s.
For those who ventured inside, the Watson Public Library on the corner of Alabama and S.Park Ave. was a gem. In addition to having an interesting collection of books for children and adults, they also offered weekly films that were just incredible. My friends and I were introduced to a lot of the classic comedies and silent action pictures. The librarians there welcomed people, especially children, of all kinds and did their best to help them. And, you could take books out on loan from there as well. Two of my friends, both black, ended up working there part time-both graduated from college. Not a lot of people availed themselves of its resources, but it was there for anyone to take advantage of if they wanted and those who did benefited from doing so.
Finally, in my previous post I mentioned that I got a scholarship to go to Nichols School in 1967. Even though I am "of the Caucasian persuasion", I was chosen to receive that scholarship, which was part of the "Model Cities" program by an all-black community board in the Perry Projects. That board could have chosen any kid and the intent of the program probably was for them to select a black kid. But they didn't let that prevent them from picking me. I can only hope that I have been able to live up to the standard that they set.
But, it's important to note that I'm not the only one from the group that I hung out with who got a scholarship to HS or college. Nearly all of the guys that were my friends-and some of the girls-went to college. And, all of us who did were too poor to have been able to do so without scholarships and financial aid. Our interest in sports-you couldn't play if you didn't pass your courses-and politics-sparked by the Civil Rights and Anti-Vietnam War movements-as well as our desire to "get out" of the poverty of the Perry prompted us to encourage one another to do well in school. We saw and talked to the older guys who had been in the Army, we saw the poverty and felt the racism (even being white-when your friend it hurt by it, it hurts you, too!) and we wanted to fight against that and make things better. That's why six of us became lawyers, another a teacher and one a psychologist. There were people in the Perry who let us know that we were good enough to make it. While a lot of our peers didn't, we listened to them. And it paid off.
The Perry Projects of the 1950s and 1960s was a place where you might be poor, but you still had a chance to make a better life for yourself. After the riots and the closing of the library, etc., most of the things and people who made that a possibility began to disappear. Time has moved on and so have the vast majority of people who could do so when they had a chance.
Finally, yes, Rick James did live in the Perry. He was friends with one of my friend's little brother. Like all older kids, we used to give him/them a hard time because they used to pester us and, well, older kids just don't particularly like to be bothered by "little kids" who are 4-5 years younger! I don't remember exactly where he lived in the projects, but I do remember him coming around when we were hanging out and us chasing him off. Ah, what did we know back then!!!
Diana

Hilliard, OH

#64 Oct 20, 2013
I lived in that area in 1970. I went to St. Brigids school too
mini69

Tonawanda, NY

#65 Oct 21, 2013
Anonymous wrote:
Has anyone lived in the Perry Projects in the 50's and what was it like? How does it compare to now?
I lived there fom the time I was 5 years until 12 years,it was in 1955 until 1962,The Perry Projects then housed alot of post Korean and WW2 Vets with or without families,also their was a mixture of all Etnicities,I saw Greeks, Gypsies, African Americans, Lebanese, Germans, Italians, Jewish, alot of Irish and a few Japanese. Everybody looked out for each others kids and you could roam from street to street and be welcome,alot of men would put together Baseball games with old wooden bats and really mentor both girls or boys to play.I saw a man called Buckeye he wore a patch over his left eye,possibly from war injury,a man who had both legs missing and a man who had an artificial arm,who would let kids touch and watch as he put it on and showed the movements,it was archaic compared to artifical limbs now. The Huckster would come by and kids would wait until he went into the high rises to swipe fruit. The scissor and rag man came buy also so you could get knives scarpened,and there was a truck with a Merry go round that came so for a quarter you could ride,fun times. I knew Rick James he was known to my block a great kid,was really shy and ,jokester,but he would be fun to run with,he was always smiling and laughing. He was taller than most of our group and we thought he was like a big brother. Oh and when the store close to school #4 would give the kids a free donut if you starred in the window long enough,as well as the deli man on one corner anything the vendor came to take away to be replaced with fresh. Most families had running grocery tabs at the stores. Loblaws was a fun store to go to as was A&P. Fun times to be a Project Kid, I am 63 and although my departure was under devastating reasons,I call it my best times of my life. Projects bring people together more than any other living arrangement.People raising kids in the 50's and early 60's lived almost a Shangra La life, Dads went to work moms took care of the kids and neighbors kids,people paid respect to illness and death and even took your kids in if you couldn't care for them,if you needed a ride they'd give it and it was not mentioned how it would be reciprocated,it just was. Most kids liked the routine get up go to school,come home play until dinner go back out come in do your homework,watch a little tv and off to bed,I remember playing outside until dark by 9pm most kids were indoors,and everyone watched TV. It seemed like the Perry Projects were the only place where one could live,so many children so many adults.Everybody like when the Ice Cream Truck and the man selling Hot Popcorn and Peanuts,the peanuts were in a little brown bag, and they cost about a quarter,his cart had a pipe where you could see the steam rise from the food, the neighborhood smell like a Carnival on that day.
GUMPnf

North Tonawanda, NY

#66 Oct 21, 2013
mini69 wrote:
<quoted text> I lived there fom the time I was 5 years until 12 years,it was in 1955 until 1962,The Perry Projects then housed alot of post Korean and WW2 Vets with or without families,also their was a mixture of all Etnicities,I saw Greeks, Gypsies, African Americans, Lebanese, Germans, Italians, Jewish, alot of Irish and a few Japanese. Everybody looked out for each others kids and you could roam from street to street and be welcome,alot of men would put together Baseball games with old wooden bats and really mentor both girls or boys to play.I saw a man called Buckeye he wore a patch over his left eye,possibly from war injury,a man who had both legs missing and a man who had an artificial arm,who would let kids touch and watch as he put it on and showed the movements,it was archaic compared to artifical limbs now. The Huckster would come by and kids would wait until he went into the high rises to swipe fruit. The scissor and rag man came buy also so you could get knives scarpened,and there was a truck with a Merry go round that came so for a quarter you could ride,fun times. I knew Rick James he was known to my block a great kid,was really shy and ,jokester,but he would be fun to run with,he was always smiling and laughing. He was taller than most of our group and we thought he was like a big brother. Oh and when the store close to school #4 would give the kids a free donut if you starred in the window long enough,as well as the deli man on one corner anything the vendor came to take away to be replaced with fresh. Most families had running grocery tabs at the stores. Loblaws was a fun store to go to as was A&P. Fun times to be a Project Kid, I am 63 and although my departure was under devastating reasons,I call it my best times of my life. Projects bring people together more than any other living arrangement.People raising kids in the 50's and early 60's lived almost a Shangra La life, Dads went to work moms took care of the kids and neighbors kids,people paid respect to illness and death and even took your kids in if you couldn't care for them,if you needed a ride they'd give it and it was not mentioned how it would be reciprocated,it just was. Most kids liked the routine get up go to school,come home play until dinner go back out come in do your homework,watch a little tv and off to bed,I remember playing outside until dark by 9pm most kids were indoors,and everyone watched TV. It seemed like the Perry Projects were the only place where one could live,so many children so many adults.Everybody like when the Ice Cream Truck and the man selling Hot Popcorn and Peanuts,the peanuts were in a little brown bag, and they cost about a quarter,his cart had a pipe where you could see the steam rise from the food, the neighborhood smell like a Carnival on that day.
Be thankful for your good life.

I had a horrible childhood. I was dumb as a stone, ugly as sin, weak as a kitten and I could never, to this day, control my bowels.

My body is covered in boils, cysts, blackheads and carbuncles.
I am a walking pustule with diminished brain power and gnarly arthritic hands.

I find it difficult to tend to my hygiene.
Margie

Buffalo, NY

#67 Feb 12, 2014
when I lived there the doors were all light blue
truth

United States

#68 Feb 20, 2014
Life Coach wrote:
<quoted text>
Good point
By the way, who would want to be associated with Rick James? He was a drug addict, a pervert and a woman beater
I second that. Didnt he hold a crackwhore hostage too,?
Buffalonian

United States

#69 Mar 21, 2014
Yes I lived in the Perry Projects from 1953 till I graduated from 8th grade. Loved School # 4.Had Miss Curtis,Miss Ostrander, Miss Bender,Mrs. O'Conner,Mr. Casey,Miss Campbell.Miss Bronson and Mr Vullo.Then moved away. Miss those days so much.
jim

Rochester, NY

#70 Sep 6, 2014
I grew up in the Perry projects lived on Alabama street . I attended st brigid school same grade as Rick James whose last name was Johnson he lived on Fulton street
Sharon

Goodyear, AZ

#71 Mar 27, 2015
Fathernature wrote:
By the way, I went to Saint Brigids School. Anyone else go there?
Yes .remember Father Reddy?
linda j klein

Depew, NY

#72 Mar 28, 2015
Fathernature wrote:
If you good folks don't mind I will bring this discussion back to the original subject. I grew up in the Perry Projects in the 50s.
I remember the address. 462 South Park Ave.
It was a great place to grow up back then.
All races and nations represented and no major problems. Sure some trouble but we got along except for a few idiots and those are everywhere.
By the way, I am "Old" and know how to use a computer. I'm a web master for a large state college in Florida so don't assume anything about age.
we lived at 568 south park in the early 60's a row house we were on the end think it was 568A so. park. married my first husband from 344 perry st. have a friend up the street now his mom lives at 344 perry st was born and raised in the old first ward. no place on earth like it.!!
larry

San Diego, CA

#73 Apr 5, 2015
Fathernature wrote:
By the way, I went to Saint Brigids School. Anyone else go there?
i graduated in 1963…went there for the most of 8 years and went on to tech
Golfer

Linthicum Heights, MD

#74 Apr 9, 2015
I knew somebody who lived there for a while
Dan Block

Buffalo, NY

#75 Jun 23, 2015
Anonymous wrote:
I heard that Rick James came from the Commadore Perry Projects. I think the people who could talk about this or remember it probably do not know how to use a computer.
Yes he did. And I went on o school with him at school 4 he name then was james Johnson look it up if you don't believe me yes we R not as dumb as U r we know how to use computers.
Dan Block

Buffalo, NY

#76 Jun 23, 2015
I knew Rick James
larry

San Diego, CA

#77 Jun 26, 2015
Sharon wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes .remember Father Reddy?
sharon, what about father bartlett who very often did the 9:15 mass for the kids on sunday. i remember hime incorporating stories from the sunday comics.
bill mesa az

Chandler, AZ

#78 Oct 11, 2015
I live there in the late 40 to early 50 as a child I remember going to kindergarten at holy angels we live in a row house the number was 1001 but i dont remember the street. If any body knows the street I would like to know.
Daniel block

Buffalo, NY

#79 Feb 4, 2016
Anonymous wrote:
<quoted text>He had a choice of where he wanted to go to high school. Why couln't he have chose Bennett.
Rick like you me and other ppl.could pick the high school we chose to go too.
Daniel block

Buffalo, NY

#80 Feb 4, 2016
jim wrote:
I grew up in the Perry projects lived on Alabama street . I attended st brigid school same grade as Rick James whose last name was Johnson he lived on Fulton street
I thought Jimmy johnsoneent to school number 4 with me a true story Ron Chazen from the Perry near Hamburg Dtreet was starting a band and needed a lead singer so Ron had him audition and said Jimmy you will never make it as a singer.
Daniel block

Buffalo, NY

#81 Feb 4, 2016
To make a long story short Ron Chazen from the Perry was starting a band and needed a lead singer so Jimmy johnson aka Rick James tried out for the part and Ron said you will never make it as a singer.true story.and didn't Rick go to s hook 4.

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