My neighborhood

Oct 18, 2019

Hello. My name’s Yolanda. I was born in Puerto Rico. The whole family, we came here when I was eight years old. We went to live in Harlem, 117 and Lenox Avenue. And the families, we used to get along. Everyone used to get along there at that time. And the families were different from then. The liquor stores weren’t open, so Sundays, you would go to church, children, they would dress up, everybody would dress up and go to church. It’s not like now, Sunday means nothing. And on Saturdays, we would go to the movies, the kids would go to the movies. And then we all come home and eat. And Sunday we’d go to the movies as teenagers, we would go to the movies, come home and eat and we’d watch the old programs. The old programs that used to be on, we had no TV, because we were happy with what we had. We had radio, we listen to the radio.

And on Wednesdays the whole family would go to the movies again. The whole row, we would take up the whole row. My father, my mother, my brother, my aunt, we’d take up the whole row. And it was a happy time. It was a happy time then. It’s not like now, the families were together more. They had certain days when you’d get together. Not now. We used to eat together, and the kids used to help out a lot around. I used to do the dishes, I didn’t like it, but I’d do them anyway. I had to do, we all had a chore. Kids were taught to work, they were taught to. At 14, when I was 13, I said I was 14, so I could get working papers, I was only 13, but I looked older, so they gave me working papers. I started working at 14, part-time after school. At 14 yes. You got working papers. And I was 13, but I looked older, so I got my working papers anyway. So since I was 13, I worked. Until I retired at 62, some years ago. And that’s it. And I got married, I had children, I have grandchildren, one of my grandsons will be very interested in this…

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