Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Nana and Hoy's 5 & 10

When I was a kid there was a 5&10 cent store on Union Street south of Lancaster Ave. called Hoy's. They had all sorts of things including an aquarium section. It was a short hike so it was not close enough that we would walk there all the time. We used to see the older ladies from the neighborhood walking there or to Community Pharmacy on the corner of Lancaster and Union pulling their fold up carts. For us kids it was a short walk with some change to buy one or two things. If we were lucky we would have a quarter, but having just 10-15 cents was well worth it.

When Nana would come to visit she liked to walk up to Hoy's. By this time in her life she was living with my Uncle John and Aunt Lois in Wilmington Manor Gardens and the setting was purely suburban. They lived on the first block off of US Route 13 and it was much different from the city setting she lived in for much of her life. I know Nana enjoyed her mother-in-law suite in their house and she really enjoyed being with my cousins Teri and Barbara Susan. The two of them became so close to Nana because of it. We used to love going over to visit.

So back to Wilmington, the big treat was Nana really liked walking us up to the 5&10 and treating us to a couple of small things. Normally it would be a little bit of candy and maybe some toy like a top or yo-yo. Yes, kids did play with those for real back then. We also used to play with jacks and the wooden paddles with a ball and string. I'll always remember that Hoy's was a long rectangular shaped store and the more grown up things were in the front section and there was a slight slope in the middle of the store and the toys and more hardware like things were in the rear. Along the right hand wall were the aquariums that help the gold fish and little baby turtles. We did get fish and turtles at least once. I think Nana's walks to Hoy's with us were based on a combination of missing the opportunity to walk in the city and more importantly a chance to spend time with her grandchildren. It was a treasured activity of my youth.

There was a 5 & 10 called Wassam's in Elsmere but it was not as nice of a walk and probably not as safe as the walk was along Kirkwood Highway. I think Wassam's may have been a little bigger but lacked the aquarium section.

The time was a much simpler one back then. There is still a Hoy's 5 & 10 somewhere in New Jersey but now the Dollar Store has taken the place of the 5 & 10.

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