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Old 08-22-2013, 06:18 AM
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Default Tricycle Trolleys

Growing up in the Cincinnati, Ohio neighborhood of Fairmount in the early 50's held many special delights. When I was only two or three, I noticed for the first time, that a trolley passed by our house numerous times a day. My father told me that it was the last old-time trolley still operating in town. While I don’t recall having ridden that wooden, open-air beauty, I remember I had some wonderful dreams about that colorful trolley.

But I did more than dream. Along with my friend Billy, whose dad worked for the Cincinnati Traction Company, I played a trolley driver. Billy’s father began giving us his out-of-date transfer pads, and we would pedal our trikes up and down the street, as if we commanded the Route 49 Fairmount/Downtown/Zoo Trolley. Billy even had a tricycle bell, which he would ring as he picked up his imaginary passengers. How I envied Billy that bell. Although I asked for one, I never did get a bell of my own.

All summer long, we rode our tricycles trolleys endlessly, to the amusement of neighbors and passersby. One of our regular stops was in front of Mouck’s Bakery, where the nice bakery lady would occasionally give us each a thumbprint cookie. Selected friends and neighbors would be offered a transfer, which were accepted with a smile and a chuckle. Art Brestle, who owned the candy store on the next street over, would pass us on his way home, and would ask if we were on schedule.

I did my best to stay on good terms with Billy, since without him as a friend, I would lose those nifty transfers. But when he got a transfer holder clip and a moveable tear-off bar from his dad, our friendship became one-sided. Now Billy could ride our route with his transfers clamped to his handlebars, while I had to keep my transfers shoved in my back pocket. With all those real bus driver accessories, Billy began bossing me around, and even tried to make me confine my route to his driveway.

Two weeks after I stopped playing trolley driver with Billy, that last trolley made it’s final run. While there might have been a newspaper story, there was no fanfare, nor ceremony, at the end of the route, which was only a block from my house.

One day, I saw a trolley bus instead of a trolley. While the bus has two poles, like the trolley, which received power from over- head wires, the magic was gone from my young life.

As I grew older, I started running errands to the local Kroger store, which was next to the trolley bus’s turnaround loop. For years, the old rails for that last old-time trolley laid exposed, giving me a false hope that they might return.

Of course they never did. In time I excepted, and even enjoyed riding the nice, new, shiny trolley buses. And when those were finally retired in favor of diesel power buses, I noticed, but I didn’t really give it a thought. But when those overhead wires were removed from the Fairmount landscape, I had to swallow away a lump in my throat.

The new fleet of orange and cream buses may have meant progress for the city and most of it’s people. For me, it marked the end of boyhood dreams, boyhood games, and boyhood innocence. History for me is in many ways the same as nostalgia; a holding on to the memories of a slower paced and often more colorful way of life.
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:45 AM
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i was in SF a few years ago and totally neglected to take a trolley! but i noticed that there was a very interesting pulley system built under the road to haul them up the hills. it was sort of like a huge long zipper constantly running in a loop. IIRC the car automatically latches on underneath and away it goes. or something like that.



...

i like trolleys and trains quite a lot. there's nothing like the pleasant, gently-rocking experience of moving along the rails. AFAIK trolleys still run all the time in philly and certain areas of the burbs.

only real trouble i ever had with a trolley is when a lady tried to make some kind of shortcut, drove right in front, and the trolley couldn't stop in time. she was soused, and we had to wait about an hour to get started again. oh, that precious hour lost in the haze of time...
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Old 08-22-2013, 08:32 AM
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I recall my family visiting Pittsburgh many years ago
and back then there were dozens of operating trolleys in the city
I don't know if they still exist though
but back then they made the city look cool
http://www.brooklineconnection.com/h...ghTrolley.html
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Old 08-22-2013, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ike Savage View Post
i was in SF a few years ago and totally neglected to take a trolley! but i noticed that there was a very interesting pulley system built under the road to haul them up the hills. it was sort of like a huge long zipper constantly running in a loop. IIRC the car automatically latches on underneath and away it goes. or something like that.

Mercy! Looks like we got us a.....funicular! Although, if the body isn't angled to compliment the route's slope, does the term apply?

faralos; Thanks for the link; good article and lots of pics!
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Old 08-22-2013, 11:10 PM
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Default funicular?

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Mercy! Looks like we got us a.....funicular! Although, if the body isn't angled to compliment the route's slope, does the term apply?

faralos; Thanks for the link; good article and lots of pics!
I don't think so. Thanks to you all here @PinballNirvana my understanding of a funicular railway is it has two cars that counter balance each other...Fun to say"Funicular"...Can't spell 'funicular' with out it...C_S
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Coil_Smoke View Post
Thanks to you all here @PinballNirvana my understanding of a funicular railway is it has two cars that counter balance each other...
Unless one carries a pack of Boy Scouts and the other a meeting of Weight Watchers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coil_Smoke View Post
Fun to say"Funicular"...Can't spell 'funicular' with out it...C_S
I was going to crack a joke about an Italian opera piece, but it turns out that the song IS about a funicular cable car.

From Wikipedia:

"Funiculý, FuniculÓ" is a famous
Neapolitan_dialect Neapolitan_dialect
song written by
Italy Italy
journalist
Peppino_Turco Peppino_Turco
and set to music by Italian composer
Luigi_Denza Luigi_Denza
in 1880. It was composed to commemorate the opening of the first
Funicular Funicular
cable car on
Mount_Vesuvius Mount_Vesuvius
. The 1880 cable car was later destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in 1944. (Some remains of the top station were still visible in September 2012.) The song was sung for the first time in the Quisisana Hotel in
Castellammare_di_Stabia Castellammare_di_Stabia
and met with huge success. It was presented by Turco and Denza at the
Piedigrotta Piedigrotta
festival during the same year. Edward Oxenford, an English songwriter and translator of
Libretto Libretto
, published a version which became somewhat traditional in English-speaking countries.
The title itself, "funiculý, funiculÓ", in Neapolitan, means "funicular up, funicular down".

Now I gotta hunt up some new material.....
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Old 08-24-2013, 05:28 AM
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Funiculi...Funicula...a ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...to the tune of the "Happy Wanderer"
http://video.search.yahoo.com/video/...o3&age=0&&tt=b
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:07 AM
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Valderi, valdera seems to have no definition (other than gibberish) while funicular (adjective) does; consisting of, or pertaining to, a funicle (a small cord). No big deal; looking it up just gave me something to do while I wait for my Centaur chops to return.....

I'm failing to grasp the tie-in with 'wanderer', though.
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
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Valderi, valdera seems to have no definition (other than gibberish) while funicular (adjective) does; consisting of, or pertaining to, a funicle (a small cord). No big deal; looking it up just gave me something to do while I wait for my Centaur chops to return.....

I'm failing to grasp the tie-in with 'wanderer', though.
That tune popped in to my head. Replace "valderi"with funiculi then "Valdera" with funicula,,,
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:04 AM
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Ahhh.....

My mom was the eighth of ten children, and the second girl was my Aunt Valerie. I just 'cain't* imagine' why I wound up singing "Val-er-eeeee, Val-er-aaahh" as a wee lad, knowing nothing but that and the snippet of the melody.

*The family lived in Weatherford, Texas, (west of Ft. Worth) and almost none of the ten sibs had the slightest trace of a 'ack-sayent', although the grandfolks could pave a driveway with it.
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Old 08-27-2013, 03:36 AM
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Ahhh.....

My mom was the eighth of ten children, and the second girl was my Aunt Valerie. I just 'cain't* imagine' why I wound up singing "Val-er-eeeee, Val-er-aaahh" as a wee lad, knowing nothing but that and the snippet of the melody.

*The family lived in Weatherford, Texas, (west of Ft. Worth) and almost none of the ten sibs had the slightest trace of a 'ack-sayent', although the grandfolks could pave a driveway with it.
That old song is kicking around in the back of all our collective subconscious. I think it is an un-official boy scout theme song.http://www.scoutsongs.com/lyrics/happywanderer.html This links to one of many renditions Frankie Yankovic - The Happy Wanderer (With Lyrics) - YouTube
I moved here(Maryland) from Tennessee in 1960. Still occasionally I'm asked about my 'ack-sayent'.......
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:44 AM
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Ahhh.....good 'ole Frank & the Yanks. A number that I heard perhaps more than 'Happy Wanderer' was the "She's Too Fat" Polka, which was almost guaranteed to be played weekly on John Sinclair's Polka Parade on KFI 640 AM Los Angeles.

Successful radio led to equally successful TV; how about some good old wholesome early sixties' (I think) entertainment?

http://crntalk.com/hosts/788-polka-party

And a little from Frankie with some industry heavyweights:

Too Fat Polka (Original) by Frankie Yankovic with Funny Fat People - YouTube

(Oomp-pah, oomp-pah, etc.)
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:05 AM
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the unofficial boy scout song is Follow Me Boys
from the flick starring Kurt Russel
as an eleven year old who wants to join the local boy scout troop
run by none other than Fred McMurray of My Three Sons fame
we watched that every year prior to going to junior leadership training
up in the North Jerseys councils
Follow Me, Boys! ÔÇó Scout Songs - YouTube
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:13 AM
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that fat polka is scary!!
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
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that fat polka is scary!!
DITTO!!!
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:40 PM
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Philly still has some trolleys, and a few still head out into the suburbs.
They are the kind that don't need turnarounds, when the trolley goes to the end the driver just goes to the other end of the car to drive. I haven't been on one since the 80's, even with the horrible traffic it's still faster to drive, and maybe it's improved now but the 69th street station where you transfer to the subway to get into the city was always a terrible place.

One still runs through the center of my town:
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Old 08-27-2013, 03:00 PM
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69th street station and the area got a huge upgrade, i think around the time they put up that silly sign, redid the sidewalks, upgraded the businesses, put in the theatre. not sure how much of that financing was millbourne vs upper darby vs philly, but it was a huge expensive effort... i’m thinking around the early 90’s, maybe. i don’t think they ever quite got the clientelle / consumer response they were looking for, but it those of us who lived nearby sure didn’t complain!

i do kind of remember what a hell-hole it was before that, though. i think i just tried not to notice as i made my way to and from the el.
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:49 PM
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I remember being one amazed toe-head seeing that cars had to dodge these beasts while sharing the road in 1960. It is good to see street cars/trolleys in service in 'The City Of Brotherly Love' (Do They still call it that?) Baltimore has been called 'Charm City' since the 80's, but I don't hear that monicker much these days. It was never a serious name because there's not much of that charm to go around. We do have a museum dedicated to our street cars of old...Can't say I quite know where that museum is...C_S
http://www.baltimorestreetcar.org/
http://www.baltimorestreetcar.org/carstock.html

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Old 08-28-2013, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coil_Smoke View Post
I remember being one amazed toe-head seeing that cars had to dodge these beasts while sharing the road in 1960. It is good to see street cars/trolleys in service in 'The City Of Brotherly Love' (Do They still call it that?) Baltimore has been called 'Charm City' since the 80's, but I don't hear that monicker much these days. It was never a serious name because there's not much of that charm to go around. We do have a museum dedicated to our street cars of old...Can't say I quite know where that museum is...C_S
http://www.baltimorestreetcar.org/
http://www.baltimorestreetcar.org/carstock.html

Now that looks similar to our old trolleys. The new modern streetcars that Cincinnati and other areas are selling their souls for lack the history or charm of the old, original trolleys.
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:40 AM
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charm city? interesting... never heard that one.

about the only time i hear someone say "city of brotherly love" is when they mean it sarcastically. it did not turn out to be a good city name, honestly. either that, or people should just let it go. they seem to think it’s supposed to mean something hundreds of years later.
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