Golden Memories of the City
By Richard Sattanni
I have many fond memories growing up here in Bridgeport. I was born and raised in the city’s Hollow Section. Life was pretty simple then – not complex like it is today. Somehow we’ve become a different type of society. Most of all I remember my former neighborhood. The ethnic groups were quite diversified but yet no prejudice existed. People respected each other regardless of race, color, or religious beliefs. There was a special bond among us. Everyone contributed something to the life blood of the neighborhood.
I also remember many of Bridgeport’s great theaters of our city’s past. The marquees with their glittering lights added to the excitement as we waited to purchase tickets. The Saturday matinees were great shows, and some of my favorite theaters were the glorious Majestic, The Globe, The Warners and the Rivoli. Today the large movie complexes entertain us. Unfortunately, the older theaters faded as time passed.
Shopping in downtown Bridgeport also was a pastime of mine. I especially enjoyed shopping at H.L. Greens, Rudy Frank’s Record Shop, Walgreens, Sears, and Howlands, just to name a few. It’s sad to think they no longer exist. The giant malls changed our shopping experience as the years passed.
However, there are a few things that have remained the same, such as The Barnum Festival Parade. The Fourth of July brings with it the floats, the clowns and the marching bands for all to enjoy. At least that tradition is still with us.
Other avenues of interest as a youngster here in Bridgeport were our parks. Seaside Park, Beardsley Park with its’ zoo, along with St. Mary’s by the Sea in Black Rock. Our city was known for its’ parks.
At one time Pleasure Beach was a mega center of entertainment. It was our only amusement park. The rollercoaster stood so majestically against the blue sky of summer. The Spooky House, The Whip and the Humblebug added fun and excitement for the day. Unfortunately, time changed it all and the amusement park no longer exists.
As I turn 71, I look back upon the different years of my life. I ask myself, “what changes will come tomorrow and will they benefit the residents of our town?”
Yes, Bridgeport has endured so many changes from structure to political bedlam and other changes too numerous to mention. Bridgeport has taught me many things, especially about life. I’ve come a long way since my childhood –seen lots of changes, survived many challenges, and still I remain here.
One thing history can’t erase or take from me are the golden memories of the city I love. As I travel through my former neighborhood, I can honestly recall many good times. Yes, like many others, I have a deep love of the city.