From Central Park Historical Society Encyclopedia
The family lived on South Broadway (next to the Methodist Church) and they had a farm in Plainedge which the children, Barbara, Ruth, Alice, June and Fred all worked.
Below information is from a letter from Barbara Ludwig Rathgeber
We were the "Ludwig's", and lived on South Broadway, next to the Methodist Church. I use to walk to school past Malone's, Senstackens, Schaafs, a little police station, Geffen's Deli, Cava Drug Store, then over the RR tracks and on to school. I always carried a lunch box, and school bag and of course wore shinny shoes (No Nike sneakers). Once I found $3.00 wrapped in a piece of paper on the way home from school. My mother made me take it back to that little police station and tell them what happened. The police took the money and told me if no one claimed it in three days, that it would be mine. Three days later, I was a very happy camper and $3 richer.
My older sisters, Ruth, Alice and June along with my brother Fred, were always at home to do things with. Playing hop scotch, double dutch jump rope, and bouncing the ball to the alphabet, was some of the favorite after school games. We loved to play and sing around the big player piano, while Ruth and Alice would sing duets. All that walking to Mrs. Morselles, for piano lessons paid off.
June and I used to go hiking in the woods next to the Methodist church, playing house and making mud pies in old cooking tins mom gave us. We made trails in the woods and "look-out" towers in the trees. We picked lots of pretty violets across the street from us, next to the Henn's home, but never a "lady slipper", cause mom said it was against the law. In fall, raking leaves and jumping in them, before burning them was always a favorite fun thing. In the winter, we would walk past Ahern's and Margot's homes and on to the "bumpity bumps" to sleigh ride, and have snow ball fights. Dad would sometimes flood the whole side of our yard, and we'd have skating parties with family and friends.
A big part of our summer life was working on my fathers farm in Plainedge. We'd hop in the truck and watch other kids go to the beach, while we went to the "beets". My brother and I would always run through the apple orchard to see who made it back to the farm house first. We would learn to work hard there, for which we are grateful for this day.
Many good friends were made through church and school, two of my best pals were Marilyn Geffken and Joan Thorne, in Bethpage. Before long, I was taking a bus to Farmingdale High School, where horizons and friends were broadend, and of course, where I met my late husband, Fred Rathgeber.
It is too bad our kids today don't have these wonderful, pre-TV and I-Pod days, and just be able to play in the good earth. Yes, Bethpage would always be a special place where love abided in our home.
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