Back in the day, there were many small businesses in the neighborhood that catered to the local residents. One of those was a self service laundromat we called ‘Block’s Laundromat’ that was situated on the corner of Millington Avenue and Ashton St. It was sort of a hangout for some of us when there were no adults in there doing clothes. I remember a couple of things about the place that stand out and neither one is anything to brag about but one thing that we use to do is file down the corners of some slugs of metal so that we could feed them into the changer that they had on the premises trying to get some of the real coins out of the machine, and yes, it did work from time to time.
On another occasion, I recall seeing some of the older boys grabbing a neighborhood boy (who’s first name was Richard and lived on Dulany Street) and forced him into the dryer, turning it on, and having him spin around as he kicked against the glass trying to get out until finally all the guys holding the door shut let go, and took off like a bat out of hell as Richard came out of there literally smoking, and looking to do harm to anyone he could catch. It seemed that anyone could become a victim of some prank as there seemed to be no limit to the imagination of guys looking to have a little fun at someone else’s expense. As far as I know, nobody got seriously hurt from all the hi jinks, but I’m sure there may be some that would disagree if they happened to be the joke-e and not the joker!
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