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From The Bryant Room Archive

January/February 1998

Remembering Roslyn : Carolyn (Kean) Ayers

By Myrna Sloam

The following letter was sent from a former Roslyn resident, Ms. Carolyn (Kean) Ayers. She now lives in Kent, Washington. Ms. Ayers first wrote requesting a copy of Roy Moger’s book, Roslyn Then & Now. In answer to my question about her growing up in Roslyn, she sent the following reminiscence and a large number of photographs. As Archivist of The Bryant Library Local History Collection, I am pleased to share her story with the entire Roslyn community. I would like to encourage others to come forward with their memories of Roslyn. It is through this sharing that the Local History Collection continues to grow and Roslyn’s history and heritage is presented and enriched. “Thank you, Carolyn.”


Dear Myrna,


Oh, do I remember Roslyn. I’m very nostalgic! I loved Roslyn and I can visualize just about the whole town, even though we moved from the Odd Fellows Hall on 41 Main Street to Norfolk, VA., when I was 15 years old. I’m 57 now. My aunt, Cecily Rice, lived two houses down from Mrs. Moreland on Main Street, across from the nursing home. My sister Margaret, cousin Marion and I would go to the park to walk our ‘babies.’ That’s when girls played with dolls. We’d wade in the streams, go to the lower park to roller skate- the kind you put over shoes and used a skate key. We’d go round and round, then go over to the water wheel to cool off. My family would take picnics to the park and we always had a crowd.


I went to Roslyn Elementary, up a long hill. I remember it well, because I was a walker. My sister Margaret and I would have to bundle up in the winter to walk to school. Miss Stymus and Dorothy Izzo were the Principal and Vice-Principal at the time. One of my teachers, Miss Gomes (?) lived on East Broadway. I also had a teacher, Miss Bohringer, who married Mr. Bruce’s son. I believe that Mr. Bruce was also a Principal.


I lived in Roslyn from age 1 to 15. One of my favorite things to do during the war, was to take grease over to the butcher shop with my mom. I would always get a fresh slice of bologna from the butcher. I don’t think I knew his name, but I can still see him in his white apron. There was a hardware store, Foley’s (?) next to the shop, and a bank across from there. I believe the sidewalk next to that was the hill up to the school. Kehoes was a great place. During the summer, when my dad was home from sea (he was a merchant seaman), we would walk down to get hand dipped (by Mary of course) vanilla fudge and mint chip ice cream. I remember the bakery on the way to choir practice at Trinity Episcopal and Rev. Jones. I would spend my allowance there. It was the first time I’d ever seen or had an eclair. Mom and I would shop at the A&P, which I believe was next to two dry goods shops, close to a barber shop and Mr. Calcandy’s restaurant. Catherine, his daughter, and I were best friends. Her house was on top of the hill to the school. I still have a picture of me at her birthday party, plus a picture of Odd Fellows Hall. The year after, we moved from Roslyn to Norfolk, the school I was attending had segregation problems, so I returned to Roslyn to complete my final year in school.


I graduated from Roslyn High School in 1959. To earn spending money, I worked at the “Jolly Fisherman.” My friends and I would hang out at Archie’s soda “joint,” across from the High School. There were no malls then to hang out in. Mr. Ross was the Principal.

I believe there was a post office across the street from the big clock tower? Did it move to the center of town? I seem to recall getting stamps there, across the street from Raymon’s store, upon my return to Roslyn in 1959. I have not been back since then. I didn’t mean to ramble on, but I get going and memories just flood my brain.


Carolyn (Kean) Ayers

Kent, Washington, July 1997 

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