My subscription to Life expired, but I still have a subscription to Mad.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Althea Spring

Born in Waterbury, CT, in 1951, I lived with my parents on Stiles Street in the Hopeville section of Waterbury.

As a kid, I explored my neighborhood on bicycle and on foot. I thought I had a pretty good handle on Hopeville, at least the part that was in the immediate vicinity of my home. So, I was very surprised to discover this postcard on eBay.

Diamond Bottling was located at the botton of the hill on which I lived. My first memory of Diamond Bottling was standing next to their plant with my Dad on the afternoon of August 19, 1955 as the waters of the Naugatuck River, which was across the street from the Diamond Bottling plant, receded after flooding and devastating the valley that day.

In later years, while I was exploring the neighborhood, I occasionally revisited the Diamond plant and on some of my visits, a kindly Diamond worker offerred me a bottle of my favorite beverage, Pal soda, which was an non-carbonated orange drink.

In all my explorations, I never encountered the spring or building depicted in the postcard. After doing some research, I was reminded that the block-long Althea Street was located right behind the bottling plant and that circa 1900, Althea Park occupied about a quarter-mile square section of Hopeville that has long been occupied by homes. That is all I know Althea-wise.

My sister lives near our old neighborhood and I got her on the case. She drove around the area one day last week and thinks she saw a building that might be the building on the postcard. This weekend, I am going to check it out.

One more thing: the postcard says that the building depicted on the postcard was "built of ginger ale bottles." I wonder if that statement is literal or figurative?