When my parents first moved to Levittown PA, they settled in Magnolia Hill. Our street ran perpendicular to the drive (of course) and the wooded strip along Levttitown Parkway. I was eight when we lived there in 1956 and even as young as that, our mothers (at least mine) allowed us to play in the ‘woods’. Our house was only five houses away from the drive but it seemed farther then.
If I wasn’t at Kay Kay Fraska’s house playing, I was in the woods getting dirty. There was a tree fort somewhere that the older kids had built and we hung out at places tucked in our wooded playground called skunk cabbage and Indian rock. We dug clay out the embankment for school projects, climbed trees, played shoot ‘em up and had a blast getting wet in the creek while drinking what we thought was clean water. No self respecting kid ran home to get a drink from their kitchen faucet when we had clear water bubbling over rocks in a shallow creek.
Years later, when we lived in Golden Ridge, Snuffy and I would cross Edgely Road to tramp around in the area behind Red Cedar. Nose to the ground, the family dog always found me when I would hide. We had great fun together.
As an adult, my most recent dog and I have trekked through much of the wooded areas in Levittown. My two favorites are the one between Milkcreek Falls and Plumbridge and the one behind Queen Anne Park because they were secluded enough for Jackson to run free. We had encountered many deer and fallen trees, but the two most amazing things I’ve seen was a blue heron in the creek at the Queen Anne and a beaver in Milkcreek’s creek. It’s still incredible to me that we could have that kind of wildlife in the midst of suburban sprawl.
The paths are worn but kids still play in those areas fifty-eight years later. They ride their bikes, fish and throw sticks in the creeks like we did.
I miss the walks through those areas now that my dog is gone. We were the best of friends. It’s just as true today as it was then… It doesn’t get much better than a girl and her dog.
Excerpt originally published in the Levittown Leader