Monday, July 27, 2015

Worth the Walk

Every day, my great grandfather Ferdinando Quattrone walked to work in a group of four. He set out from the 2500 block of 10th Street in Philadelphia and walked to the Stetson Hat Company where 5th Street intersects with Germantown and Montgomery Avenues.

Our family patriarch, Greg Pratico--born in the 1930s--remembers my great grandfather's breakfast. Greg said, "Before he left the house, Ferd had a shot of VO and a raw egg. And then they walked. To take any sort of transportation twice a day, everyday, it would cost too much. You could walk."

Using Google Maps I tracked the possible walking routes for my grandfather. Each route would take, according to Google's estimates, an hour and a half over the course of 4.4 miles. On top of a day's work in the Stetson factory, Ferdinando walked just under 9 miles a day. 

In many respects, Stetson proved to be a great company for my grandfather to work for and worth the walk. Melissa Mandell of Historical Society of Pennsylvania writes at "It provided employees with health benefits, a building and loan association, a hospital, a baseball field, vacations with pay, a life insurance plan, and a pension plan—in short, a way of life."

While none of the twenty-five building campus remains--eight were demolished in the early 40s for scrap metal for the war effort and the rest were razed in 1979--the intersecting streets remain unchanged.

So, I'm wondering--for old times' sake--if any family wants to meet on 10th Street for a shot of VO and an egg and then go on the 4.4 mile walk? 

We won't have to walk back...and maybe we can skip the shot of VO and raw egg too.

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