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More memories of air-raid wardens from William F. Hoffmeyer

Much earlier this year, I shared a new topic for memories, courtesy of Marl A. Rohrbaugh Jr., who had written to me about air-raid wardens.

Not too long after that, I received a letter from William F. Hoffmeyer, Esq., of Hoffmeyer and Semmelman Attorneys, with his own memories on the subject. I held on to it, expecting to receive a flood of notes on this topic, and realized today that I had never revisited it!

My apologies to Mr. Hoffmeyer, whose memories were fascinating! He writes:

“The letter which you published… from Marl A. Rohrbaugh Jr. brought to mind memories of my father, Fred W. Hoffmeyer, who, during WWII, was an air raid warden.”

“At the time we lived at 100 North Manheim Street, York, Pennsylvania, in East York. Dad’s responsibilities during an air raid drill was to make certain that all the homes on the Manheim and Oxford Street area of East York were showing no light and then to go down to the intersection of North Hills Road and East Philadelphia Street to stop any traffic that was traveling at that time and make certain that their headlights were turned off.”

“He had a special flashlight which not only had the standard white light of a flashlight but also had a small red light and a small green light so that he was able to signal automobiles to either stop or to go.”

“I also remember that we had ‘black-out’ blinds in our basement. During an air raid drill, we would go down to the basement where we could have lights on but we could show no lights upstairs.”

“This is during the same period of time that i attended Hiestand Elementary School and, during an air raid drill, we were all required to go out into the hallway, sit on the floor and put our heads down against our knees which, if we ever had a direct hit from a Nazi bomb, would have produced no satisfactory results.”

Mr. Hoffmeyer makes a scarily accurate point! He added one other memory to his letter:

“With regard to the Bury’s Hamburgers restaurants, not only was the restaurant mentioned by Pat Sanderson on North George Street, there was also a Joe Bury’s Hamburgers Restaurant in the first block of East King Street where the old York Federal Savings and Loan/now York City Hall is located. This, of course, is an addition to the original Joe Bury’s restaurant which had a delightful knotty pine interior with tables and chairs as well as counter stools situated on East Market Street across from… the York Mall.”

Thank you so much for sharing these great memories, Mr. Hoffmeyer!

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