Growing Up In Johnstown - Oakhurst Area

By   Michael Kocis

     I happened across this web site one day and found myself remembering just how great it was to grow up in such a wonderful place. As a child growing up in Oakhurst, I vividly remember how bright & green spring & summer were once all the snow had gone. No one ever had to water their lawn, it just happened.

     As a teenager going through the 60's & 70's the whole world changed and Johnstown was no exception. Looking back the "gang" that hung out on the corner on Daniel St. was like an extended family. We didn't always get along but I think we helped each other get through tough times and didn't even know it then.

     Even the long cold winters were O.K. cause all you had to do was step out there for a few minutes and somebody would either come up the hill or down to the corner. I remember holding on to the bumper of the city bus and sliding up the street in the snow.

     Spring brought the all important keg parties up in the old ball field at the top of the street. We were probably looked at as "bad" kids back then , but you know, no one ever died because of it , or really did anything terrible to anyone else.

I read once that children everywhere , no matter what their surroundings have special memories of that time in their life, maybe so, maybe it's some kind of defence so we don't go mad. But I beleive that deverse group of "crazy guys" played a role in helping me get through it, even the ones I didn't much care for.

     Growing up in the West-end , we weren't the only ones doing wild stuff, it's just what we were known for I guess? I moved out in 1980, vowing never to return and I only came back once when my Mother died. I hear Oakhurst has changed a bit, well alot actually, and now it's the worst part of town.

     Shame will always hold my beginnings there. No matter what I do or how much I achieve in life , that's my roots. I suppose you could say, Johnstown is a good place to be from.

M. Kocis  

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