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Monday, August 8, 2022
Home History LETTER: Keeping Rye Alive

LETTER: Keeping Rye Alive

In a letter to MyRye.com, reader Bob Van Bomel says thanks, recounts memories growing up in 1950s & 60s Rye, and asks a trivia question.

To: Jay Sears…

I wanted to extend a special thank you to you and the staff at MyRye.com. I was not aware of your existence until you published up my brother’s obituary back in January. Since that time, I have become an avid reader.

I grew up in Rye in the 50’s and 60’s. More specifically, I grew up in Indian Village in a wonderful red brick house at 3 Oneida Street. Of all the places that I have lived, I always think back to the wonder years in Rye. Indian Village was a magical place during the summer where all the kids would get together and play hid and go seek on bicycles at night. One group would hid and the other group would seek. This would go on for hours every night.

Then, if we could talk our parents into it, there was an evening at Playland. I remember the first McDonalds in the area was in Mamaroneck. That was probably some time around 1967. My friends and I would twist my older brother’s arm to take us in the car. Hamburgers were 25 cents, french fries were 20 cents and a milkshake was 30 cents. Those were wonderful days.

I remember when they were building Interstate 95 that ran parallel to the rail road tracks. They drilled and blasted rock formations for two years to clear a path. The explosions because common place during the day. At that time, the only parking for the train station was at the station and not in the lot that butts up to Rye Brook on the corner of Highland Rd. and Purchase St. That lot was just a field.

Bob Van Bomel letter 2021 - I-95 underpass Purchase StreetThat brings me up to a bit of trivia. I have attached a picture of the 95 overpass over Purchase St. Where the white cement support columns are now standing was once a gas station. Anyone know what gas station was there? A short distance up Purchase St. was Lepler Brothers store. They had the largest assortment of toys in Rye. I spend so much time in there just wishing I had money.

I can still go up and down all the streets in Indian Village in my mind and tell you who lived in each house. Those truly were the wonder years. I have always said that Rye in not only a place, it is a state of mind. Thank you for the memories and for keeping Rye alive.


  1. I beieve the gas station refered to by Bob Van Bomel under the I95 bridge was a Sinclair station (it had a green dinosaur). Named “Tony’s”

    • Hi Scott Dunn: Congratulations…You win the Golden Memory Award. Yes, it was a Sinclair gas station, with the green dinosaur, that was under the I95 bridge. I don’t remember the name, but Tony’s does ring a bell. Congratulations….!!!

  2. Hi Bob Van Bomel: I remember you and enjoyed your letter … brought back so many fond memories. I was one of the neighborhood kids riding bikes and playing cops and robbers, as was my brother Jeff Grainger. Jeff has a better memory than me — he thinks the gas station was Pat’s.

    • Hi Janet Grainger: Great to hear from you. I remember you well along with Terry, Jeff and Kathy. Seems like it was only yesterday when we were all scooting around the neighborhood on our bikes or sitting on the Spang’s stone wall. When we weren’t broke, we would go to Baskin Robbins 31 flavors for an ice cream cone or to Butler Brothers for a cold drink and snack. We left Rye in 1967, but I have never forgotten it. I think that you will agree that there was something magical about Rye back then and especially Indian Village. I will always cherish the time that we were able to spend together. Please give my best to Jeff.


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