House parties decline in southeast Queens | Bowing Down Home
JH – Jimmy Halliday
EM – Eddie Martin
KP – Curator Ken Perlman
KP When did the house parties start to go down?
JH When they started to put carpet on, I guess Eddie was it? No, People are pretty particular now, you know.
EM Televisions come in and I guess they...
JHYou went in that time , in the winter time and everything - boots shoes, you know. You won't get away with that no-- you'd have to take your shoes off at the door now most houses, and you couldn't dance anywhere.
KP When was that about when it changed, when did they start to fade away?
EM: It was in the 40s I’d say.
JH In the early 50's. During the war - when anybody left the district, when they come home on leave - they gave them a party. So there were a lot of parties that time, during the war. They'd give them a gift and a party, a send off. But after that… [It was] any excuse for a party - they'd have a housewarming too, if people moved into a new house or a different home, or somebody’d come into the district. Housewarming they called it. They'd hoop her up! Anyway, there’s changes, there's always changes. You have to accept change.
KP But it was in the 50's.
JH Yes, I'd say it was the '50s. There was was more cars, and other entertainment. Eddie [Martin] says the television. Television ruined a lot of things. You go to visit in the house now -- There's something we used to do, visitin’. You go now to visit in a house, the television is on and you don't know whether you should talk or, you know, you're interrupting the television. It's a different ballgame altogether.
EM A different world
JH Different is right. I don;t know if I want to be around here another century, 100 years. You'd wonder what they could change but there's changes all the time now. Now it's the computer age, and everything is computer. I guess it's only the tip of the iceberg in that according to what I hear.