Stories of Allegheny Commons

Marilyn Detwiler

When I moved to the North Side 47 years ago, a vendor sometimes sold cotton candy from a cart stationed along one of the sidewalks between the aviary and Sherman Avenue.  In those days people came to listen to the band concerts held near the aviary every week during the summer.  Students from Allegheny High School across the street may also have been customers.  Ever since then,  I have occasionally smelled the distinct odor of cotton candy in that vicinity and have imagined it to be the ghost of the cotton candy man.

The current issue of "Organic Gardening " magazine contains an article about Katsura trees, one of which is located near a path between the aviary and Sherman Avenue.  It states:  " Why grow it:  Oh, those leaves.  Heart-shaped, they emerge purple in spring, turn a lovely blue-green by summer, and change to vivid yellows and apricots in autumn.  And raking will be a pleasure, because the fallen leaves smell like cotton candy..."

No ghost, but the lovely Katsura tree.


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