\r\nALEXANDRIA,VA- Long ago, in the 50s, and far away, in Brooklyn, New York, my girlfriends and I recycled, but not because we knew how important it would become. We weren\u2019t prescient, only short on money.\r\nSeven of us 13- and 14-year-olds had formed a club, the Hi-Lites, and we wanted club sweaters. In those days, club sweaters were in. The boys had jackets. The girls had sweaters. I can see those sweaters in my mind\u2019s eye, but I couldn\u2019t find anything like them on Google when I searched. Club sweaters, even vintage club sweaters, are a whole different thing these days.\r\nHow shall I describe them to you? Long sleeves. Fold over cuffs. V-necks. Buttons down the front. Hip length. Probably a patch pocket or two. Two colors. Ours were our junior high school colors: royal blue with gold letters spelling out our club name on the backs. I can\u2019t remember if our names were embroidered on the front, but maybe.\r\nHow much did they cost? The number that sticks in my head is $11, but maybe it was as much as $15. We were kids, and the only money we had was earned from baby sitting at 25\u00a2 an hour plus maybe some small allowance.\r\nThis was during the Korean conflict and we learned that old newspapers could be sold for cash. Some of us lived in large apartment buildings, so we went door-to-door asking our neighbors to save their papers for us. We collected them in old baby carriages and then implored the dads who had cars to drive us to the junk dealers.\r\nHow much did we earn? My friend Lois (with whom I\u2019m still in touch after all these years!) thinks we got $10 per 100 pounds. That would translate into 10\u00a2 a pound. I think we got more like a penny a pound. No matter. We earned enough for seven sweaters!\r\nDuring summers we spent just about every day when it wasn\u2019t raining at the beach. \u201cThe beach\u201d was Brighton Beach rather than Coney Island, and at least an hour\u2019s train ride away. We learned where the transfer points were so we could get from where we lived in East Flatbush to the beach on one fare. It made the ride longer but saved us some money. Once there, we collected discarded soda pop bottles (soda came in glass bottles then) and turned them in for 5\u00a2 each. I think they were sterilized and reused. I don\u2019t remember thinking about that then, only that we earned our hot dog and knish money that way.\r\nI\u2019ve recently heard from friends in Alexandria that their churches collected and sold used newspapers back then and that as kids they, too, collected and turned in soda pop bottles they found tossed along the road.\r\nNow our newspapers are picked up by recycling companies and glass recycling is becoming more and more a challenge. I know those days weren\u2019t all fun, but still I miss the simple exchange of collecting newspapers for club sweaters and glass bottles for lunch.\r\n\r\nNina Tisara, known for her photographs of Alexandria and founder of Living Legends of Alexandria, is currently focused on creating mosaic art. Tisara\u2019s son Steven Halperson now owns and manages Tisara Photography. Her mosaics are often on exhibit at the Del Ray Artisans and the Torpedo Factory Art League and online at www.NinaTisara.com. Now in her eighth decade, Nina is sharing her memories and musings with fellow fans of The Zebra.