My Brooklyn is 30th Street between 4th and 5th Avenue. My years in Brooklyn were the 1940s and 1950s. I remember fondly the Paradise Theatre (the Dumps, 27th Street and 4th Avenue), St. Michael's Confraternity (43rd Street and 4th Avenue), Sunset Park Pool, the 37th Street Piers for swimming, Boy Scout Troop 106 (47th St. and 4th Avenue), Pleasant Manor Social Club (25th St. and 5th Avenue) and St. Rocco's Church (altar boy and band). There was nothing like the feast on 27th Street (St. Rocco's) and 21st Street (St. John's). I can still smell the sausages cooking. That's where I first learned to eat clams. I lived in an apartment house with about 20 families. It was like one big family. If you did something wrong you had twenty fathers to correct you. You couldn't get away with much. Most of all I remember the friends that I grew up with (Andy, Jimmy, Johnny, Eddy, Billy, Kenny, John, Barbara, AnnMarie, Amy, Joan, Janet, Marie, Cookie, etc.). I do not see many of them now, but when you see one of them, the years just disappear and it's like seeing a relative. We did not have a lot, but I would not want to have grown up in any other place in the world. I live in Staten Island now. It has a little of the charm of Brooklyn.
13 April 1999
revised 11 November 2000
My Brooklyn was playing stickball 'til dark, then ringalevio until your mother yelled "that's it, you're done." That was back in the 40s and 50s on Himrod St. between Knickerbocker and Myrtle Ave. Where are you guys: Fat Tommy, Fat Pauly, Johnny, Little Richie, Eddie, Lenny P., Vinny B., Louy, Cookie, and Joey Zummo, Lenny B., Jerry and Cousin Joey, Katherine B., Grace and Cousin Loretta, Patty and Ronny Pierman, the Lorenz Family. Yvonne Wydener. Billy Sopa. I hope I remembered all of you. Please respond.
13 April 1999
My Brooklyn, Bath Beach, '30s-'40s, P.S. 200, St. Finbar's, Bay 28th St., Gravesend Bay, Tuesday night fireworks. Memories of Miller's Drug Store, Goldberg's Glaziers, The Delux, Benson & Oriental theaters. Bobby Goldberg, Joey Arigo, Johnny Graham, Marvin Kerbal, Calvin Williams, George Raimondo. People, Real people, proud people. My Brooklyn, a place, a state of mind.
14 April 1999