Early Years



          In my early years I attended a Public School 123 on Irving Avenue in Bushwick.

    There were many children in my class and back then I didn’t have a head for book

     learning.I believe I received most of my reading habits from comic books.I was an

     avid comic book reader.I read comic books until I was about 16 years old.I then

     began going to the Public Library and read many books as a teen.I was in the library

     so often that the head librarian hired me as a library clerk.My main interests were

     usually stories about New York.Usually about teens growing up into adulthood and

     not necessarily New York.I was always able to identify with the characters in the

     story and enjoyed reading about them.They like myself were boys who were being

     educated in the streets.

          When I reached the 6th Grade I had to transfer schools because P.S. 123 didn’t

     go to the 6th grade.I then went to P.S. 74 on Bushwick Avenue and was very happy

     at the school.We had a  G.O. Club which meant getting to see movies in the

     large auditorium,we bought cookies and milk,we had a lunch room and we had

     very nice teachers.We had a shop class in woodworking.I delivered newspapers in

     the school to students and teachers.The paper was the Herald Tribune.

        During the summer I was hired by a local bakery.That’s where I met my friend

      Frankie.Frank was the head baker and I worked directly with him.Frank was about

      eight years older than myself and was on his way to having many children with

      his lovely wife Marie.Frank became a very good friend and I looked at him as an

      older brother.

         My immediate childhood friends were similar to myself.We did what boys

      in Brooklyn usually did.We played ball,we went to movies,we dated girls,we

      enjoyed  music and as children we traded comic books.The forties were quiet years

      without television in our lives and we found many  ways to occupy our time.Once

       television entered our lives we spent more time watching it than doing most other

      things.We found that there were television shows in New York City that would

       give away free tickets to whomever was outside the studio’s.We went to the many

      TV shows in the city.Red Button’s,Ed Sullivan,Mr. Peepers and so many more.

         During the winter Frankie would drive my friends and I to Nathan’s in Coney

       Island for Hot Dogs and Fries.Then we would go to a place called Fascination and

       play skee ball and many games.Before we left for home we took a ride on the

       Cyclone Roller Coaster.Some of us took more than one ride.

         Many times we would go crabbing at Broad Channel in Rockaway, or out to

       Bay Shore L.I.

           After any type of activity we participated in,there was always a certain place we

       would all ‘hang out’ at.It was called the ‘Platform.’There was a large factory

       on our block and in front was a loading platform.The platform was only slightly

       larger than the width of an elevator door.It had a few steps to it going from the street

       to the platform itself.This was our haven.We would all gather here to plan our

       various activities and swap stories about what was taking place in our lives and

       families.It was our ‘Main Stoop’.Those before us used it and those after us used it.

          I would have to say that most of my childhood memories revolve around that

        stoop.