Quote of the Day

“It was all that stuff about taking your parents’ car when you’re 13, sneaking booze into rock shows and ditching school with your friends. I could relate to that as a former teenager, rather than as a present parent.”

-Donal Logue

Here we are in the second week of February.  It’s cold and snowy outside; temps in the low 20’s.

This time of year takes me back to a few memorable moments from back in my early teen days; drinking.

I’m not talking hot chocolate either.

I’m talking booze.

Growing up in the neighborhood we all had a swig at the bottle (most of us that is).  In our apartment liquor was highly visible and available. My mother and father were both heavy drinkers.  I took a swig of gin when I was 12; my mom stored it in a liquor cabinet in our living room.

Two years later was the first time I drank with a group of friends.

My daughter is almost 13 years old. I look at her and wonder, ‘has she thought about drinking booze yet’?

For many neighborhood teenagers drinking took place inside Prospect Park.  We drank on the bleachers. At the corral, on the park bench, Cherry Hill, Suicide Hill, and I  recall drinking booze by Quaker cemetery.

My first experience was a bottle of Wild Irish Rose wine . I drank that because it was cheap; ninety-nine cents. A friend’s older brother collected the money from us and went to the liquor store on 16th street. Matter of fact, for a couple of years this fella was our ‘go-to’ guy on the weekends.

We would drink every Friday and Saturday night. Some kids drank beer, some drank vodka, some J.D., or in my case, Wild Irish Rose.

My choice of Wild Irish Rose had a sweet taste and boy did I get hammered.

Second time I drank it I puked my guts up.

These days I often wonder if teens in the neighborhood still get their booze on the weekend and hang out in Prospect Park?




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26 Responses to WANNA’ SIP?

  1. Steve McLaughlin says:

    Fond memories of Tango Screwdriver bought from Schaefers on Windsor Place!

    • hoopscoach says:

      Loved Tango!

      We started out buying a pint of vodka and a pint of Tropicana OJ from Pynn’s deli.

      When I found out about Tango, I was hooked.

  2. jimmyvac says:

    We were buying containers of Grapefruit & Vodka or OJ and Vodka and drinking them in the alamos along the highway when I was 14. At 16, I graduated to the Windsor Pub which was a great place to hang until drugs ruined it..

  3. Brooklynati64 says:

    At the corral. and the subway tunnels. Dangerous times.

  4. H.Mills says:

    Gallo port wine ( now you’d have to put a gun to my head to drink that stuff, horrible stuff ) down in Pros Park across from the old Parkview Bar, but we had a great connection–one of our guys, even though he was only about 15, worked in a liquor store on 5th ave. We’d put in our order with him during the week and like clockwork, he’d show up down there at about 7:30 on Friday nights with the goods !

  5. Gladys Mastrion says:

    Thunderbird! On Hippie Hill! I think it was really wood alcohol in those bottles!

    • hoopscoach says:


      I almost, took a sip of Thunderbird from Slick.

      Please tell me you remember Slick?

      He would always offer his bottle to me but I politely declined.

      • Gladys Mastrion says:

        Yes I do remember Slick!
        He never offered it to me!
        I probably would have drank the rest of the bottle on him!

  6. Maureen Rice (Flanagan) says:

    Orange Rock- 59 cents a pint- sometimes Strawberry Rock- awful stuff- I thought I died and went to heaven when I discovered pills- did not drink much after that- but started down a road that I am blessed to have stepped off!

  7. TonyF16ST says:

    Amen to that Maureen. Boones Farm apple or strawberry was the flavor of the day for me.

  8. Maureen Rice (Flanagan) says:

    lol, I remember when Boone’s Farm came out- the people that drank that felt superior to the Orange Rockers! Like it was high-class 🙂

  9. TonyF16ST says:

    I don’t know about being superior but it sure was easier to guzzle.
    Although the end result was the same, terrible hangover and they both got you very sick from all that sugar.

  10. Maureen Rice (Flanagan) says:

    well, the Boone’s Farm was twice the price, I guess that is where the elitist attitude came from, lol- buy, yeah, ya right- awful hangovers…

  11. jimmyvac says:

    I remember going to a Rod Stewart concert after drinking too much beer and a bottle of Tequila and not remembering Rod Stewart!!!

  12. TonyF16ST says:

    I’m suprised you remembered you went to the concert and who was playing lol. Beer and Tequila , now thats deadly combo.

  13. Gene Green says:

    Bali Hie the best way to go. Ripple for the good nights

  14. TonyF16ST says:

    Dont forget T.J.Swan and Wild Irish Rose AKA GUT ROT

  15. TonyF16ST says:

    And then we would do it all over again the next night.

    What the hell were we thinking?

  16. Tom "Ned" Needham says:

    Hey Hoopscoach,

    First time I’m on this site. A little older than most of you people. Brings back a lot of memories. I’m turning 64 in May. You mentioned Slick. There was a time he was an upstanding guy. He was my brother-in-law.

    I see a Harry Mills is exchanging messages – any relation to Tommy Mills? We all went to Holy Name together – Johnny O’Doherty, Neal Murphy, Tommy Coyne, Rick Saccenti, Frank Fitzpatrick, John Crotty, and others. We had nuns in the first and second grades, then Miss Lynch in the 3rd grade and Miss Lynn in the fourth. Let’s see – there was Brothers fifth grade to the eigth – I can remember Br. Romanus in the 5th, Br. Wright in the 7th and Br. Regis in the 8th. Can’t recall the 6th Grade.

    Went to the Sanders for movies when you could get in for a quarter and see two movies, a newsreel, and cartoons, with coming attractions. Remember being up in the balcony with the girl I was going out with at the time. The good old days. Went to Farrell’s when a beer coated fifteen cents,you could buy loosies three for a nickel down at Lou’s – I think was the candy store – down on Windsor Place and a pack costed $0.28.
    Did a lot of my drinking at Petey Gallagher’s bar across from where I was raised on 13th Street & 8th. Use to drink at Langdon’s on the circle as well.

    If anyone knows how I can get in touch with any of my old buddies mentioned let me know.


    Tom “Ned” Needham
    Now living on Staten Island where I’ve been married for 38 years with three children and four grandchildren and a fifth on the way in July (all boys) maybe a basketball team when they get a little older

    • hoopscoach says:


      Call me “Red”, thanks for writing. Appreciate your feedback.

      You bring back great memories.

      I think Pat Fenton would love to hear from you.

      Keep writing and stay in touch.

      Speaking of Slick, can you tell me anything more about him?

      Anyone I can contact?

  17. Mudge says:


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