Some good guys on these squads…
Some good guys on these squads…
Hanging out on the street corner.
Any corner in the neighborhood, it didn’t matter.
Eighth Avenue and Windsor Place.
Standing around shooting the breeze.
Ninth Avenue and Windsor.
Yelling at people walking by.
Prospect Avenue and Ninth Avenue.
Sipping a cold brew in a brown, paper bag.
Howard Place and Windsor.
Dribbling my basketball while chatting up a friend or two.
16th Street and Eighth Avenue.
Listening to music from a friend’s radio.
You get the picture.
Those were the days my friend…
What we’re gonna do here is go back, way back, back into time.
Brooklyn, New York in the late 70’s and early 80’s to be exact. It was a different Brooklyn back then.
The Barclay’s on Flatbush and Atlantic? S.M.H.
My friends and I played outside in the streets from early morning to late into the night. Some nights we didn’t go home. We called it, “Breakin’ Night.”
Holy Name schoolyard was our favorite spot. The priests would kick us out at 10:00 PM. We played all sports. No such thing as specialization. Basketball was my favorite.
We rode the F-train to Coney Island and back (never paying our fare).
We hitched on the back of the 68 or 75 bus and rode our bikes all over New York City.
We broke balls.
We broke windows playing stickball (accidentally of course).
We didn’t have cell phones.
No one owned a gun. Not that I knew of anyway.
Our parents were not watching our every move.
We learned to be tough. You failed at something, you got back up.
We learned to fight our own battles. Sometimes.
We didn’t run home, tell mommy or daddy what happened.
Wait a minute, daddy? My dad left for good when I was six.
Mom didn’t blame the teacher when I failed a test nor did she complain to the coach if I came off the bench for the basketball team.
Best of all the friendships formed and nurtured were unbreakable. I loved the people I grew up with. They were loyal and cared about me.
Sure we argued with each other, we even had a fistfight or two. But the next day in the schoolyard we were teammates playing two-on-two.
Those were the days my friend.
Received sad news last night.
One of the good guys from the neighborhood, Rich Ferraiolo passed away last night. He was 63.
For many years Richie lived on Prospect Avenue, a couple of doors down from the corner of 10th avenue and he also lived on 17th street. Rich attended Bishop Ford High School and was a huge sports guy. Dodgers, Packers and Lakers fan. Rich was always the first guy to have “Street & Smith’s” college basketball magazine. He later told me he would get a copy over in Manhattan before it arrived at Rae and Otto’s.
I will never forget when I graduated from Holy Name. I was in the schoolyard a couple of days after graduation and Richie walked by the yard, called me over and handed me a white envelope.
“This is for you,” he said.
I opened the envelope and there was a graduation card.
Inside the card was a ten dollar bill.
I thanked him and went back to playing ball.
That was June of 1978, 41 years ago. To this day I still remember Rich’s generosity.
To a special lady, Mrs Rafferty…
10th avenue forever!
Sad news to report on Willy; he passed away on August 28.
Willy visited Container Diaries often and always left a solid message.
How about the classic photo above? Taken in 1968 on the corner of 10th avenue and P.P.S.W. (Thanks Gladys Mastrion)
Willy had a classic line on his Facebook page about the gang scene.
“By then gang affiliations had blurred. We had pot!”
Thanks to Maureen Rice for posting the memorial info yesterday but here it is again.
Saturday, September 22 from 12pm-3pm at Duffy’s.
Today is September 11, 2018. Only one thing comes to mind, 9-11.
September 11, 2001 is a day this country will never forget.
Captain Vincent Brunton of Truck Company Ladder 105, one of the best from our neighborhood died that day. “Vinny” as we all knew him, was on the job in the World Trade Center doing his job…saving people.
Vinny attended Holy Name grammar school and Bishop Ford High School. He was an excellent athlete too. I recall watching him run point guard in the schoolyard during the summer league; and loved his passion playing football for Farrell’s down at Farragut Road.
(Jan. 2, 1958-Sept. 11, 2001)