-------- 1963------------- 1963----------- 1963--------- ______EIGHTH GRADE 1/63-6/63___ AGE 13, ________ NINTH GRADE 9/63-12/63____ age 13/14,______ Mother 36/37______ Father 41/42,_____ Major 3/4_____...... ...... Have no memory of what I did for New Year's Eve 12-31-62 to 1-1-63. But that may have been the time my father drove up in the car and parked right in front of the house in a hurry to get my mother home as she was drinking and just as he parked and my mother opened the door she suddenly threw up right onto the car floor. I just saw her head go down and heard it and naturally my father got upset as he got so close to getting there without the car getting messed up. My mother only drank at such occasions. I never saw her hit the bottle at home except a little beer while playing cards...... Don't recall Valentine's Day, Thursday Feb. 14, But I think we were too old for the embarrassing Valentine's Day card silliness, ..... I probably took off on St Patrick's Day due to my Irish blood on my mother's side. No, it was a Sunday! So I went to church that day. Must have been a big day at church. Maybe I even went to a "High Mass" ..... Don't know what day Easter fell in 1963 but this may have been one of the years I got the chocolate cross which they had designed for older people but later was dropped as being in bad taste. Guess I also had off on Holy Thursday, or at least in the morning to go to Mass... 1963 had same calendar as 1974, 1985, 1991, 2002, 1957, 1946,.... Tuesday Jan 1, 1963. My birthday was WEDNESDAY Oct, 30 1963: I became 14..... Now I recall reading how young people's eyes go bad during the onset of puberty because the eye may not grow in all directions at the same rate and the focal point of the lens has to be exactly on the optic nerve spot (I also recently read that the higher the IQ the bigger that spot is). So if that is the case I may actually be able to trace the beginning of my sudden crazy growth. I was still just a short sickly kid at the very beginning of 1963 and I had perfect eyesight I bragged about. But during that Spring my eyes started going bad and I had to get glasses that Summer. So my puberty must have begun PHYSICALLY in Spring 1963. By the time it was done I had reached 5'8" or 5'9" by July 1964 and 6'2" before Oct 30, 1964. So I grew over a foot in over a year. But it was the same old crap. I was constantly reminded of my 'Great Potential', I was bullied horribly every day and lived in apprehension every second of every day at school, I HATED gym class which only made it even WORSE on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I kept scoring at the top in IQ tests while doing mediocre in school as In now hated it and my teachers who wouldn't help me and the other students who terrorized me, worried about the eventual military draft when I'd REALLY get eaten alive as it would be like gym class a dozen times over, worried about getting into college, worried about PAYING for college in those pre-loan days with parents who had no money to help, remained a fanatically moral Catholic worried about divine retribution for any imperfect thought, word , or action, worried about the bullies between me and the candy store, worried about making the mistake of glancing at anyone on the way to the subway or on the subway or in Manhattan ("Whatta YOU lookin' at?"), Out of school many days SICK- always seeing physicians and taking medicine, had a few dental visits that year, always in trouble for being late but if I got anywhere when the kids were there they'd pick on me, (People like to say how 'tough' New Yorkers are. I never saw them act tough against anyone but us little sickly guys)..... I had no friends in Eighth Grade.... I was off the school bounds during lunch one day and got back late from lunch. I was late for my Typing Class. I came into the front door by the teacher's (Mr. Cenerino) desk as he was talking to some other adult and he saw me coming in. I went up to him, waited for him to be done, and then I said, "I was late because I was fooling around" He said, "Because you were FOOLING AROUND??" Then he laughed and told me to sit down and forget it....age 13 .. I know I REALLY got into the habit of going to the Planetarium in 63/64...... My mother gave me money to get a pen after I got off the bus at North Steinway and Ditmars to walk that long walk to school (was dale with me that day?) She told me to make sure i got a refillable one and NOT one of those NEW 'Bics' which were NOT refillable (Yes, they had just appeared). I went to that candy store near that intersection and the Bics were all they had. So I had no choice but I worried all day about disobeying my mother (This could have been any school day in 1963).... In, I believe Early 1963 (but it could have been earlier) my father took me to some family's house farther out in Queens where people were more affluent. People lived in a big house all by itself and two floors and a basement. Kid had an Easy Money game we played (If this was the first time I saw EM it may have been 62). He showed me a switch blade he had and told me that he had a zip gun in the snow in the yard the previous winter but his father found it. He wanted me to carry into the basement a huge pile of 45 singles records he had but a few of them slipped off on the stairs and broke. He didn't seem to care. he had lots of money. I forget if my mother was there..... .. ........ ... ........ .......... .......... ......... .......... ......... .......... ......... ......... ........... .... ...... SUMMER 1963: Note: This does NOT mean that everything before this was Spring 63 and everything after it Fall 63. I just needed some place to put this. :: In Summer 1963 I must have gone to quite a few Mets and Yankee games. I saw more baseball games that year than any other, especially the 1963 Mets which I followed more closely, being there-wise, than any other team... Other guys in Astoria mocked me for being a METS fan. It didn't become 'cool' until Shea Stadium opened in April 1964. There were actually very few REAL Mets fans... I have quite a few 1963 scorecards and cardboard megaphones and other stuff around...age 13... Went fishing a few times in Long Island Sound or on the South in the Atlantic. Always caught many bushel baskets full of fish...age 13... Rode out on my bike all over Queens quite a few times. Once I went to watch them building both the new Shea Stadium and the new World's Fair and I rode into what would be new parts of the highway (Grand Central Expressway) that were under construction. I still have a clear mental image of standing with my bike between my legs on a sidewalk just across (south)from a little park with the new highway entrance not yet complete and seeing the future fair behind in the distance with the future stadium behind. Then I went ahead. Farther up I turned right and found my self lookin ahead at Main Street, Flushing where I had been with my parents just a few months before. (Or late the previous year, 1962). I then went on, on the sidewalk slowly, and Main Street had quite a few pedestrians for an afternoon (3pm?)(Was it a Saturday?)..... I also went over, either that day or another, where a gas station, in readiness for the Fair, had put in the very first soda CAN vending machine I had ever seen. At a high price for tourists, but I forget what. .age13... I was also buying LEAD knights of all kinds at the 5&10 on Main St. that Summer.... age 13.... Jimmy, in his house, showed me a model of the Frankenstein monster that had come out. So I bought it and built it Professionally- I took my time and painted it correctly. I then did the same with every other monster model. (I think they were Aurora). My favorite was Dracula which had the nicest scene and the best colors. But I got them all. I think I worked on at least one of them on that weird waist high wooden 'closet' we had right under the phone in the kitchen that we kept tools and junk in...... I bought a very pretty, expensive plastic sailing ship to float in Central Park Lake with all the other ships. It came with some nice colors including copper but I carefully added some more. The package claimed it was unsinkable. But just to be sure I left it in the bathtub for hours at a time. It worked fine. So my father and I rode the subway all the way over to Central park and put it in the water and let the wind move it. It went right out to the center and sat there. Then we noticed something wrong. It was slowly sinking! Stern first. Perhaps through where the rudder was. My father and I both jumped into the water with all our clothes on to try to get it. It went down before my father could reach it. I couldnt get as far out. I was shorter than he was. I guess he was 5'8" and I was nowhere near that yet- not until NEXT Summer. They told us that the pond is drained every Fall and the boats given to the kids so someone got my beautiful ship that I used only once. We got out of the lake and were both soaking wet to the waist and had to ride the subway home...... My mother took accounting course that Summer. Sure shocked me. I never thought of anyone taking classes as adults. We took her to and from Bryant High School just a few blocks on the other side of Steinway Street a couple of nights each week. I recall sitting in the back of the car reading early 1963 Marvel Comics while waiting for her to come out. A lot of double parking. ...age13..... This was the Summer when my mother and started shopping at a different A&P. perhaps she no longer worked at the one at Ditmars. We'd pull a two-wheel grocery cart along 21st St under the Triboro Bridge down to Astoria Square. Same route as to PS 7 back in 1959. Then we'd turn right (west) at the second street to the right ( THREE streets crossed there and the Army/Navy store was between the two east-west ones). The Towne Square shop was there on the second corner and we'd go right and down and around the curve and down a couple of blocks to the A&P which had its parking lot towards our side. THAT was where I first discovered MARVEL COMICS in 1962 when they still were sci-fi comics and didn't yet have The Fantastic Four or Spiderman. No other place in the whole area carried them. The other comics had a distribution monopoly. So I must have been going there with her since 1962 but it was 63 that I recall best. On the way back we'd always stop at the fancy new Towne Square Shoppe for malteds or banana splits before dragging the stuff home. Down from the TS Shoppe a few stores west was also a shoestore of some kind as I recall getting a pair there. And they had seats outside! Astoria Square got classy for a while there in the early 60s. Then we'd walk up 21st to home..7-9-99... age13 .. There was a TOTAL ECLIPSE of the sun in Summer 1963 that went right through New York City. I was looking at it through negatives (They had big negatives in those days for 120 and 620 box camera film). So the new Maltese kids wanted to look through them, too. We wound up on the front steps of "Moose's" house. Naturally they were so rough with the negatives that they got broken. My father was really angry at that even though they were in the bottom of that box-workshelf or whatever under the phone in the kitchen for years. None of them were EVER developed that were under there. (Eclipse was July 20, 1963. Three days after my mother's birthday and a year later I'd be in York, Pa)..age 13... . That Summer I was a hell of a checkers player at the kiddie park under the Triboro Bridge where they kept games for kids and had swings and a wading pool and basketball courts etc. I just easily knew automatically how to move any piece to never lose a game. It was all so obvious to me. Just like when I learned how to always win or tie at tic-tac-toe, I could do it with checkers just as well... age13 ... I was also just as good with the wooden box hockey game where the puck is in the four? foot box and you have to know the angles to get it through the other slot. I always won...age 13... That MIGHT have been the Summer that i walked over to that same concrete park under the bridge to get on a swing and saw a small patch of blood on the ground and it turned out that one of Dale's brothers (which?) was standing on the swing, fell off, and landed on his head and had to go to the hospital. I NEVER stood on a swing. It was only recently I had gotten the guts to even USE them...age 13... This MAY have also been the time that I got off the el-train, found a flat rock I wanted in my back yard on the way home, turned right at the corner at The Cheesebox park, walked up and saw this crowd and saw Wayne sitting dazed on a bench. Turned out he was playing tag and ran in front of a car and flew into a parked car but he was okay. What surprised me was that Jerry's father suddenly got angry at me while i was standing there having just walked over. He said, out of nowhere suddenly, "Why are you carrying that stupid rock when you're friend's been hurt?" I couldnt figure THAT out...age 13 .. I saved up what was a bunch of money, about $5 ($50 in 1999 dollars) and wanted a board game. But I wanted something new. I went from place to place. I recall being shown all the simple games at the toy store on Ditmars next to my mother's A&P. But I kept looking for something special. Then on a drizzly day I was with my mother on Steinway Street and we were outside a toystore right next to an open yard of grass and trees (church? school? Unusual on Steinway which was non-stop stores) We went in and searched the games and nothing. Finally, the worker pulls out a game from the back left corner and brings it up to the front checkout to show me but he says it's probably for older guys. It was called STALINGRAD and the entire board was a game! And it was very intellectual and beyond the two? other games I had seen that used the whole board and not just around the edges. It was WWII: The Eastern Front!. Just what I wanted. I paid four bucks and recall leaving with it. I was really into those wargames from 1963 until the early 80s and still pick them up when I see them. The first time I played Jimmy! on the floor of my room I only won by one move!! He took Stalingrad and Moscow but not Leningrad. The closest and best match I ever had. After that I knew how to play and I won constantly...age 13.. But I still had the mind of a child. I was on the other side of Astoria Pool near the swing park there once playing 'guns' with some other kids and there were girls in the park sitting on the swings. They called just me over. They werent rude but they were surprised that I was doing that (I had also kept growing so I was bigger but still immature). They liked the way I looked but tried to talk me out of what I was doing but I thought they were nuts and went back to play... age13... In the Summer of 1963 I was starting to get up earlier to go out for the first time and for the first time I was actually wanting, sometimes, to find others to go and play. I forget what I thought "earlier" was but it may have been 9am. I think in all the previous Summers I just stayed in bed until 10:30 or 11:00. .. age 13 ... I think my relatives from Missouri showed up in Summer 63 and took my parents bed in the next room. I know the boy Freddy, showed me his kit for making something in Engineering and I had no idea about working with my hands. And he wanted to trade comics with me but I never traded a comic. I kept them all. I was sitting on my bed next to the older of the two girls one day and she suddenly kissed me on the cheek and said, "You're cute" and I thought, "Hmmm? Is that my first kiss from a girl? Does it counr if a cousin kisses you on the cheek?" (Missouri is one of the 22 states where cousins marry so I guess they don't think it strange). There also was a younger girl along. They were all walking down the block East towards the elevated train one day and I rode my bike down and tried to stop and turn and crashed instead. When they left they left the comics they had with "You can have for keeps on it" and the Engineering kit. Funny how I don't recall what we did that week, if they were there that long. Did we go to the park or to the stores? Did they meet the other kids on my block?... age13 ..... I got my glasses. We were up on Steinway Street and walked west a couple of blocks, maybe on Broadway to the eyedoctor on a corner. We approached JUST as he was walking out and he said, "Come back tomorrow". Heck with him. We then went back to Steinway and found a young guy just across from the big toy store which was just down the block from the corner trianglar restaurant where the streets come together. He brought me into a room to the right and said my eye-muscles were the real problem. He said I had a lazy right eye that could be fixed. He gave me a device that looked like an ancient stereoscope and a card with two dots I had to train my eye to bring together. He also asked if I got headaches and I said yes (later my father said everybody gets headaches). He was very personable and I liked him very much. I'd diligently work on it and get the dots together. Each week I'd take the Astoria Bus to the street where I'd transfer up to where the restaurant on Steinway was. Before my meeting I'd have one of those WONDERFUL charbroiled burgers they always had. (that place, White Castle, the place in Bloomington, and that place on Long Island had the four most fantastic burgers ever!) Forget if with coffee or soda. In 63 my parents were doing better financially thanks to the Fair going up. Then I'd walk down to the totstore and look in the window at the great stuff. They had a model of the Human Eye in there that I thought of getting each week but it was more than I could afford. After getting through all the cards in record time I still got glasses but was supposed to do the same with a string and pencil forever. I recall the day i finally walked out of the office with the glasses on and how hard it was to step off the curb. Natuarlly I asked my mother how I looked and of course she said I looked better with them on. I did do that string thing until at least the end of 1964 or when we went to Pa. in June 65. My father had said that one reason he had me doing that stuff was the money. Multiple visits instead of just two. They were the old 1963 hornrims of course. Must have started early in Summer for all those meetings. ...... We were playing 'swing tag' in Summer 63, one of the games I invented ( invent in 62 or 63?). This consisted of people on swings moving and the guy having to hit them with a ball and then the one hit is 'it' and has to do it. You throw the ball from where you stop its movement. Now just on the other side of the fence from the swings was a small walk and then a steep hill about six? feet high. The entrance to the swing park is on the right from the hill. One morning we are there, maybe 930am? and a guy about 27? 30? (Hard to tell at 13) comes there with a girl our age or maybe a year older. The two of them, right in front of us, lay down on the hill and , Lolita-style, start making out like crazy! Him on top of her! We're staring flabbergasted and they saw us when they laid down. They eventually stop after quite a while, she gives us a half-nasty look and they leave!! I still have those images clearly in my mind. Interestingly, I still thought of such things as what adults did and had no interest yet at 13...... My parents and I went to Richland Ave in Staten Island. I had always thought it was 1963 but now I wonder if it was 62. Anyway it was HOT, HOT that day. Some type of record. We must have driven the car onto the Ferry and then drove to the street which was S.I.s ONE main street and went on forever with stores with none of them off at right angles. Just a forever street of stores. I recall crossing the street and seeing wax and plastic things melting it was so hot. And we were in the right front corner of the 5&10 picking out things to buy for quite a while. Things there I saw nowhere else. (should look it up in NY Times). Very bright. Very sweltering. Bought some very intersting toys that i recalled for years but forgot now. Well, I can always add......... Think it was then we went to Sunnyside Gardens for a flea market. But it was mainly small private venders. SSG was famous for many big champ. fights in the 40s and 50s and early 60s. It was in Queens (Sunnyside). The car was parked across the street from it and there MIGHT have been an elevated train above. I left first after buying a great bag of plastic miniature battleships with their names on the bottom. I waited a LONG time for my parents and it was hot but I recall no movement on the left side of the car which is why I think there were no bldgs on that side. I recall them FINALLY coming out (I started to think something happened) and us driving off as I continued to look at my stuff. (I also often wonder if this was in Spring/early Summer 1964 just before people came from York)...age 13... We used up a lot of Citronella keeping mosquitoes away that Summer. Mine was right next to my bed on my little table...... I was suddenly running like the wind in Summer 63. The other kids couldnt believe. One commented on how he saw me down the block and suddenly I was right next to him. Once I was coming back from the store and turned the corner and right there was a hard plastic straw of some kind and I wondered if i should pick it up to discard. I didn't. BAD mistake. Later I went to run at someone down the block and took off. I was on him fast (was it Jerry?) and passed him. Fantastic feeling after being so sickly so long. But I couldnt stop! Not in time for the corner anyway. Wasn't used to controlling my strange new speed. And i stepped on that stupid straw and slipped. I came down harder than I ever did at that speed. Really hit my knees. Blood all over. (Maybe THIS was when that previous comment was made?). Hobbled home. Went into bathroom to clean it. Father came in to help. Kids came to door to get me. My father told them I was fixing an injury. I recall thinking how I didnt even feel like crying with the pain and blood that bad. I somehow outgrew that childishness in just the previous months...... I wanted firecrackers that Summer and took the train to Chinatown but couldnt figure out where to go. Then I came back and a few blocks down Hoyt Ave North and right around the corner there was a guy a couple of years older than me whom I was told fired them so i just nonchalantly, stupidly yelled over and asked him while he was sitting on his front steps with some people including one who may have been his mother, You have any fireworks for sale?". Naturally, he said no. A couple days later I was walking by and he called to me and said he did but politely told me not to ask him in front of others. So I bought some........ That was probably the Summer that Crescent St, one block east of us, went crazy with them. All the adults were out with the kids setting lots of them off in the street as I was watching while standing on the sidewalk on the west side. Lots of people on sidewalks. All technically illegal. One guy tries to set off a Cherry Bomb in the middle of the street. It fails to go off. He goes and picks it up. Another adult tells him to go in the back and hit it with a hammer!!!!! He goes behind me, thru an opening between houses. Then I hear it go off back there. Later the ambulance comes to take him away. Reason it was donr on Crescent was it was a VERY long block so they could see the copcars coming down towards the bridge. One did when we were there. All those people, noise, debris. Cops knew but didn't care...age 13 ............ ......... .......... ........... ........... ........... . ......... .......... I don't recall my first day of school in September 1963..age 13.. But I do recall getting along with the homeroom teacher who was also our Earth Science teacher. For some weird reason the head bully was getting more civil to me and inviting me along with him and the teacher when we went on class trips around New York City. I recall the three of us went onto the new Childrens' Zoo 'Ark' and the teacher taking our picture. It was all getting weird. The head bully even invited me to his house in the projects and showed me around and they subscribed to some Marxist publication. So the bullying from everybody was diminishing gradually but I was still uptight and wary at all times. I did not realize that I was growing at a fast rate and others were noticing it. ...age13 ... I do recall the 1963 World Series. I know that I was in the car with my parents going up along the Hudson River for a drive. (There were always so many nice towns snuggled away on both sides of the Hudson. And, of course, we always went through Sleepy Hollow. I recall leaning over the seat and betting something like 27 cents on the outcome of the World Series game (Was it the last game? Did we bet in the game or the Series?) And the Dodgers won so I lost the bet. I guess that as my father was driving he wasn't ushering the game so I guess it was in Los Angeles....... My 14th Birthday was later that month, Oct 30,1963 ........ Don't recall Election Day 1963 in Early November.......... Every time I scored in the Top One Percent of the country on any national test there was never any reward, only punishment. No one ever said, "You did well and you will now be rewarded with more playtime or less homework or an official college acceptance or 'here's a college scholarship'. No, what we always heard was, "You did the best there is. That means you MUST play less and MUST study more to reach your potential. And you MUST 'somehow' get into a good college and you MUST "somehow" come up with a fortune to pay for it all (in those pre-college loan days) and you MUST be a freak compared to other kids and you MUST be serious and MUST not think of having fun as a kid. And you must think the same way in high school, college, and graduate school......7-9-99 .... Whenever i went anywhere by myself, whether to Lower Manhattan or to Hoyt Schermerhorn or etc. I NEVER went into any regular stores, only into Department stores. I was too self conscious and shy. I didn't want any salesman approaching me. I didn't want ANYONE approaching me. ....... I did not have any friends in Ninth Grade....... HOYT-SCHERMERHORN: This was my Autumn of Hoyt Schermerhorn although I probably went there all Summer and my mother probably introduced me to it earlier. It was sort of the 'capital' of Brooklyn. It had a long, long street full of stores and numerous department stores and 5&10s. Brooklyn Boro Hall was nearby and so was the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge. To get there was an effort. One took the Astoria line into Manhattan, changed once, and changed again. And then one walked through a long underground concourse with stores (I recall my mother eating burgers there once and they had watered down the ketchup) and finally one got out not into the street but into the basement toy department of a 5&10 (I bought my model of Fred Flintstones car there. They had a completed one. 5&10 was wonderfully decorated for Halloween and Christmas, too. Then one went outside onto the main street. First there was a Mays dept Store (Or whatever it was in 62 or 63 when i first saw it) and the stores went for a couple of blocks that way. To stop at a huge avenue leading to the Bridge. Around the corner there was another subway entrance for another line and just inside it was a WONDERFUL burger place. It served walkers out one side and had seats inside. The first time I ate there (or near the first time) the greasy burgers I pigged out on made me throw up at night. (My parents warned me). But I still kept getting them (I just didnt eat like a pig) In the other direction were blocks and blocks of stores on both sides I loved to go in. But the was one 5&10 on the other side of the Avenue I always went into. On the left halfway back was a lunch counter which i always stopped at and farther back was the stairway to the basement. And down there in Late 63 were the only MAGNUS, ROBOT FIGHTER comic books anywhere. I used to get them and take them up to the lunch counter. I especially recall the Halloween season of 1963 when Martha and the Vandella's HEAT WAVE was playing everywhere including in there and everything was very decorated for Halloween, the day after my 14th birthday..Friday 7-9-99 431pm... Every Saturday I was at Hoyt/Scherm in Fall, Winter 1963 (and every Sunday at the Haydn Planetarium/ Amer Museum). I was no doubt there the day after JFK was shot. age14(I seem to recall the silence of that day there). It was probably at the fancy Dept Store aways down and across form that 5&10 where I saw my first LONGHAIRED guy in 1964 (or 1965). I was approaching the escalator with the guy in font of me and staring at his back wide-eyed. Then a guard by the escalator caught my eye and shook his head. .... 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-------------------- Extra 1963 --------------------

---------- Possibly Early 1963, Jan/June----------::::: I just looked up that TELSTAR, the song, was big from Late 1962 to Early 1963. Being a would-be Astronomer I loved it. I recall once being in the back seat on a trip eastwards of NYC and asking my parents to turn it up....... To hide from all the bullies making our lives miserable, Dale and I would keep warm by standing in the big foyer of a wide apartment house across from the side of JHS 141 to the west. There was the front glass door, lots of glass on either side of it so we could look out at the school and it must have been 25 feet wide and 10 feet to the wide stairs across the room and 6 feet from there to the inner door. People almost never went in or out so we could stay until it was time to go in. I recall Jan 1963 as being very cold..... .. Every day I would enter the front hall of my house, check the mail, pick up the Long Island Star Journal from the floor and go in and light the small gas heater in the living room. Then I'd stand above it to get warm as the house was freezing.......I don't recall when it was in 1963 that I switched to My Carmel to attend Mass....... I had a Summit game in which the players built steel mills to turn out ingots to buy either more steel mills, missile bases or perhaps consumer goods and you had to figure out how many to have for when the 'Summit' came up or there was a 'crisis'....... I also had a builers game that was very anti-environmentalist (That word didnt exist then). It had a pristine country area but each player had to first subdivide and then build factories, high rises, or shopping centers. Factories had to be along rivers. (Here in York, a few years ago in the 90s one appeared at the Goodwill downtown. I could have kicked myself for not buying it as mine was stolen.)....... Going up the stairs after lunch the boys used to chant "Ah- veh? HO!... Ah-veh? HO! " And then something I couldnt make out that went like," Ho ra ha hey de ba dee ba ? HO!!!!" I had no idea where they got it from. I wasn't into things...... I recall going up those same stairs quite a few times thinking of all the interest I was getting on my little bank accounts. (But some time before college the college account I had been saving since First Grade vanished!) ..... I was learning Cyrillic out of the Collier's Encyclopedia and mentioned it to the worst bully and he said I was using the pre-1917 style. (In Honors Classes even the bullies are smart. He was a pro-Russian Communist during the Cold War)..... I believe it was Spring 1963 when we went to Washington DC the second time. We saw other things that Spring. I think it was 63, not 62, when we went to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. And one of the bullies saw the guard marching back and forth in front of the Tomb. So he kicked over the FLASH attachment of some guy (Louis'?) so the Marine guard would trip on it!!! But a teacher, using a belt and a crutch borrowed from some crippled man, grabbed it without having to violate the velvet ropes........ At the American Museum/ Haydn Planetarium I bought a box of 'ores', each in its own little holder with an explanation of each. Naturally I showed it off, especially the one that contained URANIUM ore...... Coming back from somewhere one day (Possibly fishing) I walked down the block of stores on 24th St to the one on the corner and noticed they put a vending machine outside and it contained photos of aircraft. Explanations on back. I bought a lot of cards out of it that season. That store also always had ads for 'Roman Meal' bread about the Vikings but my parents only got the cheapest bread...... At Genovese Drugs at Ditmars/31st St they had many plastic model kits. I found a great one with all the guided missiles of America to build on a big clear plastic stand. ....... Everybody made fun of the Mr Softee truck and its music instead of bells but when it stopped on the other side of 24th Rd across the big 21st St everyone braved the traffic to get the icecream down the far end nearer the park. The best and favorite was the 'SKYSCRAPER'...... I asked my parents to take me up on the Empire State Bldg someday. I didnt have enough to pay for it myself and I was shy about crowds. I recall that when I did it we were somewhere where I could see it up in the air to my right front as I was standing facing the street....... Another bully teased the head bully about the way he was always bring his tin foil home from lunch 'for the Russian war effort'....... I bought one of those 'Visible Man' models of the insides of a human body. More cool info. I liked to learn at my own pace what interested me....... I built some plastic dinosaur models. Think they were Revell. ...... On Felix the Cat on TV there was a cartoon called "Diver Dan'. ON between 330 and 6pm some time. The diver was an actual man but the bad guy was Boris Barracuda which was a surprisingly vicious puppet hung from above and which was made to look vicious and would viciously try to KILL DIVER DAN. I was surprised at the nastiness for a kids show. Boris had a stupid sidekick. "Felix the Cat, the wonderful, wonderful cat","Whenever he gets in a fix, he reaches into his bag of tricks' went Felix' theme song....... A new store opened up north at Ditmars and Crescent, a couple blocks west of PS122. I noticed it when it was open at NIGHT one night. It had been an abandoned storefront since we got there in 59. I was too shy to go in. It was warm but the sun was down so it may have been May..... I was with a bunch of kids on Jerry's front porch around the corner and he came out and said he needed someone to build a model for him. Everyone wanted to for some reason. He picked me. They had everything set up at a table in the hall upstairs. I open the box and the first thing the instructions say is to NOT glue two certain pieces together or the moving parts won't. Guess what? Someone had glued just two together: those! So I couldnt do anything but tell him to wait until his father gets home and ask him what to do. I did not want to be blamed for it. ......A new store opened on the corner of 24th Ave and 31st St. 24th Ave was where all the candy stores were one block north of my street. 31st St was way down the end east where the Elevated train ran. Across from it was a corner pizza place that charged 10c a slice (Most places were 15c). The new store was built in a small lot we had always cut diagonally thru when going to Ditmars/31st. It was a simple box building about 15'X 15'. On opening day they had a huge line as they were giving out FREE burgers and ice cream. My dilemna: It was a FRIDAY. Well, I went past it while everybody else went but I later came back. I said the heck with it. I want to be normal, too. So I got in line twice. Mortal sin for a Catholic!! Went to Confession the next morning with the other Catholics who lapsed and the priests threw the book at us. We were at our knees at the altar until we could barely walk...... I was at, I believe, Coney Island with my mother and Uncle EDDIE and perhaps Aunt Lisa. Entered a fun house. I couldnt get thru the first part which was moving stairs. Uncle Eddie had to come in and help me and then we went thru the whole thing together. (This seems very recent but could have even been 1962 instead of 63)...... In late Winter or early Spring I believe, a row of new small stores opened up just past the library on 31st St a long half-block north of Ditmars/31st. Think the buildings were wood. I forget what was there before. One was a new candy store. I recall going in with Dale the first day it was opened but I dont recall if we were on the way to school or from school. ....... With a few months left in the school year (8th grade) I had to read a book written in French and report on it. But the two Astoria branches of the New York Public Library system did not carry such books. I had to go to the one a block north of Steinway Street (perhaps near Broadway). I got The Count of MONTE CHRISTO...... At school I still was bullied and terrorized every day from 9/61 to 6/62 and feared to fall asleep at night as I'd then wake up and have to go to school. And I was still late often out of avoiding the monsters. And I still hated to be touched as it meant either an enemy about to hurt me or a relative demanding I live up to expectations of my so-called 'great potential'I was sick at home watching TV and playing boardgames and reading superman and Disney comics. I worried about the coming draft when I'd lose my privacy and be set upon 24 hours a day.(Luckily, there didn't seem to be any war coming in the Late 60s). I still had to sneak and run to the candy store or grocery. Worried about getting into college and how to get all the money to pay for it. I had no friends in 8th Grade, just a gang of enemies and a couple neutrals, and one guy who also got picked on: Louis. Still had nightly nightmares and would until in my 30s. Still a devout Catholic going to Confession on Sat. morns and Mass on Sunday morns. Still had to put up with all the damn 'Big Family people" which meant everyone but me. Couldnt even glance at anyone while walking off my block as they took it as an excuse to threaten or just plain attack....... Became a PEANUTS comic fan in 1963 (or late 62). Louis and Peter (a neutral) beat me to it. The rest of the world would join years later. ___________ ________________ ____________ Possibly Mid- 1963, June/September _____::: I went to Coney Island with my mother. Weekday? It was pretty empty. Bought a book of tickets for the Steeplechase Bldg for the first tiem. My mother and I didnt like the smiling face logo which she said was 'sardonic' (or did my father say that?). The whole place was exactly the same inside as in the 1920s!!! All polished wood. Thing I recall most is the huge wide WOODEN SLIDE. I went all the way to the top. Lone man up there. I slid all the way down but didnt have enough weight to go over the bump into one of the two swirls that ended it. Then I looked up at the worker and he motioned me to come up and do it again for free. I dont recall what else we did in there but I recall only one or two other people in it. CONEY ISLAND had been dying over the years as people went to Rockaway and finally Far Rockaway. The 'Projects' kept getting closer. The train station was really something. Way up in the air and quite a turn. A train went off once years earlier. The whole station and platform was as it was when it was built just like The Steeplechase. Really baroque and elaborate right to the exit. My mother said as we left the Steeplechase, "Next year we'll get TWO books of tickets!" (Alas, it was not to be. The Worlds Fair opened and then we moved to Pennsylvania. Hmmmm. This must also have been at about the time of the ECLIPSE of Summer 63)..... Rode my bike a great deal in 63, especially the Summer. Rode much in the new residential area I'd discovered between the Astoria Square library and the Astoria Park. Quite densely populated, too. In there on hot Summer nights with my headlight on. Actually, all over Queens and Greenpoint. ..... Mother got APPENDICITUS! Happened all at once. Father rushed her to hospital. I didnt go along. Then he must have phoned me to tell me because I knew about it when they were there. Later Dale's father Howie comes by and says he wants to talk to me alone. Was Jimmy there? Dale? Takes me into the front room. Had me scared. Thought he was going to tell me something ELSE happened to my mother as he sat me on the edge of my bed and told me something happened to my mother. Turned out it was just the appendicitis but he didnt know I knew already. I got there later (with the Mellingers? My father? Bus?) and I sat in the waiting room downstairs next to the gift shop. I read a sci-fi comic book and was surprised that I recognized one of the stories- about a lion face brooch. First time I realized comics could do reprints. I got the comic at the hospital gift shop and they, like the Ast. Sq. A&P obviously werent part of the distribution monopoly as they were probably Charlton Comics. I was in that waiting room many nights but never once allowed to go up as I was a minor. Yet, Chrissy showed up and she went right up and she was only six months older than I. It was explained to me that 'girls were more mature'. Did they think I wouldnt act civilized? I was more quiet than she was. Hd to buy all my candy and comics before it closed, sometimes early, or I was REALLY out of luck! Missed it once and it was a LONG night...... I rode my bike past Steinway Street and hit that really long part of the Hellgate Bridge ramp upwards that bends around Queens. God! Is that Bridge gigantic! Miles and miles of stone and brick. According to the Jan 1991 issue of The New Yorker it is far and away the strongest bridge on Earth, designed for World War One military trains jam-packed with metal. Anyway, there is only an opening cut through it every few blocks and that causes weird things. I went through one and the whole world changed. On my side was the teeming Steinway working-class neighborhood. On the other side it was like rich people's country estates. And there was like one house per block for quite a while. Then eventually, I suddenly reached the once-again normal neighborhood of the Third Gielbeda brother and his kids the gumball robbers I foiled. Some weeks later I led a bunch of bicyclists (Note how I was starting to get outgoing at times!) out south of there and then they went back on their own. When I found them near home later the first thing they said was, "We got lost and we discovered this place just like the country!" which I had already known of. (I wrote lots just now Mon 7-12-99,930pm, after coming back from hospital with father)... Tues 7-13 1032am Martin Library.: I kept going to the Public Library east of Astoria Square that I discovered in Summer 1962. Looked up more Halloween stuff and read Science books, especially Astro...... Perhaps it was in 63 that I walked west of that library (Actually northwest) and discovered there was actually one little dock by itself that jutted out into where the East River met the Long Island Sound. First time I got that close to the water other than from behind the 'fence' at Astoria Park Too chicken to go out on the end of the dock,though. Figured I'd get in trouble for trespassing..... There was a shopping center south of my new church way down at Broadway/21st St. This was where Nixon would be stopped in a cab when he heard of JFKs assassination in Nov 63, a few months later. It was weird to have a shopping center in NYC. Only one I knew of. But, as I said in 59, Astoria had much more of a country feel even though the houses were right next to each other like Brooklyn (But usually just two-family ones just two stories high). I dont recall anything special in that S.C. though....... A new little one man toy store was opening that Summer, though. Just a block south of the church on the same eastside street of the church and a corner past it. The guy was on his hands ad knees stocking his shelves for the first time. I was actually brave enough to speak to him. I was there for a while, with my bike outside, and I saw various miniatures I purchased. Tiny little soldiers of various nations and small tanks. I went there a few times that Summer. (I returned in Nov 1981 and he was still there. Now greyhaired even though he was probably only about 15 years older than I. But I think he was talking about closing)........ Somewhere I bought a model of an atom bomber. It even had an a-bomb it carried and a button on top that opened the bomb bay and released the a-bomb....... Mobiles were big then. I got a nice thick-cardboard one from the Haydn Planetarium of the Solar System, built it, and hung it above the foot of my bed...... Dale was racing everybody in the street that Summer. I was sure I could beat him at last due to my weird new speed. But when he raced me he deliberately held up at the end and said that he did it to give me the feeling of winning He never did that before when I was slow. I think he was the fastest from 59 to 63 but I hit physical puberty in an 'explosion' and then got faster until 66. He would have then been faster as he got into bodybuilding in, I guess, 66? but he took up smoking later and it ruined his wind.... This might have also been the time my mind was so nimble I could quickly make up a joke to order on any subject that could make people laugh. I had a lot of abilities around then that I don't seem to have anymore...... I recall sitting in the bleachers at Yankee Stadium. Must have been an important game for my father to wind up there. He was one of the newer ushers in seniority and ushers could choose whether or not they would work and many would show up for important games and push the newer ones back. I could sit anywhere I wanted, though. I don't recall a pennant race in 1963...... Really into Rummy Royal whose rules I dont even remember. But we had a box in the first closet with a plastic RR tablecloth board and somehow hearts were important and certain cards more than others with extra money in the boxes. (In July 99 i just discovered for sale a 1962 Whitman RUMMY ROYAL plastic sheet)....... My father's friend was making PAINTS for my models for me. So I painted a lot of things in 63-64. I recall my father saying he had problems with the so-called 'flesh' color as he was a black guy. I met the guy in York! a couple years later when he came up to help my father with the house. He was from the Caribbean and complained about American Blacks........ I bought an Egyptian Book Of The Dead from the American Museum/ Haydn Planetarium (AM/HP) so I could learn heiroglyphics. I then was able to read the obelisk in Central Park that I had looked at many times...... This may also have been the first time I stumbled into the Central Park Meteorology Station I had heard of all my life on TV. The weather in NYC was always ITS weather. But it was nothing like the rest of NYC. It was in the center of Central Park and built a bit up in the air. It seemed deserted when I was there. I was the only one around. ...... I was over under the El (elevated train) by the Triboro bridge about a block south of the Grand Central Parkway under it and next to the sidewalk on the East by the candy store at the foot of the El stairs and I noticed that my bike tire was low. So I went around the corner onto Astoria Blvd? and to a gas station along it. It did not have a regular air pump with pressure numbers but only one without them for trucks. I figured I could just put it in quickly and take it out. BAM! It exploded my tire immediately. I HATED trying to change bike tires. I had no confidence with tools and always needed help because of the bike chain and brake..... I went to the Art Museum just up and to the east of the AM/HP a few times. They had the originals of things I had only seen in books. But they also had a whole hall of actual knights' armor and a rebuilt EGYPTIAN Tomb. (That may have been where I bought the cardboard punch-out one to build that I finally had to discard in 1991........ I think that this was when all that CLEOPATRA movie controvery was going on with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton and Eddie Fisher. I know that there was also a CLEOPATRA billboard over Times Square for a long time and I saw it weekly. I recall that another actor complained that he was always supposed to get equal treatment with Burton and Taylor but wasn't on the billboard so they added him. Olivier??...... I'm sure I went fishing with my father that Summer. ..... And I must have walked to Ditmars' stores....... Probably played more stickball than ever as I was strting to come out of my shell...... Went to Ditmars/31st St library some, but not as much as I was now going to the other one by Ast. Sq...... Rode the subways and avoided perverts ...... Walked all the way to the WHITE CASTLE many miles away beyond Steinway St by far.......

--------------------Still more 1963--------------------

ADDENDA_____1963 ______ ADDENDA______ 1963______ ::::::::: Bought my Knickerbocker Chocolate covered jelly candies up on 31st St a half block south of Ditmars. ...... Played around the Hellgate railroad bridge..... Ran around Astoria Park. (Was I still riding down the hills in my wagon?)....... Into the Astoria Pool area to play games in the buildings and around the pool when dry...... Planting pumpkins in my backyard along with other things.... Buying Superman comics and reading them over and over. Plus all the other titles. That was a BIG Marvel year...... Still practicing my Roman Catholic chivalry...... Running to the store for my parents bread, milk and cigarettes (Parliaments, then)...... Playing with Major and taking him for walks..... Sometimes participating in the adult's poker games....... Going along to the Gielbeda's house in Greenpoint. I don't recall us visiting people on our old block of Clifford Place...... In and out now and then of the Mellinger's house, Jimmys house, and Jerrys house..... Went to the corner candy store, formerly Mollys (Why cant I recall its 1962-on name?) for comics and the occasional soda and cigs for parents..... Went to the grocery, probably George's, for bread, milk, orange drink, soda, cupcakes, etc.... Read Donald Duck and Little Lulu and related titles. MAGNUS, Robot Fighter..... Loved The Metal Men, which I thought was a great new concept...... Strange Adventures, Mystery in Space..... Got 'pocket books' on science and sci-fi. Often from Haydn Planetarium... age 13 ... Sometimes the Temborskis would visit or we'd visit them..... Parents not usually at home but I think my mother may have been a little more..... USUALLY kept away from even the nice kids most of the time for fear of corruption from non-Catholics..... To Steinway for movies.... Don't recall if did any work for Seigel, landlord.... Remember I did go to Freedomland at least once that Summer and that every year it changed its rules about getting in. It was always having trouble... age13... I dont recall ever taking the bus in Manhattan. I could always walk there faster and the subways were also better for those who knew the city... age13... Visited Mary upstairs now and then. And she came down more often...... Was my mother still working at the A&P in Summer 1963?? I don't recall. I know she wasn't in Early 1964..... Watched Disney on TV every Sunday night.... I always lived in the Future. I did NOT like my present in NYC. I figured that when I became an Astronomer everything would be alright but not much until then. I had no use for the present or the past. They were just things either dangerous or boring to survive...... I sure had some overblown romantic ideas about women. I thought that the jerks in my classes were just weird as they were the high-IQ ones. I thought regular women would be far more kind and decent (There were none on my block to judge). Ho! was I in for a shock later when I learned that young women were flighty, selfish, sensitive about their own feelings and totally insensitive to others, stupid and unromantic, rotten to nice guys and turned on by bad boys and spoiled brats of rich fathers, immoral, indecent. Luckily, I wouldnt learn that for a little while..... Went for rides around Queens/Nassau in father's car...___________ ___________ ____________ Late 1963: Sept/Dec 1963:: ........ (Possibly Sept):..Louis returned with great penmanship. He said he spent the Summer working on it...... New LADY French teacher (Recall was surprised she was female so I must have had a male one in 62/63 8th grade) asked us to list all the French we knew. I got mine back with "Why so few words?" I hated mindless foreign language memorizing........ Recall playing Stalingrad on floor against myself and using Chiclets boxes so i could tell the moving battle front at a distance from my bed....... Sitting on the steps after school with Orlando. Only time back there. It was the left rear exit I never went near. ORLANDO is complaining about something. Some old guy comes by and hacks and hocks and Orlando goes, "I agree with you, mister". I still laugh at his perfect timing. There was also a smashed bottle of bright paint on the sidewalk that some dumber class must have thrown out the window. Means that my Art Class was nearby above. (Was art in 62/63 or 63/64?)(Was I out there with O. in late 63 or early? Think was late...... Listened to my fathers "Ring of Fire" record. Developed a little interest in music..... Collected ceramic dogs from John's Bargain Stores. Each one had a gold chain collar and a tag explaining the dog... age 13 ... Sitting next to Orlando (In French) and he asks, "Why do you cross your legs like that?". So from then on I have crossed mine the 'manly' way....... Once when I was home sick. I was STILL home sick a lot. I had a weird craving for salt and put piles of it in a bag of potato chips that I almost ate to nothing. My mother comes home and takes the last few before I could stop her. She grimaces. "Who put all the salt on the potato chips??" she says..... age 13 ..... Maybe this is when LIFE magazine came out with the world's first public HOLOGRAM on cardboard that I took to school..age 13.... Either new rules were made about glue about here or they were about to. But I recall my mother having to get my model cement for me...age 13.. I was in Macys or Gimbel's basement and a black woman asked me my size as she said I was the same as her son. I answered the size i had heard my mother say a while back. "No, you're a size bigger than that" she says. I was growing and I almost never bought clothes. I had no interest... age 13.. Waited and waited for the new Little Lulu "Halloween Fun" as each year I made my Halloween BIRTHDAY Parties more elaborate and I got ideas from that comic. My corner candy store didnt get it at all!!! I wondered what was going on. Then I walk all the way up to the other stores on 24th Ave. I find one! But it's not a 25c huge one. They cut it way down to a 12c little one one-third the size!!! (And that was the last one they ever had!).......(Possibly October):::...Played BUNKO with Mary, a three dice game she was good at..( She taught me in 1963 sometime)...age 13...COLLAGES appeared in the Subways, perhaps the Mad, Mad, Mad World ones did....age 13... They took our JHS GRADUATION PHOTO. What a nightmare. We had to go onto a stage after waiting for other classes. I was being set upon by the bullies. I tried hiding in the back of the stage area. Little halls and stairways leading to above the stage. Like old wooden secret passageways. I did find a good place to hide. A little wooden closet type room with a built in chair jusy big enough to sit on and close the door in front of one's face. Could hear the monsters outside. It was an eternity I hid in there from being bullied. Finally it was time for our photo. Then they had the opportunity to grab me as I approached the stage. Roughed me up and messed me up so I would look terrible in the photo. Any adult with half a brain could see I had just been beaten up right before it was taken yet everyone later yelled at me for looking so bad in my photo. So I got blamed for what monsters did to me. I loathed being touched by other humans as a kid. It was always something bad. Enemies to knock me around. "Relatives' to demand superhuman accomplishments from me or that I act like a Big-Family extroverted person or some other thing that was stupid or wrong...... My father brought home Frank Howard's bat. Frank cracked it and a batboy picked it up. My father, usher, bought it for 50c (Remember, Hershey bars were 5c in those days). Then he took it to work and fixed the crack. It had his name imprinted on it and his number on the top of the fat part. I took it out into the RICCARDO'S parking lot to hit those little white rocks. And to the Cheesebox to play ball. I could barely wield it. I could see how small I still was compared to young adult baseball players. I had absolutely NO idea how big FRANK HOWARD was. I thought he was the typical player. But he was the hugest player in baseball. And puny me was wondering how I could ever even reach 'average' if that was an 'average' bat...Now here is the mystery. Howard played for the Dodgers in that era. So did that mean my father brought it home during the 1963 World Series or did he bring it home from a Mets/Dodgers game in 1962. I always thought he brought it home from Yankee Stadium but now I wonder. I now wonder if he brought it home in 1962 and not 1963 as I thought all these years!!??...age 13 ... Walking with Louis and Peter up the long sidewalk to the Ditmars stop for JHS 141 kids in 63 I mentioned that "rats' was Charlie Brown's exclamation. Peter said the main one was 'Good grief'. He was right. Seems silly now when everyone knows Peanuts but back in 62 and 63 we were a small few who read the strip. Louis and Peter were also talking about how sometimes they thought they were part of some strange great experiment with people watching them. Well, we were ALL weird in those SP classes. One time I walked up there with them and instead of getting the bus home walked along Ditmars with them. There was this one weird long drugstore with just a couple of small windows and you couldnt look inside a couple of blocks towards the street where Louis lived (and a few before 31st St). Suddenly one of them goes 'LOOK!' and in the window are BOBBING HEAD dolls of Peanuts characters just like the ones for the Mets and Yankees. The first of all the Peanuts things I ever saw. By 1966 the country would be awash in them...age13. .. Playing football in front of my house with a spaldeen. I was making all-time records for Interceptions! But one got past me and was very low and about to hit the ground. It passed me low as I faced it. Then I heard Jerry yell and he was waving the ball as he went in for a touchdown. (In 1981, during a visit, he suddenly brought it up and that he CHEATED and it DID hit the ground first. His Catholic guilt was with him all those years).... age13..... I took Ceramics class in 63/64. Last class of the day. Twice?? a week in the basement. Mr Chalupka. Every now and then something in the kiln would blow up as someone didnt put in a 'foot' or made an air bubble. Sometimes deliberately. Everything in the kiln was ruined...... age13...... I also signed up for my FIRST after school activity: a Ceramics Club. All we did was make stuff. I made lots of plaster figurines. The first day I was disappointed as the place was crowded and I was barely able to make a small plaster bird and even it had an air bubble remove where its beak shoulf have been. But the class thinned out and later on I was making as many as 27 in one night. Many, many nights I would leave the clib at night and walk up that long long street in the dark to get the bus. Then I'd ride home with all my plaster stuff. Very pretty ride before Xmas when all the lights were over the streets at Ditmars/31st St. Then I'd get off under the Triboro Bridge and walk home at night. My parents were already there...age 13... In the mornings I used to ride one or two or even three stops farther than the regular stop for JHS141. In the beginning I recall Dale with me but then I think he got in with a crowd at the candy store near the school. (Weird thing about that store was how empty it was. The central area of the one big room had nothing and everything was around the edges. It was one more short block south of the street one turned off to get to the JHS). On that bus I saw signs saying to "BUY BRAND NAMES" and in 63 I didnt know what that meant. Then I learned it meant that the Supermarket chains were all coming out with their OWN cheaper brands of food. I also recall seeing an ad for Ringling Brothers Circus being in town and also hering of it on the radio. I wondered if I had missed anything by never being interested in the circus like normal kids....... I was still home sick a great deal. Playing board games on the floor, playing with Major. Watching TV. Reading sci-fi or comics or Astro books from the Hayden P....age 13... Louis had more of an imagination than I did with the printed word. Once he made up a newspaper on looseleaf so I did, too. (I recall he ended one front page deliberately with the words, "I pulled out a gun and shot him in the... (continued page 3)..And he got into printing his OWN PHOTOGRAPHS for himself and others. (My parent bought me a kit as a surprise in 65 but I never used it). And he made a moving picture flip book. But I got the undeserved credit for that. I made one and for some reason it came out unbelievably well. It was of a safe falling on a man, bouncing up, and falling again on him. By pure accident my lousy non-artsy hand drew the ground moving and shaking up and down just right (I didnt even think of making the effect, it just happened) and it came out perfect. The chief bully, Jonathan, looked at it over my shoulder and thought it was great! He then passed it all over the room. "That's better than those Fuzzworth Fadeouts of Louis'", he remarked....... I forget when I celebrated my 1963 birthday but the odds are high it was ONE Saturday before. And it no doubt had apple bobbing, apples on a string, and a scavenger hunt. My b'day was WEDNESDAY OCT 30, 1963 so that means my party was on SATURDAY Oct. 26......... And I went Trick or Treating on THURSDAY Oct 31, 1963 and I took the day off and started at noon. I know that I FINALLY did the apartment house south of the Parkway near the El Station that I wondered about doing for years and after leaving it I did homes on that side of the Bridge. I recall coming North on a street (Either Crescent or one next to it) and saw the woman coming towards me but when she saw me she just waved her hand down and went back. I was obviously getting to big. In those days Halloween was for CHILDREN ONLY. None of all this stuff we have now. I had the mind of a kid in a body that had been growing quickly since probably Spring of that year. I finished that night wondering how many T or T days I had left and would I slowly outgrow it voluntarily or be involuntarily forced to stop due to my growth. (I had absolutely no idea how the world and I would start to change rapidly during the month that was just ONE DAY away......(Possibly November 63):::: Some nasty guy who had been in the SPE class since the beginning(?) got nasty with Mr CHALUPKA and was disobeying him and calling him names and chanting "Mr C, take a P, for me" and got thrown out of the SP program. Weird that that would happen in an SP class of super-studious nerds........ This MAY have been the time of the TAPE RECORDER incidents but I have no real idea. I had a small reel tape recorder. Did I get it for my birthday? Or what?. Anyway, I got TIRED of my father making promises to me and not keeping them while claiming he didnt remember them. (He still does that to this day!!) And HE was the one always lecturing about 'HONOR'. So I asked him something and he made a promise (The deals we usually made were that if I did A, he'd do 'B'. I would do 'A' and then he would put off doing 'B' until so much time passed that he could 'forget' ever promising it. So I TAPED him making the promise. Then, later, when he 'forgot' his promise for the umpteenth time I played it back to him. Wow! Was he angry. Of course he said I was sneaky-evil for secretly taping him but how else would it work?? I then did the same thing in school. I got sick of the propaganda that teachers were feeding us kids instead of teaching us so I stuck my recorder in my desk and started taping. I then, at the end of the school day, made sure all the kids knew about it. The next day every teacher in school heard of it and were staring at me as I walked down the hall and talking to each other. (Small RECORDERS were new). A couple said, "Don't you believe in Free Speech?" And I said, "Not to a captive audience of kids without our parents knowing.". I hated them all. I didnt care what they thought of me. They let those monsters terrorize me since early 59 and noone did anything. It was good to keep them afraid of the NEXT kid with a small recorder....... BILLY J. used to go "Sting, Stingray" as he flicked his finger tips to sting someone's arm....... Nov 22, 1963: I was in Mr Chalupka's Ceramics class standing in my spot between lab tables. Suddenly some kid runs in (We had two or three classes of boys only mixed in there) and yells, "Hey, everybody! The President's been SHOT! I just heard it on the radio" Then he went blathering about having just been upstairs in someone else's classroom and hearing it. We didn't believe it. I recall going contemptuously, "AW!!" as I flipped my arm down. Mr Chalupka never said a word. (He almost never did). He went back, pulled out some old cheap plastic radio, and put it on the back lab table which was a t a right angle to all of ours. Turned it on and there's the news about what happened. The School Principal, Solomon Kimmel (Of getting people out for the 7 Astronauts fame) makes the announcement over the intercom about the shooting. We just all listen for a while (to intercom? radio? both?) and then we hear, "Ladies and gentleme. We just now got the word from Parkland Hospital. The president of the United States is dead. The girls start crying. The principal comes back on to tell us to lower our heads for a minute of silence. Jonathan, head bully and young Communist does not. He stands up straight and looks up. Then we are sent back to our homerooms. I guess that was the Earth Science teacher classroom. We get our coats and go home. I may have walked with Dale but I forget. I know I got home and the Long Island Star Journal came and I read the headline about the death while standing over the little heater. I thought I'd be the first to tell Mary when she came in but she had already heard. Then we got nothing but the Funeral for days. And my mother started crying standing up as my father held her. My parents were watching the TV in the SECOND room and it was by the door to the 3-closet room. Was that the living room then or was it just there? I got bored and walked out. They stayed. They saw Oswald get shot. I just missed it. My father was glad. Said that he "felt the pain, you could see it on his face" (Years later he became a 100% conspiracy believer who thought Oswald was innocent! But if you asked him he'll never admit he was glad to see Oswald die. He has NEVER had the small ability to just say soething like, "I was wrong then" which any NORMAL person can say.... age14.... I forget Thankgiving 1963. Probably went to the parade. With my father? Both parents?...age 14 ... (Possibly December 1963):.... Dale was more involved with those other kids, I think. He may not have walked to school with me as much or been in that foyer as much. I don't remember....age 14 .... December 1963 was the weirdest month ever. Due to the assassination it was a very DEAD month. And yet it was Christmas season. ...... Still shovelled that coal for Mary down in the cellar into the coal bin in the dark and thick-dust....age 14... I lost my EARTH SCIENCE big thick softcover book. Had to go to the publisher in Lower Manhattan to buy another one. (An advantage of living in NYC where they are made). I went down during the week before Xmas and found the address. Then I went upstairs and inside a doorway was an area with a woman behind a window. I then asked for the book and they got it out of the back. I forget if I could see back there or if it was just a window. Then I went over to where the dept stores were. This might have been Saturday, Dec 21, 1963 (If bookplace had someone there on Sat. before Xmas to give out book orders for holiday) and I especially recall one long rectangular counter upstairs that was crowded with people on all sides. Probably the toy section of either Gimbels or Macys. Perhaps toys all around the counter on all sides and registers in the middle. I'm in the stores awhile. (Hold it, it may not have been Saturday. The sun went down after I got the book). Then I go home. via subway with the holiday shoppers. But I lost the replacement book!!! I was never that stupid before. So I to go back the next day and buy ANOTHER one!!! This one I watched like a hawk. I think I put that book down on the counter I mentioned........ For Xmas I think I got that 'Golferino' among many other things. I wanted that thing for a long time. It was a miniature golf game. The stand was all about six inches up in the air. A rotating man about 8-10 inches tall stood on it. He swung a golfclub. There were holes up in the air all around him with obstacles. You pulled the lever and he hit the ball after you aimed him to try to get it in the hole. All misses came back down as did all holes you made. Could play forever without ever having to set anything up. Toys and games were INGENIUS before they went to computer games.......... Did I go sledding at Astoria Park aroun the pool? I don't recall.......A lot of snow on the ground at the end of the year......Stood in that hall to keep warm with Dale a lot. But he may by now have made those other friends that hung at the candy store a block away as I recall being there alone a lot more....... Among many things I also got a big metal world globe for Xmas. Still have it. ........ But I was still terrorized by bullies every day from 9/63 to about 2/64 BUT it slowly diminished during that period. the last really bad incident was at the photo shoot. It went down SLOWLY from 10/63 to 2/64 but I was still wary of it starting up again. Didn't realize that I was growing and that may have been why they were not attacking as often..... I still did not like being touched and trusted noone.... I had nightmares virtually every night from 1959 until about 1983........ I still did not like the ignorance and obnoxiousness of Big-Family-People........ I don't recall New Years Eve/Day Tuesday 12-31-63/Wednesday 1-1-64____ (Done Tues 7-13-99, 414pm) ___________ _________ _________ When I finish with 1963 I will go back and do the rest of 1962 then finish the rest of the early 60s.

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