---------------Astoria, Queens---1959-1964/68------------

---------ASTORIA,QUEENS------ -------Monday June 20, 1999 1152 am------ ------------- ---------------------------- Upon arriving in Astoria in very early February 7(?), 1959 I was the following: small for my age and very sickly, extremely studious with fantastic grades, nervous and afraid of people from all the years of being alone and running into too many bullies, loved school, used to always being alone, no social interaction skills, still an only child, mother still worked (Transferred from A&P in Greenpoint to one in Astoria), liked teachers, no pets- we left all the cats in Greenpoint, no nearby relatives- they were back in Greenpoint (They all lived on the other side of Greenpoint anyway)............... So we moved up the East River when I was 9 1/2 and halfway through 4th grade. I know I was given some days off before starting at my new school. I recall standing in the street in front of my new home at 21-11 24th Road, Astoria with a couple of comic books thinking how nice it was to be off from school and not sick. I had discovered the comic books "Orby, The Merry Martian" and "Superduck". (In 1997 I met at York College the grandson of the guy who did Superduck. Most memorable issue was the one with Textucky, the forgotten Rebel state. When I got to Florida in Jan. 1975 I went after Mint Juleps that I'd first heard of in Superduck.)..... My first school there was PS 7 just overlooking the Astoria Square a mile south of us below the Triboro Bridge. That's where a number of streets came together. According to my mother I was only there for one day but I thought it was two or more. (Guess time goes more slowly when one is nine). It was a very old, dilapidated school. They put me in what was, supposedly, the smart class. It was anything other than that. There was a nice young black lady teacher and some black kids in the class. They had a goldfish bowl and one was supposed to be able to read the words inside. I was WAY beyond those words before I started school! I recall walking home with my mother for lunch that day, on the left side of the street for some reason. (Both the school and our new home were on the right side (East) and also coming back. There were posters on poles for "Cross at the green, not in between" and perhaps, "Don't be a litterbug" and Astoria seemed a LOT closer to being in the country than Greenpoint. It wasnt at all industrial. There was just the little Eagle Electric plant on 21st street a couple of blocks from home and nothing else. Just by moving those few 5?, 10? miles north! My mother said I ran through the schoolyard back into the school to the left door (I recall that well) with some little black girl chasing me. But I do remember my mother taking me out and explaining to the teacher that it was the wrong school and she had meant for me to go to PS 122. I later overheard my mother tell someone that the teacher knew it was because the school was so slow. "You could see it in her eyes", my mother said. ..... Between that school and home we passed a tiny forgotten cemetary that had Scott Joplin buried in it. (They discovered that after the 1970s movie "The Sting" came out using his Ragtime song as it's theme. He died of pneumonia and was put there. Across from that graveyard across the small street towards the school was a butcher shop with sawdust on the floor we would go to. Across the large 21st St from the little cemetary there was a barber shop where I got my first haircut in Astoria. Don't think I got another one there until I was about to leave for good in 1968. When I moved in I put a bunch of tracings on the wall from Brooklyn that I did from Disney characters that I got from a coloring book. The kids thought I drew them. ..... My mother brought me to a puppet show about Pinocchio that was right under the Triboro Bridge in the Astoria Park. Still remember sitting there and her off to the right front. My first trip to the park after moving there. They never had another such show. (The kids on my block later told me that the year before they even had shows with clowns in the huge swimming pool complex there). I first met one group of kids led by some guy named Mirabella but eventually left them as they were too tough for me. I recall once walking back from Steinway Street with them and being expected to knock down a bunch of cans piled up inside a supermarket plate glass window. The window almost broke. The cans crashed down. All the adults inside were staring at me. We ran. And that began and ended my sinful vandalism stage right there. Of course, I had to report it to the priest at Confession at Immaculate Conception church on Ditmars Blvd and got punished. Those guys were angry at me for years after quitting them and so were the girls who hung with them. I recall the moment one of them told me I had better stop hanging around with 'those guys' (Dale, Gary, Jimmy, Jerry, Wayne)....... Up the street a couple of blocks from PS 7 was a bakery owned by some cousinly relative of my father. (Astoria Blvd??)...... The kids introduced me to the stickball park called The Cheesebox due to its triangular shape as well as to the Astoria Park and its big sewer outlet on it's southern edge just below the bridge. My mother told me to never go past the fence that separated the park from the water front a few feet below and I never did. All the other kids did despite being told not to. I was a good obedient Catholic boy who had to report everything he did to his parents and his priest...... PS 122 was about two or more miles from home to the north where 21st St, the main north-south avenue along the East River in Queens crossed Ditmars Boulevard, the main Astoria east-west street. This is where the GREAT NIGHTMARE began and the END of my "Whiz-Kid" days. I was a sickly, shy, stunted nine-year-old, God FEAR-ing Only-Child/Latchkey Kid placed in a strange class with strange kids in a strange school in a strange neighborhood in mid-year. And the teacher turned out to be insane! That is not hyperbole. She was huge and immediately formed a white-hot hatred of me. Screaamed at tiny me from the front of the room daily. Threw things at me while I sat at me desk terrified: heavy books, chalk, erasers, anything. Called me up in front of the room and screamed right in my face, slapped me around, threw me around. Kept stepping forward with her high heels with the heels coming down first while i pulled my much smaller feet away from under the points in time while jumping back. Absolutely towered over me. Turned the whole class against me. Allowed them to terrorize me and bully me and humiliate me and attack from all sides all day long. The more I cried the angrier she got and the more the class laughed at my misery. I was in sheer terror of school from that day forward. I stopped studying. I lost all interest in school. My wonderful attention span was broken forever. I was deliberately always late so the kids couldnt attack me while waiting for class. They started to call me 'zig-zag' for always being late. Or made fun of my name in sing-song fashion. The monster teacher loved it. I stopped taking the bus to school just to get there late and of course that made her even angrier. I was scared sick to my stomach and kept missing school. As I got closer to school my stomach would get more queasy out of fear. February, March, April, May, June does not sound long to an adult but to a kid it's eternity. (School in NYC ended very late in June). And I watched the second hand move slowly every second of every minute of every hour of every school day of every week of every month. For all those months of fear and pain and embarrassment. When I'd stay home she'd actually send a kid out of class to take the bus to come all the way down to my home, bang on the door, and tell me I had better come to school! In total violation of the law! A teacher can not harass like that OR send a kid out of the school onto the street to threaten someone! But she knew my parents were never home to protect me and that I, not my parents, would have to answer the door. She knew I also feared squealing on her. Worse, I was so afraid of returning to school the next day that I feared falling asleep at night as the quicker I'd fall asleep, the more quickly it would be morning and I'd have to return to Hell. So I'd lay there alone in my dark room, with no siblings to tell either, with my eyes getting heavier and heavier and fighting to stay awake as long as possible. Naturally, I'd then be exhausted in the morning and even weaker. I've heard of kids being bullied horribly but never have heard of a huge teacher leading an entire class to bully someone, especially a sickly newcomer who was smaller than all the other kids. So I lived in a slow-moving Hell every second for those five months. Even the girls would hit me on the head from behind with books.... (She was also weird in that she wouldnt let us use the margin of the looseleaf paper and told us to write from end to end. Future teachers were appalled! And she was also 'reinforcement crazy'. Thos little sticky circles had to be on everything.) I had first known that something was amiss when, on the first day, instead of testing me reading ability herself she sent me into another room with a nine year old girl student and had her have me read to her. There were two types of levels: Stars and Suns. Stars were smarter. Suns needed help. I whizzed through the reading. Then we go back in and the teacher asked which I was and the girl says, "I think it's Suns". I was flabbergasted!! I could read WAY before I started Kindergarten and I ALWAYS read vastly beyond my age group...... ..... Back in Brooklyn I got straight "OUTSTANDINGS" in all the intellectual categories in my Honors Classes. (There were usually about twelve levels in each grade. A "-1" was the highest and a "-12" would be the lowest.) Now due to the constant terrorization I was down to just "Satisfactory"s and even a couple of "Needs Improvement"s (but at least not any "Unsatisfactory"s ). And get this: I got "NEEDS IMPROVEMENT" in "Works and Plays Well With Others"!!!! Because THEY were attacking and terrorizing ME!!! The attackers got GOOD grades in that subject as they were popular with each other for attacking me!! I guess attacking me together was "Working and Playing Well" together. Mon 6-20 213pm (glitch stalled work).... Typed for 40 minutes on Tuesday June 22 but glitch erased all work. Now 150pm: I still recall being in the stairwell that last hellish day in 1959. After FIVE evil months and how happy I felt. I have no idea why we were going individually up and down those stairs on the last day. But it didn't last long. That Summer 1959 came and went. (I recall hiding in Jerry's basement waiting for someone and that the Yanks fell to last place on July 4, 1959) The next September 1959 despite my drop from being ALL-OUTSTANDING I was still KEPT IN THE HONORS CLASS!!! I was now just an 'average' honors student! But with the same monster kids. Even though I quit doing my work I was still smart enough to be in the honors classes. I was hoping to be dropped down to 5-2 where noone knew me so I could get my severely damaged 9 year old mind back together. So I went into 5th grade with the SAME kids who were TRAINED by a teacher to attack me. And they did so a number of times a day, every day, from September 1959 to June 1960. All of 5th grade. Then we were all together in 6th grade from September 1960 to June 1961 and they all ganged up on me and terrorized me all those days as well. Wed 6-23 (I wrote a lot yesterday but Tripod glitch kept erasing it all):: (But I scored a PERFECT 12.9 on the National Reading Test. That was college level. I recall sitting in the back of the classroom taking it and realizing I had just whizzed through it. My next perfect score on a National test wasn't until my IQ test in the Summer of 1965 at York High but that one only went up to 150+ (140 was supposedly 'Genius'. I never met a so-called 'Genius', not even after many years of Astrophysics). I was good at tests. Because I really cared about doing well). Then we were all together in 7th grade from September 1961 thru June 1962 and they were there again, viciously attacking me daily!!! Kept me scared every second of that long period of time.... Then we were all in 8th grade together and they attacked me daily from September 1962 through June 1963. Then we were in 9th grade and they attacked me from September 1963 until early 1964. But then it started to slack off and keep decreasing...... So I lived a daily life of pain, fear, apprehension, injury, sickness, embarrassment, humiliatiion, and terror form FEBRUARY 1959 until FEBRUARY 1964. That's FIVE YEARS!!! That is like FIFTY to a kid. Especially a little sickly one like I was. And in all that time not ONE teacher told them to stop!!! Not even when we had multiple teachers during the day in Junior High School 1961-1964...... One supposedly "fun" thing was for them to 'nominate' me to class office so the whole class could laugh at me and vote against me. The teachers thought it to be funny as well and would smile as they put my name on the blackboard. Of course, it also didn't just stop suddenly. It just slacked off and I noticed that no longer would just one or two try to bully me. They did it in larger groups and actually put their hands on me less. I didn't know it but I was growing at a fantastic rate and bullies being cowards they noticed it a lot more than I did. But I was constantly apprehensive about attacks up to my last day in school about June 30, 1964..... _____ ASTORIA ______ ASTORIA ______ NOTES ON THE 1959-1964 ASTORIA PERIOD _____ 1959_____ 1959 _____ 1959 _____ 1959 _____ 1959 _____ 1959 _____ 1959 _____ 1959 _____ 1959 _____ 1959 _____ 1959 _____ 1959 _____ 1959 _____ FOURTH GRADE, PS 122, 2/59-6/59, Mrs Auerbach,_____ FIFTH GRADE 9/59-6/60 Teacher?, _____Age 9/10, _____Mother 31/32,_____ Father 36/37,_____Major -1/0._____.. We moved to a place one mini-block north of the HUGE Triboro suspension bridge and the street itself faced one of the huge suspension piers. (But it was very dark at night until the lit up the bridge for the World's Fair of 1964) Nice dark street!!....... In bed at night I'd hear the traffic on the bridge overhead, the elevated subway train, the regular trains over the Hellgate Bridge, the traffic on large 21st Street a half block away (actually, a main avenue), tugboat horns in the Hellgate (Where the East River met the Long Island Sound), planes overhead landing at LaGuardia airport...age 9... I didn't have to change out of my school clothes at home. But I almost always stayed indoors anyway. For multiple reasons. First, I had gotten used to it in Brooklyn. Secondly, I was still 'shell-shocked from the Brooklyn bullying, Thirdly, there were nasty bullies around the corner from my house between me and the candy store so I couldn't go too far anyway. Fourthly, I was no athlete. I was weak and sickly and had no coordination and I couldn't keep up with the kids on my block without getting embarrassed. There were four guys about my age: Dale, his brother Gary, Jimmy and Jerry from around the corner. I met Dale soon after moving in. HE was the sick one that day! I was in his room (He and his younger brothers Gary and Wayne's room) in the front of the house. It had bunk beds. He was home sick and his brothers were out (at school?) and he was throwing up. That's when we met. Not an auspicious beginning. That may have been during my first couple of days when I didnt have to go to school even though I wasn't sick. The first time I saw his youngest brother Wayne was through the WOODEN back fence as a toddler when I was nine. Don't know when I first saw Gary who must have been about 7 to Dale's 9. The kids on my block weren't bullies but they were what I call "Big family people" and I was an 'only child'. That means that 1) They were automatically much more out-going and thick-skinned than I was and 2) The longer I was with them the more they'd slowly sort of gang up on me in disputes. It always happens to only-children with big-family-people. Must be something genetic. So I could go out with them and play for a day with no problem. But after that I'd slowly start having problems with them. Then I'd just refuse to go out or a while and stay in for a week. Then I could go out and they'd be glad for the extra body for a while. it was an endless cycle. People, even basically good kids, have some sort of biological/psychological need to start pushing around only-children who haven't the social skills, thick skins, and aggression of Big-family-people. Being small and sickly didn't help matters...age 9 ... It was MUCH worse around the corner. It was hell to get to the candy store one block left (from my door) and one block up. I'd have to scan for bullies constantly if I wanted a comic book. ..... Sometime later (1961?) I learned how to hop on my backyard stairs bannister and squeeze between the new metal fencepost and the house, drop to the ground and then run diagonally across the then- big parking lot to the corner store before the fiends saw me. But in 1959 the fence was still wood and close to the house and the lot was still a field with trees......... Between birth and age 14 I doubt if I was able to spend 1/20th as much time outside my home or yard as normal kids did. For air, I stayed in my yard if I went out at all..age 9.. I was still 100% CATHOLIC. Taught to remain moral or burn in Hell which I took as an objective fact with no kids around telling me to question it and all the adults reinforcing it. I was still 100% chivalrous as my mother taught me. Wed 6-23 228pm-.... Thurs 6-24 1218pm: ... My parents fought a lot. All they did was work all day and fight all night and I had no siblings to cling to. So there were times I preferred to be alone rather than just hear them fight. They fought because my father was unbelievably self-centered. He took all his personal subjective opinions and demanded that the whole world accept them as objective facts! And anyone who didn't agree with him on every little crazy thing was "insane" and he hated them! I'm now 49 and I have NEVER met anyone as crazy as my father in his seething need to demand that everyone be his clone. If he fixed his coffee a certain way EVERYONE had to or they were evil and crazy. Same with how he liked his burgers or what shows his mother liked. Or ANY little stupid thing. Naturally, this led to him never having any normal friends in his entire life. His 'friends' were always white-trash types who formed a symbiotic relationship with him. They took all his ravings because they could then sponge off him constantly in return. As for my mother she was a very independent woman. Before my father showed up she was the 'adult' running her family after both her parents died young. Her brothers and sisters were all younger and she played 'mother' for them all. So she didn't need my father taking care of her like most women in the 40s/50s. ......... My parents over the years would have penny-ante poker games with relatives maybe once every two months or so. and the cigarette smoke in that apartment was so thick even in my room that my eyes watered. I wonder what that did to my lungs. Once I recall my Uncle Stash handing my mother some poker winnings to buy me some bright red socks, which she did. ...age 9... I took a bath every Saturday night and had a big plastic pirate ship. I always got out just in time to see, "Oh, Susannah" while wrapped in towels on the couch. I never did know what was on TV while I was in the tub...... The next door neighbor had three kids. One I first saw as a toddler in the backyard (Wayne). One was my age (Dale)(He turned 50 on D-Day 6-6-99). One was two years younger (Gary). Parents were Howie and Gertie. But they were Mr and Mrs to me until THEY put a stop to it. My mother demanded formality. They had a black spaniel named Taffy. (Just wondered if thats why we got Major? They were also the rage in 1959) About 1962 or 1963 the spaniel bit a kid (who might have caused it) and was put to sleep. The kids were told it was being given away but my parents told me the truth. I wished they hadn't. They also had a cat that I liked until it killed a bird and made me cry. It just stared at me while I yelled at it....... I loved to eat White Castle burgers while sitting in the car near the 'El' in south Queens. Also Knickerbocker chocolate covered raspberry jelly candies (both sticks and logs), Charlotte Russes and Jello Cups.(Only had these last two back in Greenpoint) and Delicia chocolate wafer bars....... The corner store, Molly's, had its soda bottles in a big red? cooler in swirling ice water where you could only see the cap...... They had a comic rack on the left at the entrance that I visited CONSTANTLY. The coolere was directly to the right. ..... The grocery store that was in the center of the block that had the store's was "Dick's" and later "George's". (I'm only 2/3 sure of this. It could have been the other way around). I forget what Molly's became from 1960 on....... One block east and one block north was the block of stores. On the corner was Molly's. Next North was a liquor store. Next a long grocery up to a driveway that went down steeply and we'd walk thru to elementary school. Across the street from the liquor store was a cleaners but it may not have opened until year(s) later and the guy would say to me, "Tell your father the Greek says Hello". To the right of Molly's was a tavern/restaurant, a home with a little fence out on the sidewalk causing a 'yard', a grocery (our main one), a butcher shop, a pristine pharmacy, and perhaps one or two small stores (a cleaners?) before the next grocery on that corner. Around that corner was an unused storefront, and another grocery. (The smallest one, where I'd later get sandwiches in 64-65). Across from the corner grocery was a hardware shop and a barber. We changed our phone number in '59 or '60. It had been AStoria- something (I knew until recently) and then became RAvenswood 1-8762 (Greenpoint was EVergreen 3-5501)..... I was served toast and tea by mother at night at bedtime (if she wasnt working and until I did my own) and would read comics in bed. ....... Back in Brklyn about 58 or 57 I was introduced to Little Lulu Halloween Fun for 25c by Timmy at the candy store on Manhattan Ave way down on a corner. Perhaps at Bedford Ave. There were windows above the comic rack. I recall the moment like yesterday. He had #1 one year before. (I later found a number one years later and finally read it). About 1962 (61?) I started designing my Birthday parties after them. ..... I read every Superman comic I could afford. (I had almost no interest in the regular candy bars)..... There were many Superman titles. Also Strange Adventures sci-fi, Mystery in Space sci-fi, Donald Duck (Especially liked Gyro Gearloose the inventor/scientist. Was disappointed when they invented Ludwig von Drake for TV to replace him. All the Disney 25 centers. (There were no DC superhero BIG comics until Marvel tried years later). World's Finest, Justice League, Green Lantern....... I had a little interest in Archie comix, mainly Little Archie. I did NOT want to ever be a teenager. They were Too rebellious. ... Some interest in Flash comics. I read the first one that came out. 58?59?... And some others. Besides our candy store, Molly's, which was sold in about 1960, there were three other such stores on that same street far up. Sometimes late at night I'd stand in front of Mollys with my father and we'd wait for the newspaper trucks to come down that street with the Sunday Funnies. We'd see it way in the distance stopping to drop the papers off at each store. Truck would Finally get to us and he'd toss out the tied papers and the owner would cut the string and have to put them together with the magazine section that they had earlier. ...... We lived near Astoria Park and it was the world's largest pool of some kind. But I never learned how to swim as I was to shy, fearful, weak and self-conscious. ..... I lived next to the garbage pit which was a double concrete bldg about six? foot tall under which everybody on the block threw their garbage into the cans. Some jerks just threw it in so it would splatter all over.... Anyone who took anything out of the garbage pit was called a 'garbage picker'. ..... A 'flatleaver' was someone who left you flat or didn't show up when he said he would (Here in Pa. almost noone ever keeps his appointments. No honor at all). .... On Easters my parents got me huge amounts of candy even though I rarely ate it. My father then ate it. He still eats candy. (One year they got me a chocolate bunny so big (61?62?) that when I held it down by my knees it went over my head. They took a photo.... I got visits from the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, and Santa.... But don't forget that this was 1959 and I was being bullied and terrorized every day by that mad teacher and her student devils. I was also out sick a lot. .... They had school book sales at PS 122 and the weird teachers would slip in "Catcher in the Rye" on little kids. That book seems to be the Bible for people who grew up immoral and the jerks I always had to deal with and suffer by..age 9.... The corner store would have vanilla ice cream in all their flavors. My father didn't like vanilla. neither did I but I didn't hate it either. ( Don't like and dislike are different things). He'd get angry at ME if I couldnt find a non-vanilla..... I disliked going to the store for bread or cigs or milk because of the bullies on the way..... Once in Catechism the nun took us all to Confession but I had just gone on Saturday. She made me sit in a pew until I could think of a sin. But I was just a housebound nerd who read comic books while other boys played outside, got into trouble, and taught each other bad things. So I had to go into the booth and tell that my sin was that I lied once. But the lie was that I had just said I had sinned when I hadn't. My nimble 9 year old mind came through for me..age 9.... In our little trianglar backyard I'd play with my toys while my mother hung up the wash. I loved the CLassic comic 'War of the Worlds' and I'd pound nails into blocks of wood to make them into 'walking machines' with ray guns as in the comic...age 9 .... My father would take me fishing from at least 1959 to 63. Always out on Long Island somewhere. Either north or south sides. When we visited places in 1968 they were all gone and the water was poluuted terribly. And the shorelines were all built up. That new highway!! When we fished it was usually on a rowboat but a couple of times in a big fishing boat. At some point me father got an outboard motor which he carried on his back.... My mother would take me in to 34th St when she shopped at Macys/ Gimbel's...age 9 .... When the kids first showed me the Hellgate whirlpools under the Triboro Bridge they told me a ship had gone down there once. They thought it was recent. One even said he saw it towed up on land on the other side. The ship was the General Slocum which went down around WWI and is in the Almanacs and history books. There a plaque for it near South ferry..age 9.. On the way to school in the alley down that steep driveway we'd throw Bonomo Turkish taffy against the wall to "Slap em and Crack 'em". Once Dale threw his so hard it exploded.... I invented a game called 'Cuba' when Castro took over which consisted of kids lining up along the garage across the street and one guy being the 'firing squad' throwing a Spaldeen at them...age 9... At the corner of 21st street which house went with that garage there lived a lady who sang opera in the basement for her singing job over in Manhattan...... In late Summer 1959 we went dog-hunting. First, we went to a pound where there were a zillion people to get dogs. I first noticed a large adult black dog. But my parents said there were problems with our apt not being big enough and that females 'bled' and would mess up the house while my parents both worked. I didnt know what that meant. But so many others wanted her she probably did get picked. There were more people there than dogs. But I STILL think of her 40 years later even though I only saw her at a distance. Then my father and I went (another day?) to a pet shop right on the line btween NYC/Queens and Nassau county. The NYC border intrigued me as it went right through the middle of a street of stores. We went to the side of the petshop where there was a half-door with a screen above and a Cocker Spaniel puppy ran away from its siblings and came to us. Love at first sight for both sides. (On the way there a spaniel must have been mentioned as I said I was worried about having a "girl's dog" as I was being bullied enough already.) My father said we'd have to go home and get my mother. So we brought her back with us and the owner went back to get the dog. But he brought the wrong one and we could see that right away. Then he brought the right one and we got him. Dog was AKC with all the papers I still have somewhere. Mother was Ginger Candy Princess, father was (something) Smokey Rex. I named the new dog MAJOR after both the military (perhaps we had gotten the new encyclopedia before this) and the dogfood and a few days later added KADET as a middle name also after military and the huge billboard over the Hoyt Ave/ Triboro Bridge train stop...Soon after bringing dog home he took my mother's wallet out into the backyard, scattered the money and papers and chewed on it. Dog's birthday was June 30, 1959 and we got him presents every year. I even mailed them from college....... (Had to redo glitch that erased many lined JUST as I typed last couple of words!!!) Thursday June 24,1999 226pm- .......... ............. ...... ...... PARTIALLY PROOFREAD ........


-- ______-- Finishing 1959---- ______ ----- Finishing 1959 first::--- ______ ------ :::: I was a deeply religious Roman Catholic boy who went to church three times a week and followed all the rules including never eating meat on Fridays which was a mortal sin which put one into Hell. So I ate cheese. I was NUMBER ONE in my Wednesday Catechism (Strict Morality) class. I went to Saturday CONFESSION to confess even the slightest bad thing I had even thought of (Which wasn't very much at my age, my level of decency and as I was mostly inside and thus not corrupted by other kids) and I went to MASS every Sunday Morning and took COMMUNION. I got ashes on Ash Wednesday and wore the palm on Palm Sunday. I still went to the Church of the Immaculate Conception up on Ditmars Boulevard miles away no matter how terrible the weather was and whether my parent went or not. I was 9 years old and wanted to be 100% decent ALL the time. All the other kids tried to do was corrupt me- in my eyes anyway. So I felt I had to keep away even from the ones that DIDN'T attack me! But they all always wanted me as an umpire even as a player as I had the habit of saying I was out when i knew that I was even if evryone else thought me safe. Kids would tag me and then look at me for my decision. .. age9..... Walt Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" came out in 1959. They didn't have as many toys linked to them in those days. All I found was a sticker book which I got. I liked the prince because he was what I imagined I would look like when I got older with the tall thin frame and long black hair. I was also into romanticism at a very early age. The show also fit in well with what the Catholic Church was teaching me a Knight of the Church should grow up to be..... ... I turned TEN on October 30, 1959. I recall the day. I recall crossing the street (24th Ave) along 21st street to where I waited for the bus in front of that fancy restaurant so often thinking about how the last number of each year would no longer be my age.... I don't recall Christmas 1959 but I'm sure I got a lot of presents. Parents give only-children lots of presents to keep us occupied as we have no siblings to be with. And mine both worked as well at a time when mothers stayed home. .age9... It MIGHT have been on my tenth birthday that I was officially allowed the right to ride the subways by myself. Or it may have been my 11th birthday the next year. I do not remember...age9.... We MAY have gotten the Colliers Encyclopedia in 1959 or maybe in 1960. The first yearbook we got was for 1959 and it was the 1959 Encyclopedia and they probably came out early in their official year. In either case I recall how we had to go to the huge railway yards in Queens to pick it up. We drove over the bridge over the yards and turned left to go down. Only time we were ever there. Went to the train platform to get them I don't recall if we did actually get then that day of there was some snafu and only the box for "The Young Folks Shelf of Books" part came in. But I only recall those being laid into the trunk.Maybe the rest were loaded before them. Or perhaps the others came earlier and we only had to pick up these. Whatever. I recall getting something down there. And I was fascinated by all the info in the books. My favorite parts were the plastic sheets to show the layers inside the human body, the Astronomy section and the military ranks section. My guess is that they came after the 9th grade horror class and before we got Major. That would have to be July 1959. (We continued getting the yearbooks until sometime in the 1990s)...age 9..... I was terrorized every day at school from 830am to 3pm from Early February 1959 to June 30, 1959. And then from September 1959 until Late June 1960.....Thurs 6-6-99 239pm Inserted stuff until 252pm....... Monday June 28, 1999: I don't know when I was first allowed to ride the subways alone. I had always thought it was on my 10th birthday of Oct 30, 1959. But now that seems awfully young. So it MIGHT not have been until my 11th birthday of Oct 30, 1960. ......... I also don't know when I started shoveling coal in the cellar for Mary Seuffert upstairs. It might have been this young or later..age9.... When Bonanza started in Sept 1959 they were building a house around the corner from mine and we'd go climb up and around it just after sundown. We'd go to the second floor and jump out onto a big pile of sand below. Bonanza started with a map with a fire burning from under it upwards so the kids would get newspapers and burn them the same way on the site at night. ..age 10 ............. On New Years Eve, Dec 31, 1959 my parents went out to celebrate and left me alone. I watched a movie until after midnight with the song, "You can't run away from it". I had always thought it was from that Clark Gable movie about the reporter and the rebellious rich girl, "It Happened One Night" that had won all the Academy Awards. Yet, every time I saw that one on TV it wasn't. Then in 1998 I bought another Movie Reviews book of some kind and looked up the Gable movie. As an aside note it listed that their were two movies that were remakes of that one and one made around 1950 sounded like the one I saw. I recall how I very much liked the ROMANCE of the movie. Yet I was just barely TEN years old! I was already an incurable romantic... age10..... Of course I do recall how there were so many shows on TV about what the NEW DECADE of the SIXTIES will be like and wondering if the 50s will ever have a title like the ROARING TWENTIES or GAY NINETIES did. All the predictions of the 60s merely were extensions of the 50s. Nothing that happened after Nov 22, 1963 was predicted...age 10.... My fifth grade teacher was a woman. But I forget her name. All I recall was that we were required to learn a little Spanish in another classroom from a TV set (which often had Gerald McBoing Boing on it instead. Thats how I learned of him). Once when the whole class was walking back to the regular classroom in the hall a kid way up ahead of me in line suddenly turned his head to the left and threw up right under the high heels of the teacher as she walked. Both her feet immediately flew up to the right at the kid and her head flew down at the wall as she went to the floor. All the girls screamed and looked to the right. All the guys just stared. Adults ran out and the teacher was sent home.....age9......... I remember telling everybody how the LA Dodgers would beat the Whitesox in the World Series and how the Sox started out winning. But LA pulled it out in the end. I recall vividly standing on my front steps, age nine (not yet ten) yelling to someone in the street, "I told you they would beat those ole Whitesox!" .. ________ ________- ________ ... (ANY 1959 ADDITIONS TO GO HERE:'''_____ _____ _____:::''' 6-30-99 :I'm sure that my first birthday (Oct 30) party and first Trick or Treat (Oct 31)and first Xmas in Astoria were all great but I don't recall them. Funny, as they were my favorite days of the year. Also Easter. I do recall bits and pieces of holidays but cant attach them to any particular years. I do know that in Astoria I started having my parties the Saturday BEFORE my Birthday to make them last longer. And ONE year I had it TWO Saturdays before. Back then the big toys were LIONEL for Xmas and REMCO for either Birthdays or Xmas. REMCO made those huge advanced toys that were very expensive. One year I got an Astro Base. Another a drive-in theatre. Another some sort of huge roll out floor game which had "moonbucks". And there was a Coney Island penny machine. Perhaps more. With Lionel it was things like a house and gate that lit up and the gate went down and the man came out. And a cattle car with cattle chute where they vibrated onto the car. 6/30/99'''' .... It was tough for anyone young to walk anywhere in NYC. So much macho bullying posturing. You could never even glance at anyone without him saying,"Hey, whatta YOU looking at??" and picking a fight. Especially bad thing for such a small sickly shy person like I was. I learned to walk faster than anyone else and to never look at anyone and to quickly ignore and get away from any stranger who talked to me. ''''''''' I played endless boardgames alone on the floor in front of the TV when I was home sick. I'd try to redesign the ganes and make my own versions. (But I dont think I started writing on the boards themselves until late 1962). I was home many dozens of days every year sick from 1956 to 1963. During the early sixties I watched the same daytime shows daily while playing by myself quietly. I let Major in and out of the yard. 7-1-99'''''' 7-7-99 Sometime in 1959 I also started going to the dentist. What a horrific nightmare that was. All day long I'd be tortured by bullies while looking forward to 3pm when a butcher would cause me agony. At 3pm I'd walk across the street, get the bus, and go to Ditmars/31st St where all the stores were. Then I'd walk a few yards south on 31st St past the woman's store on the corner and go up the stairs to my fate. No dentist had ever done any work on my teeth and I was never taught to brush. They were a mess. I'd worry myself sick waiting outside. (HE had 'Highlights for Children' mags and "Look" magazine to read. I don't think that Novocaine worked at all. The pain was unbelievable. Then I'd have to go to the busstop and ride all the way home. I still recall getting off and walking home to an empty house with the sun down or setting by the time I got there and now having to do homework. I think it was either every Tuesday or every other Tuesday. And it went on from 1959 thru 1960 to 1961 when I was going to Oral Surgeons. Childhood was one big lonely, painful, embarrassing, fearsome nightmare for me. I do recall one time my mother was actually there in the waiting room with me and I broke down and begged my way out of it. Too many bullies and diseases and dentistry. 7-7-99'''' '''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''' '''''''''''''''''''''''''''' '''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''' '''''''''''''''''''''' '''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''' '''''''''''''''''''''' ________________ 1960 ________________ 1960 ____________ __________ 1960 ____________________ 1960 __________________ 1960 ___________________ 1960 __________________ 1960 ____________________ 1960 _______________________ 1960 _________________ 1960_________ :: Fifth Grade, Miss? Mrs? Reese?PS 122, 9/59-6/60,_____ Sixth Grade, Mr Kramer? 9/60-6/61,_____ Age 10/11, _____mother 32/33,_____father 37/38,_____ Major 0/1,_____ Mother worked at A&P on Ditmars Blvd, Astoria, I believe father still worked at Industrial Displays on west side of Manhattan, Eisenhower President (last year), FEBRUARY 1960- France explodes 1st A-bomb, Ayub Khan pres of Pakistan, first sit-in at Greensboro, APRIL 1960- Syngman Rhee of S.Korea quits, Biloxi race riots, Census begins, First US weather satellite (I watched this on TV with fascination), MAY 1960- Princess Margaret marries, US resumes nuclear tests, THE U-2 INCIDENT!!! (remember well), ADOLF EICHMANN CAPTURED ( When executed next year recall standing at busstop thinking about it), JUNE 1960- Patterson gets title back from Ingemar Johansson, Belgian Congo Independent, JULY 1960- Ike halts Cuban sugar, UN troops to Congo, France gives up 5 African countries (In 1960 I recall teacher emphasizing all the new nations in UN), Katanga province breaks from Congo, JFK and NIXON CHOSEN AS CANDIDATES, AUGUST 1960- Medicare rejected, Cyprus independent, SEPTEMBER 1960- KHRUSHCHEV BANGS SHOE AT UN, KASAVUBU versus LAMUMBA IN CONGO, FIRST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE, Rome Olympics end, OCTOBER- USA recalls Cuban Ambassador, QUEMOY AND MATSU DEBATE JFK/RMN, NOVEMBER- France gives up Algeria, FIRST US NUCLEAR SUB (Had model), John-John Kennedy born, JFK WINS CLOSE ELECTION, DECEMBER 1960- Supreme Ct desegregates interstate bus terminals::: Note: The years may not be exact but I tried my best. ..... Once when my parents brought me back from the Gielbeda's house via the train we wound up walking back from Ditmars Boulevard for some reason between 4am and 6am. I was surprised to see in front of that bar a couple of blocks from my house a bunch of men standing quietly. They drank until 4am, then the owner had to close for cleaning and the law. And they all went back to drink until 6am. I could not imagine drinking alcohol at breakfast time. I had had sips of beer at poker games...age10.... Two planes collided over NYC at about this time and the bodies rained down over Brooklyn and Staten Island. There was no Narrows Bridge back then...age10.. Plastic musical instrument silhouettes were common as wall decorations. We had them over the couch in the second room..... People were shifting from parakeets to canaries which were considered more upper class..age10... I walked thru the Bowery with my father and saw the drunks. He always warned me about alcohol and drugs. Seemed like he was always getting phone calls from his friends wives to go out and find their husbands...... I recall getting new shoes under the elevated train near Ditmars by the two newsstands they had there and running like the wind between the adults on the street that night after the salesman tied them REALLY tight. Friday? Saturday?...... FREEEDOMLAND!!! It opened that year. It was NYC's answer to Disneyland and it was BIGGER!!! I still think of it as impressing me more than anything else in my life, including the Worlds Fair and Coney Island (I was younger during Freedomland)..age10... The landlord, Siegel, left our doors all open and our parakeet Tweety flew away. I was heartbroken but I guessed he wanted to be free. Met the 'Bird Lady' at the end of the block and across the street where the two streets formed a "T". She lived downstairs behind a BIG concrete courtyard way below street level. Impressive. Everybody brought her birds but never mine. Rest in peace, Tweety. ....... At school it was the same terrifying nightmare every day from 830am to 3pm at school from September 1960 to late June 1961. Every second of every school day living in fear of what my classmates would hurt and embarrass me with next. ........ Although just ten years old I did a lot of worrying. Worried about getting into college. Worried about having to pay for college 'somehow'. Worried about my classmates attacking me. Worried about the bullies in the neighborhood attacking me. Worried about making one mistake and burning in the Catholic hell forever. ..age10.... Constantly sick and missing a lot of school I had to catch up on. Very weak and uncoordinated. Small for my age and hated having to line up in size-place behind even the girls. Hated 'choosing up sides' as I was always the one laughed at and picked last...age10... I think SUMMER 1960 was when we went to visit my father's relatives in Connecticut. I recall some of the streets and having to walk up backstairs to get into their house and someone taking our picture on those stairs. But I was always shy around people so I recall spending most of my time watching TV alone well into the night. I guess they were outside in that yard in the warm night as I was alone in the house watching their BIG TV from right in front of it. "Naked City" was on. I recall that the shows I had on were ones I normally didn't know were on. I don't know if that was because I had to go to bed too early or if I was outside. I do recall the ROYAL CROWN COLA signs around which 'proved' to me we were way out in the country, even though we were in a city. And I believe a show I really used to like was also on: "GUESTWARD HO" about a conniving Indian suckering white tourists. ....age10.... I do remember that I used to have to go to bed at 7:30pm!! for quite a while there. I would watch Terrytoon Circus on Channel 9 with Claude Kirschner and some Blonde and he'd have these great space travel cartoons. Once both my parents fell asleep on the couch behind me and I took advantage of it by not going to bed at 730. I got in trouble for that. I could read in bed though, and have my tea and toast. That show had the contest to name what became "Cocoa Marsh" and later to name "Yumberry" (Stuff to mix in milk). The prize was a miniature electric milk truck. (My parents were always trying to get me to drink milk by either putting in food coloring or mixing in powdered chocolate. Only the chocolate SYRUP tasted good though and they thought it too expensive. My parents always said that I like milk until my Aunt Marie took it away from me once as a toddler telling me it was no good. I dont know if that is true.)..._______ _______ _________ .. (ANY 1960 ADDITIONS TO GO HERE: ______ ______ _____ HURRICANE DONNA HIT ASTORIA ON SEPT 12, 1960: THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. 90 mph WINDS. (Today a Hurricane is coming up the Atlantic coast, pouring rain out there now Thurs 9-16-99 1239pm. They kept mentioning Donna last night In 1960: $200,000 just to remove damaged trees like the one on 21st ST'' Easter, Birthday, Halloween, Christmas had to be great. But I dont recall particulars. Holidays are when guilty-feeling parents who leave their only-children alone all the time overwhelm them with toys to play with alone...... They began to raze EBBET'S FIELD on Feb 24, 1960. I was home sick some day after that (as usual) and I was watching in the living room (with the three closets) a show in which they had the 4 bases laid out on the floor in the studio. They had some woman who was a big Brkln Dodger fan there and they said she could have one of the bases. The two men walked her around the original bases and asked, "Do you want First Base where Gil Hodges did such and such. Do you want Second Base where Jackie Robinson did such and such" and so on. Well, even as a ten year old I knew she'd take HOMEPLATE and she did. I think it was on Channel 5 which I think was also the Dodgers' channel. At the time I also didnt realize that homeplate was obviously homeplate but the other three bases were interchangable so each one was at each position at some time........ . However I think Oct 30, 1960 was the Halloween where I started Trick or Treating right after school with a bunch of other kids. Might have been Dale and Gary and one or two other guys. Jerry? and we were in this little apt house two-thirds of the way to PS 122 at the corner of 21st Street and some avenue. And for some reason we all ran down and out into the front foyer laughing and there were perhaps three or four steps when afater going thru the double doors into the foyer just on the other side and we all forgot they were there and fell down them laughing like crazy and wound up in a heap at the bottom. Then we ran through the foyer, maybe seven feet,through the front doors and out. Dont know what we did we thought was so funny but had to run from but it wasnt anything really bad. But still, I recall all Halloweens as being done mostly alone. 6/30/99 954pm''''''''''' I still had to worry whenever I went outside about making the mistake of glancing at anyone. I was always careful and very uptight. I tried to avoid anyone I saw coming down the sidewalk. No eye contact. Too nasty a city. Went as fast as possible from home to where I was going. Too many rotten people my age or older.''''' I had to watch out for predators of all kinds. I was a small weak male with a very non-tough face. Perfect prey for both the physically violent and the child-molesting perverts. The latter were especially bad in the subways. They'd grope me between the legs on subway cars and they would try to drag me into phonebooths. The worst times were just before Xmas because they knew that was when parents would let their kids go off alone to buy the parents' presents. My worst confrontations were always close to Xmas, 1960, 61,62. I dont know when I was first allowed to ride the trains all alone. Either on my 10th birthday in 1959 or my 11th in 1960.'''''''''' And I was still always sick at home and always bullied and playing my boardgames on the floor alone all day while watching the same daytime TV shows.'7-1-99'''''''' I just Xeroxed this at York College out of the NEW YORK TIMES for MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 1960 (Halloween, so you know I was Trick or Treating, and one day after my Birthday). Big photo of JFK and RMN 'The Great Debates" (Reruns of them on Channel 9) But here are the daytime shows that were on when I was home sick constantly: 600am,ch4,continental classroom, 630,2,sunrise semester, 4,continental classroom, 700am,2,news and weather reports, 4, Today show with Dave Garroway, 730-5,Ding dong School (watched in 50s), 7,cartoons, 800am,5,SANDY BECKER (watched), 7,Little Rascals (sometimes watched), 815,2,captain kangaroo (watched in 50s), 830,13, chapel, 845,13,newsreel, 900am,2,peoples choice, 4,family, 7,I married joan, 13,jack la lane, (I was still watching Becker but would glance at these others)(Sandy Becker was a long show! One and a half hours!), 930am,2,MY LITTLE MARGIE, 5,TOPPER,7,Joe Franklin, 13,studio 99 1/2 (I loved both MLM and TOPPER. franklin was nostalgia for old people, 950,11,spanish-grade 5, (we were taken down the hall to see this a couple of times in school), 10am,2,DECEMBER BRIDE, 4,DOUGH RE MI, 5,film-dorothy lamour as 'lulu belle'(1948), 13,day watch: UN general assembly,news, weather, 1010,11,algebra for jhs, 1030,2,VIDEO VILLAGE (I loved the game. Got it for birthday), 4, play your hunch, 7,ray milland, 1040 science- grade 5, 1100,2, I LOVE LUCY, 4, the price is right, 7,morning court, 9,herb sheldon, 11,speaking english, 1120,11,pathways to art-grade 5,6, 1125,5,newsreel, 1130,2,clear horizon, 4,CONCENTRATION (I had the big plastic game), 5,romper room, 7,LOVE THAT BOB, 1140,11,spanish, grade 4, noon,2,Love of Life, 4,TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, 7, The Texan, 9,film-'the playnates (1941,john barrymore), 11,german.- From here on I'll just list the ones I watched: 1230,4,it could be you, 5,cartoon playtime, 7,queen for a day, 105pm,2,burns and allen (I thought this show was weird as he would go into another room and watch the show himself, 130,7,susie, 200,4,jan murray show, 230,2,art link letter, 300,2,the millionaire, 7,beat the clock, 330 7,who do you trust? (The original Johnny Carson, Ed McMann show. Before they went on 'Tonight'., 400pm,4, make room for daddy, 7, american bandstand (rarely), 11, abbott and costello, 430,11,laurel,hardy and chuck (mcCann?), 455,11,tadpole and spunky, 5pm,2,life of riley, (It says that Bozo the clown was on ch 11 at 5pm. I dont recall that at all), 13, o.henry playhouse (Rarely), 525pm,11,clutch cargo, 530,2,early show,movies, 11, three stooges, 6pm,5,felix and friends, 11,popeye the sailor, 13, highway patrol (Rarely), 620,7?,qt hush cartoons, 630,5,sandy becker presents,11,Woody Woodpecker, 700pm,9,Terrytoon Circus, ''''''''' If Reese was really my 5th grade teacher, which I'm not to sure of, but I recall waiting in the hall to get into her classroom many times just outside the stairs at the end of the hall to the gym, then it was her that the nasty kids used to chant about from the Green Giant commercial: "Valley of the Jolly, ho,ho,ho, black Reese" But she wasnt black and she may have been one of many JHS teachers.'''''' 7-7-99 Another year of that damn dentist. Just what the hell was he doing with my teeth for it to be going on so long?? I know the nightmare lasted into 1961. Jeez, what a painful butcher that was to have to put up with after a day of being tormented and being sick all the time as well 7-7-99'''' 7-7-99 NOW HOW COULD I EVER FORGET MY FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL IN SEPTEMBER 1960???? That was the first day of sixth grade. Hurricane Donna hit New York City!! On the first day of school! They took us all down to the main entrance foyer of the school and crammed us in. First time I ever saw it as kids came in the sides. They called all our parents to come and get us. But I had one of the very few mothers who worked! So she wasn't at home. She worked about a mile along Ditmars Blvd, the same street the school was on. So I waited and waited. I was always the freak exception. Every other damn kid in school except for one other boy and I was taken away by his/her mother. I had given up hope as I watched hundreds leave and it was down to two. FINALLY, my mother walked in. I thought she had abandoned me to my fate as always. Then as it took her so long the hurricane was really howling outside as we went into it. And we had to wait for the bus!! And we did. We're standing in this hurricane waiting for this damn bus because it took her so long to come and get me. We are in the bus and it gets one block and we see this tree come down on the other side of the street as we pass. We finally get to our stop and get across 21st ST, which wasn't easy, and to 24th Rd and home. Next day I walk to school through all the debris and fallen trees.'''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''' '''''''''''''''''' '''''''''''''''''''''''' '''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''' '''''''''''''''''''''' '''''''''''''''''''''' '''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''' '''''''''''''''''''' PARTIALLY PROOFREAD ... UNDER CONSTRUCTION 7-8-99

-------------------- 1961 --------------------

------- CHECK THE END OF EACH YEAR FOR ANY NEW ADDITIONS------- __________ 1961 _______ _________ 1961 _______ ___________ 1961 __________________ ___________ 1961 _________ __________________ 1961 ______ ______________________ 1961 __________________________ 1961 ______________ 1961______________ 1961 _____________ 1961______________ 1961 ____________ 1961__________ 1961 ___________ 1961___________ 1961 _____________ 1961________ 1961 ________ __________ 1961________: ... SIXTH GRADE, PS 122, Mr Kramer? 9/60 to 6/61, age 11/12,_____ SEVENTH GRADE, JHS 141, multiple teachers, 9/61-6/62 age 12,_____ Mother age 33/34 July 17,_____ Dad age 38/39 August 24,_____ Major age 1/2 June 30_____,,,,,, There was an INCREDIBLE amount of snow and ice and cold from December 1960 to March/April 1961. I had always thought it was later but i just looked it up in th 'new' 1964 Almanac I bought. I recall how the sidewalks were completely covered with snow from November 1960 to sometime in April 1961. I remember the shock I felt when I walked around the corner from 24th rd south towards the bridge and immediately around the corner on the way to the busstop I saw a piece of the SIDEWALK!!! It had been so long since i saw the sidewalk (Time SLOW when young)..... I recall MAD magazine had the upside down issue for the upside down year of 1961 that I purchased. I think it was on Steinway Streets far end. Yes, I was walking all the way down there alone. It may also have been the one with Nixon on the cover and JFK on the other side. (Hold it. That came out in Early November 1960, not 1961)....... In 1959, 1960, 1961 or somewhere in that period i used to walk with the Mellinger kids each Saturday to Steinway Street's two theatres to see the shows for kids in the afternoon. I saw "The Time Machine" there (1960) and a bunch of sword and sorcery types. One about ATLANTIS, another about SINDBAD. All sorts of Romans and Greeks. Once they had a thing where you collected the letters for TOPKAPI but I never saw the movie. Gary found a wallet in the bathroom with a few dollars in it. I used to straighten up the huge framed pictures on the long balcony over the main hall by standing on the couches. ....... In early 1961 there must have been quite a snowtorm because i recall being in the huge lot with grass and trees that was behind my backyard and took up the entire center of the block and we were out in all that expanse of snow and Jerry, age ten, a fellow extreme Roman Catholic who actually went to Catholic school (I never heard him say a bad word until in 1964 he said "The Beatles? Ooo, they suck!") on his end had built a huge fort out of snow right behind his yard. Guess we were off from school that day...... I know I was at "Mary's house in the country" (Seldon, Long Island, in the middle of the Island)(She was the old lady who lived above me) during the Summer so this was the first or second year we did so. Seldon was REALLY something in those days. Hard to get to as highway wasnt finished yet. Like WAY out in the country. Downtown had WOODEN sidewalks and WOODEN buildings like in the Wild West. And they were all way up: one had to climb steep wooden stairs at the corners to get up on the wooden sidewalks. They had toys one could get noowhere else like slingshots (probably banned in NYC) and plastic miniatures I hadnt seen before. The house had a hand pump outside and when it rained the water would flood UNDER the house and fill the basement. The house had a half acre or acre of land arounf it which was quite wooded and there was a small part out front. But it faced a small street with either no homes or a couple of like homes. I forget which but there was practically nothing there. However the street sent all the rain in a huge tide right at the house and I could see this river coming right at us and going under the house. I wondered if it would collapse. There was a BIG wonderful screened porch for the summere which was as big as a room and the screens were on three sides. At night the four of us would play cards with the cooling darkness outside thinking of how far away from civilization we seemed to be. Once at cards I won almost every hand. It was amazing although there was one hand where i think my father let me win. Big pumpkins in the Fall for 10c and little ones for 5c. And the only McDonalds was on the way to it. You ate in your car in those days. There was also another store at the far end of an early strip mall that had little burgers. And on the way back one year we stopped at a fancy square glass restaurant where two major roads crossed and they had the most wonderful charcoal broiled burgers i ever had in my life. I ate at least two of the huge things and remember laying back in the back seat of the car contentedly over-full. But there was quite a traffic jam that day for miles so we sat there in it and I remember looking out the back window at the square glass restaurant about a 100 yards behind. Took forever to get home that day...... My parents always complained because I always sat alone in the back. And that when we walked anywhere i always walked behind them but I was used to being alone. They were big-family people, I was an only child. Once got a thick small softcover book at a big dept. store way out there and didnt understand some of the things in it such as when it had the word 'darkies'. It was a mental puzzle book. I always liked testing my mind. ( "A little darkie in bed with nothing over him" for a picture of the letter 'E' with an 'O' over it). Mary's neighbor in Seldon always wanted to buy her house but Mary wouldnt sell as she thought she would tear it down. My parents were seriously thinking of buying it and offered her the right to come and go at the house even after we bought it and take the same vacations there she always took. But Mary kept being wishy-washy. She'd offer it out of nowhere and then change her mind. ... I also recall being at her son's house on the other side of downtown Seldon. They had a much more modern house and a color TV and a couple of kids. I was there with them watching the premiere of primetime "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show" on Sunday night at 7pm. Probably to compete with walt Disney. So that must have been September 1961. age11.... Mantle/Maris year. irooted for mnatle like everyone else. I didnt know that Maris was a REAL Catholic. (Funny how Mantle, a prot, had almost all Catholic friends. I remember being just outside the back door of Mary's Seldon house and saying to my mother off to the side how I hoped Mantle "beats that ole Maris".... Maybe it wasnt until 1962 that Mary and her family took us to Lake Ronkonkoma near Seldon. It was the first PRIVATE beach I ever saw. Their membership got us in and I was surprised as I had no idea that Long Island had a BIG lake right in the middle of it with sand! I'll bet it was also racially segregated in those days! There were no black people, but then, there were no black people anywhere I'd looked on Long Island....age 11... I used to tease my father about a cop chasing him while we were riding but one time it actually did happen while I was doing it so I never did it again. What a coincidence!...age 11....SUMMER 1961: Besides going to Seldon it was the CIVIL WAR CENTENNIAL YEAR that they had been preparing for for years. Free Civil War game in LIFE Magazine. My first wargame I guess. Got Confederate pistol that used Greenie Stick-em caps at Freedomland along with a hat with the Stars and Bars on it. When the guy engraved my name (I watched him do it) he put on "Walther" by mistake. My father jumped all over him. I recall it well. He went, "Hey, whats this? This isnt Walter". My first guess was that it was a foreign spelling and that the teenager doing it was from another country. Years later I learned that it was the German spelling. But as an 11 year old I wondered why my father didnt think that....age11 ........ Now when I think back at that day and the ones around it Im stunned by, 1)My knowedge compared to other kids my age, 2) My unbelievable childishness compared to others my age. I was 11 and still had the childish mind of a 9 year old. Ahead in brains, behind in maturity.. age11...We drove to North Carolina that Summer. Had a bunch of turtles then but only one at that moment: Tornado (mother called him Toodles). Mary offered to take care of him but I didnt trust her to do so correctly so I took him with us. Bad move. Went all the way down by car, stayed overnight?, all the way back. He died right after returning. Rest In Peace, Toodles. Down in N.C. kids deliberately stirred up a hornet's nest and they came after us. Other kids always caused me problems. We saw the Burma Shave signs I had heard of but they were already old and rusted. On the way back we pulled into a gas station and for some reason my father starts using a Southern accent to talk to the attendant. I was surprised and laughingly said, "What are you doing, Dad? Trying to talk like a Southerner?" He got really angry at me. But he should have warned me he was going to do it. We went along the Shenandoah range and the roads were really scary. I could see over the edge way down below and was quite scared. At times I sank back in my seat and wouldnt look. We eventually reached the high spot looking down and away at Harpers Ferry. Now THAT was impressive. Very surrealistic! It was like looking down from the Empire State Building. We could see the city and the rivers coming together at it thru a perfectly clear sky. Later we were approaching Gettysburg at night and my father said he had relatives "around here" (meaning York). He wanted to stop as we were going through that way anyway. My mother and I did not want to. I didnt like meeting people. Especially kids. My mother was tired and a mess, at least she thought so. So I recall we slept in the car on a the street we came into town. It was a half block before it connected with another street at an angle. I should have looked for it when I had a car and was in Gettysburg so often. Early the next morning a policeman woke us up (I believe). I dont recall the rest of the journey home. We did stop on the trip at the Natural bridge but only went as far as the gift shop. I recall getting a metal cannon and a flask for whiskey with some humorous thing on it. But they must have been in two different places. The flask I used at college in 1967. ...age 11... Dale lost a ball down the driveway hill across the street and went down to get it. Threw it back up and it broke a swung-out small open window. I saw his father go across the street to pay for it..age 11.... Dale's birthday was June 6, 1949; D-DAY. Important 'holiday' in those days... Wayne's b-day was the day after mine: ON HALLOWEEN but I think he was five years younger...age 11... (This being typed on June 30, 1999, now 209pm, (((This would have been Major's Birthday. 1959-1999. He would have been FORTY!!!))) .... Towards the end of 6th grade they told us that when we went to Junior High School in the Fall there was going to be something even higher than what class we were in. There would be a 7-1 as expected but now there would be THREE classes for the 'smartest' as they would be combining different 6-1s from different schools. The worst of our 6-1 would be put in 7-1 and there would also be a 7-13sp (special progress) and a 7-14spe (special progress) with the 7-14spe being the highest of the high. So I breathed easy at last. Due to the constant terrification my grades were by now far from A's. I hadn't failed anything or even gotten D's (Actually, So, S, N, U ) but instead of all So's I was getting maybe one So, a few S's and an N each period. Therefore I figured I might wind up in the 7-1. That would solve the problem. It would no longer be the 'best' but it would be equal to my old 2-1, 3-1, 4-1, 5-1, 6-1 courses only now my grades would shine again without having to live in constant fear. But then they tell me I'm going into an 'sp' course! However, they say we kids can CHOOSE for ourselves which one to take!! I learn that all the guys with the best grades and all the worst bullies have chosen 7-14spe, the highest of the high. So naturally I choose 7-13sp to get away from at least most of them. After all, I no longer have the highest grades so I should be in either 7-1 or 7-13sp. Then, unbelievably, the LIARS call in both of my parents. They talk my parents into putting me in 7-14spe! So much for my 'choice'! The argument is that I still had such extremely high IQ- type scores and that I still have the 'potential'. There is that Goddamn "potential" again. So I'm doomed for THREE MORE YEARS, an eternity for a child, to be tormented. I spent the Summer of 1961 having nightmares of what the new school, JHS 141 Steinway, would be like. I saw all the old bullies PLUS new ones from other schools preying on me. 6-30 559pm YCP...age 11... And I kept walking everywhere as fast as I could while making sure not to stare or even glance at anyone because too many punks had said, "Hey, what are you lookin' at?". I still was small and sickly and afraid of people and kept away from anyone I didnt know. Amzaing how fast my walking got over the years. New Yorkers had a reputation for being fast walkers but none were a fast as I. I would get out of the subway, see the fast moving crowds, and then just walk through them like they werent there, catching up to and zig zagging around all of them. I figured my safety depended upon moving fast. No one as small as I was walking without their parents. I usually would get the Astoria line to 34th St where Macys and Gimbels were. After looking all thru them I would then usually walk north on the Street outside of Macys all the way up to 42nd St/ Times Square. Then up to Central Park. Of course the pedophiles were everywhere and I had to avoid their gropes and grabs as much as I could, especially on the subways. Especially around Christmas...age11... I was as sickly as ever in 1961 and stayed home just as often alone playing boardgames and with Major, my dog, while watching the same daytime TV shows. Alone at home. Attacked at school. Alone in Manhattan unless getting attacked. I did not have a happy view of mankind.7-1-99 MONDAY Oct 30,1961 was my 12th birthday, TUESDAY Oct 31,1961 was Halloween, MONDAY Dec 25, 1961 was Xmas (My birthday and Christmas always fell on the same day of the week which is fitting for the two most important birthdays in history).. In 6th grade the NYC kids in my class were making fun of farm people and the 'Four H' club in particular. I thought they were saying Happy Harry's Hula House but the 4th word was one I didnt know and actually started with a "W". The male teacher, Kramer?, had me stand up and say it. Then he asked me what it meant. I said I didnt know. He said, "I didnt think so". To me all my teachers were now sort of in cahoots with the bullies in that they all saw the kids terrorize me and did nothing about it yet complained of my not working up to my potentiaal as I no longer tore up the class grade-wise as I did before the mess began.... Kramer was a right-wing gung ho male war veteran, first male teacher I ever had. He once held up a test of mine I did almost perfect on and said, "See, You can do it if you want to". It wasnt that I didnt want to . I was being terrorized in class. My mind cleared long enough for me to study a little and that was all it took to beat all the others in the Honors Class. At JHS 141 my seventh grade teachers were numerous as I changed classes every 45 minutes. ...age 11.... FREEDOMLAND!!! I was so excited about going there. I think we went two or three times a year. Wait for train at Triboro Bridge stop. Really LONG subway ride. All the way across. Transfer. Wait. All the way north to the end of the line in the North Bronx. Then wait FOREVER for a bus. Maybe even an hour. Place was fantastic. (We did go by car a couple of times). Sometimes went with both parents and sometimes just with mother. 7-1-99.. Across the street one afternoon the blocks one mean lady was pulling in to park and some older guy was calling her names thinking she couldnt hear her through the glass. She gets out, grabs his ear, and is shaking him and beating on him and taunting him. I was much younger and I knew better than to take chances like that....age 11...... Couple of Gielbeda kids come by via el-train (Dont think they ever did that before or after), they found a little turtle dying by the tracks in the hot Summer sun. Climbed down to get it and brought it to me. I tried to save him but he eventually dies. The same kids had earlier given me their turtles when their mother told them to get rid of them. Pixie, Dixie and Mr Jinx. From a then very popular cartoon show.(Later when my afther was trying to revive another dying one he dropped another down the drain and I cried even more. Then he took the pipe apart to see if he was in the trap but he went through)...age 11 .... Dale and I argue about how we are going to set up our toys in my yard. Mostly where to put the ships. I thought we came to a compromise. Then I see him going to play alone in his own yard without telling me. His grandmother says nastily to me, "He doesnt want to play with you". My parents and his parents always let us work things out. Now he has grandparents on his side and I dont. Same old crap! everybody else had brothers, sisters, grandparents, and their mothers at home. I had none of those people...age 11.... My father paints a mural on my bedroom wall of a spaceship rising out of the Earth's atmosphere. (My room was then the SECOND from the front of the house) (Was it Late 1962 when I was given the front room?)(I saw the JFK inauguration in the front room in Jan 1961)..... Jimmy used to try to get me into mischief with him. Actually, they all did but he was the oldest and most assertive. He'd say, "You go to Confession, Dont you?" Yes, but I wasnt going to do anything wrong in the first place. All my childhood I had problems with other kids, even with the NON-bullies. Whenever I was with ONE person he'd try to get me to do rebellious things I would NEVER think of doing on my own. When with two or more they'd gang up on me and tease me. Too much corruption outside the Roman Catholic Church...age11... Jimmy, while in my room once, told me he was never Baptized. That absolutely horrified me as I was such a Catholic. But now I realize that he was half-Jewish so why should he be? ..... Jimmy's sister has a boyfriend named Vic. We kids 'tease' him in a friendly way so he chases us. When he says hes had enough, I stop. He also asks that none call him Victoria as that was his dead mothers name. So I dont. But even at that age I had learned early to never tell others your weak spot. So naturally the other kids deliberately call him that so he only gets along with me. I had EMPATHY. I have found over the years that the only males who seem to have empathy for others feelings andwho are also romantic tend to be guys like me who, as kids, were tormented by others. Vic once chased me all the way down 24th road, across 21st street and down to the busstop just before the bridge before he caught me and tickled me. Then he told me to never run a straight line against a faster, older guy but to zig zag. Good advice. The two were supposed to get married. They broke up for some reason. Later she gets brain cancer. She had a successful operation in the early 1970s. They visit her. They leave. She seemed normal. Nurse comes running down the hall. She died. ....... The Maltese moved in all at once from the Bronx. First one group, then another. They were much tougher than us kids. Now I had more to worry about. .... Soda fountain opens at corner of 21st St and 23rd?? (Same street as one all the stores were on a block north but a block west. Opened diagonally from eagle Electric around our block on 21st St to corner. One block from Astoria Park. Across from fancy Restaurant wheer I started waiting for bus in 1959. Poorer kids could get 5c seltzers there. ....... At PS 122 I hit a hell of a long ball playing baseball. Shocks everyone. But so many adults were there that I felt safe from bullies. I wasnt fearful and constantly worrying about people behind me. I was good at things when not vastly outnumbered and terrorized. ..... Telstar went up, plus the great song..... I was always worried sick to my stomach on GYM days. Junior High brought that NEW nightmare. I was way too weak and sickly to be there and only hurt and embarrassed myself. I couldn't do the things demanded of me and all I did was make a spectacle of myself in front of THREE classes of males that were put together. And the locker room, which was TOTALLY unsupervised was a vicious nightmare for a small, sickly, uncoordinated kid like me. I think gym was twice a week and I worried every second leading up to it...... . Discovered the Army/Navy surplus store at the triangle at Astoria Square. Helmets, canteens, patches, training grenades, bomb casings, backpacks, etc., ...... Went to Indian Point Atomic Power Plant. Way up on Hudson River overlooking West Point and the huge mothball fleet way below. Loved nuclear energy, wondered if I could be BOTH an Astronomer AND a Nuclear Physicist...age12 .... Went Trick or Treating on Halloween, Oct 31,1961. Made friends for the night with some kid up 21st St near PS 122, just before Hellgate Bridge. Went door to door with him awhile. He brought me to his house just around from 21st and his mother gave us food and hot cider. Then we went out some more. But he quit early and I kept going until very late alone. Next day he winds up right behind me in gym class on the gym floor where they line us up and space us. But that was the last I ever saw of him. He was just in that gym class a couple times with me as gym was when they combined classes. I don't know if it was in 5th grade or 6th where we started Elementary School gym classes but I recall 1) We had to bring sneakers from home and change them under our desks before we went to that one class (In elementary you stayed in the same room all day), 2)I was embarrassed to just change from shoes to sneakers even with sox left on. In my home noone changed anything in front of anyone else. 3) I think all we ever did in that class was jumping jacks and running in place. Nothing that could embarrass anyone, 4)I think it only lasted a couple of sessions and am not sure if it was 5th or 6th grade or both. That MAY have also been the Halloween night I was with a group of kids and the woman came out at this one house to give us candy and some idiot I didn't know was in the back by the gate and was absentlyminedly bumping his chalk sock on the gatepost so the woman saw it, got angry, and gave us nothing so I went off on my own. Other kids were such morons. (Was this all 1961?) ........ I was terrorized and attacked and humiliated every single school day from September 1961 to June 1962..... I sometimes played stickball or some other game with the other kids on my block. But they would always eventually get mean so I'd go home and keep away for many days before trying again. ....... I'd worry about my getting into college someday. Worry about getting the money for college in those pre-loan days when only the rich went. Worry about the military draft putting me into a barracks where Id have NO privacy and no protection and have no physical abilities,..... On my last day in SIXTH GRADE we had a mandatory dance down on the first floor. I wasnt liked but I was required to dance with a couple of girls who mmade bad comments about me to the others as we did. When 3pm came they didnt tell us to keep the dance going. I figured my hell had lasted long enough and just walked out. Now I saw that a 'dance' like Valentines Day was just another day for the teacher to see that I was humiliated by the students. Guess they had to figure out a way to give the girls a chance, too. ...... In the new Junior High School, SEVENTH GRADE was where the boys and girls really began noticing each other. Well, the girls were two years ahead in maturity. I still hadnt noticed girls. My development was way behind both physically and sexually. Illnesses?? Abuse?? ((NOTE: Unless there was a 'hook' of some sort to make me remember exactly, many of these events have only a 50% chance of being in the right year with a 25% chance of being the year before and a 25% of being the year after)) .......... I dont believe how much 1961 stuff I have here. Surely some of it must have been 1960. .......7-2-99: In 1961 I was still a devout Catholic who walked from PS 122 every Saturday to Immaculate Conception church on Ditmars, near 31st St to go to Catechism every Wednesday to learn morality. And I went to Confession on Saturday mornings and to Mass to take Communion every Sunday with my Catechism class. I really believed in my religion, worried about staying as morally pure as possible and thought a lot about the afterlife and that I might wind up in Purgatory or even Hell. I got myself to church in all sorts of weather even though it was miles away and id sometimes have to struggle through snowstorms knowing how sick I always got. Even if my parents stayed home. I was like that every day from when I was a little kid..7-2-99 ........ ....... ................ .................. ...................... ..................... .................... ....................... .................... ...................... ........................ ....................... ...................... ....................... ........................ ..................... ......................... ........................ ............. UNDER CONSTRUCTION 7-8-99................................... ........... ............ ...................... ............................................................................................ ................... ........................ ........................ .................. ....................... ..................................... ............................ .......................... .............................. ........................... ..................................... ....................................... .................................

-------------------- 1962 --------------------

___________ 1962 _____________ 1962 _______________ 1962 _______________ 1962 _______________ 1962 ______age 12/13___ 7th/8th grades___ JHS 141, STEINWAY JHS__________ 1962 ______________ 1962 ___________:::: I didnt have any notes set for this but here goes:________ SEVENTH GRADE JHS 141 1961-1962______ age 12 in early 1962 1/62- 6/62,_________ EIGHTH GRADE 1962-1963 _____ age 12/13 in late 1962 9/62-12/62._____ Became a teenager on Oct 30, 1962. Just after the Cuban Missile crisis.______ Mother born 1927 age 35/36,______ father born 1922 age 40/41,_____ Major born 1959 age 2/3_____ .......... ...... Was this the year my father left Industrial Displays in Manhattan and went to work in Todays Displays in Long Island City, Queens?? ..... Still no heavier burden than a 'great potential' with so many adults expecting so much out of me while other kids were just allowed to be kids...... Mary Seuffert's brother came to live upstairs with her for a while. He was also very old. Also very skinny. Used to sit with us and watch TV a lot. I dont think Mary had a TV. I'd sit on the floor and we'd all watch things like 'Car 54, Where are You?" and he'd talk about the old days and how he was going to move to ST. PETERSBURG someday. He said St. Petersburg often and with an accent of some kind. I had never heard of it before but I gathered it was a small town where old people went. It turned out to be much bigger. It may have been 1961 that he first showed up, not 1962. I dont recall. Once he and I went to a parade and Nelson ROCKERFELLER marched in it and he just got his divorce and I mentioned what I heard that many people might not vote for him again because of that divorce and some woman turned around and looked down at me and agreed with me. Later on he took me to some very upper-class large department store that I never knew existed and saw all these upper class toys. Upon arriving home later he ranted about 'some old (something) woman' butting in about the divorce thing. It may have been a Veterans Day march (Nov 11) as he also talked about how huge the 1918 march was that went on around the clock with the entire US Armed Forces back from Europe in it. Mary was upset with him as he offered to wash his sisters back in the tub and she thought that was obscene. I gathered at the time that MARY SEUFFERT was an EXTREME Catholic and John, her brother, was liberal. He eventually made it to St.Petersburg. He was pretty nice to me except that he would interrupt me a lot when I did homework anywhere near him.... age 12.... Mary was against the use of "she" in reference to mothers. I never used "my mom" as it was horrible English. I always used "my mother" but, after using that noun I thought nothing of saying 'she' in the rest of the paragraph. But Mary would always 'correct' me and say, "She? She is the CAT's mother". Whatever that meant. My mother didnt know why she was upset anyway. That's what 'SHE' taught me..... I had no friends in Seventh Grade....age 12 .... Another year of the horrific GYM CLASSES which I think were Tuesdays and Thursdays. That simply broadcasted how weak and small and uncoordinated I was. I dreaded every second of the day leading up to gym class. Cold fear in my stomach. I never did anything physical except try to survive my many diseases. GYM just made me a laughing stock for the THREE classes of boys all put together. And the locker room was unsupervised so I was prey for all the cowards who ganged up on the little weak sickly guy....age 12 .... A few local comic books that did NOT have the COMICS CODE appeared. I thought it was illegal and was surprised. One had a story of a long green SNAKE ARM in the sewer of NYC with a giant hand on the end reaching out of the sewers at night, smashing through boarded up bedroom windows, and crushing children into little balls. Another one was about a man who put children in webs like flies to suck the juices out of them. And the third was about a door opening in houses and people being ripped apart as they were dragged in. It definitely was NOTHING like any other comic book. There were only a couple of issues and one had to walk all the way up the street (24th St?) to the very last candy store by the El to get them. They also had one, humorous, about kids in NYC that played a game over a ball in which all they did was fight and forget the ball. Whomever wrote and drew these comics was a real New Yorker as he knew what was popular with kids and what really went on in our neighborhoods....age 12.. 1962 was also the year of the gory cards. One was the MARS INVADES cards that they just made the movie about. The other was on the CIVIL WAR with equally gory pix on each card. Parents had them all removed eventually. I still have a couple around somewhere...age 12 .... Also the year of the RASPBERRY CHUCKLE available only in the LARGE family box and of the Hoffman CHOCOLATE CREAM soda....age 12.. There was a teacher named Sciortino who was called 'Skitch' who would say in her nasal voice like an old which, "You have an assignment" for any infraction. An assignment meant to write 25 words 3 times each for the next day. Once the kids on my row bombarded the first row with paper and she gave THEM the assignment. When the kids (who bullied me) complained that they wouldnt throw them at themselves she gave them an extra ASSIGNMENT for talking back. I almost never saw anyone black in those days but once we were sitting in class and the room ran along the hall and had two doors. Some black girl stuck her head in the back door and, mimicking Skitch's witch-voice sang, "We all know Shor-teen-o blows" and the class broke up laughing. Even I. And Skitch didnt even get angry. She just laughed and said something like, "You never know whose wandering those halls". 'Skitch' also had larger breasts and had the habit of sitting on her desk which was pushed up against the first two boys desks and dropping things and then leaning down and groping around to reach it. The boys up front would point and gesture to everyone behind them. We were all twelve. I still had no idea about such things. Skitch also had us all read "Mutiny on the Bounty" because of the movie that came out. I hated it. We also had to do plays in front of the room. I was 'Tennessee' and then she switched me to 'TENNESSEE'S PARTNER', which was the name of the book. I hated literature, I loved SCIENCE, MATH, GEOGRAPHY...age 12...... Tuesday 7-6-99 4:10 pm..... _________ _________ _________ __________ 7-7-99 SUMMER 1962,age 12, (NOTE: Just because I put this here does NOT mean that the information before it was for 1/62 to 6/62 (7th grade) and the stuff after it was for 9/62 to 12/62 (8th grade). I not even perfectly sure about each year, much less if something happened in May 1962 or September 1962. I just had to put the SUMMER someplace):: The three Mellinger kids probably went to their SUMMER CAMP for weeks during the summer as they always do. That sure always made the neighborhood quieter as only Jimmy and I were left on the block and he was much older. The 3 kids always came back after what seemed like forever very, very tanned while I was always white-skinned from staying in so much. Other kids on the block would call me 'Whitey'...age 12.... Went fishing like always. Mother came along once. She accidentally dropped the whole roll of FISHING LINE into the Long Island Sound and i watched it sink to the depths. Father was quite upset. So we fished there for a half hour or hour or whatever. Then we moved on. We had the power motor then. We drove along the water and chose another spot a long ways down. Dropped anchor. Put lines in water. My mother feels a tug. Thinks its a fish. Pulls it all the way up. It's the LINE!!! Odds a billion to one that could happen. All those currents!!! .... age 12..... Went to first METS game. With mother. Father was usher. Playing other expansion team: Houston Colts. Almost no one there. Old POLO GROUNDS. A man teaches me how to do scorecard. Game eventually rained out so didnt count anyway. A couple of years ago one of NY papers has a baseball answer man and he told me the date of that rained out game. I have it somewhere. ..age12..... Went on a mini-roller coaster at a small amusement park in Queens. Too chicken for a big one. I liked it and thought I now could handle a big one. Soon after I read that that same COASTER went off the tracks just a couple of days after I was on it! I never went on another one. Another thing I recall that day was a teen wearing a 'Moscow University' joke t-shirt. It shocked little me due to the Cold War...age 12.....One Summer we had CARPET GUNS and the other we had swords made out of venetian blinds but I dont know which was 1961 and which 1962. Carpet guns were made from pieces of wood about rifle length (or you could have handguns) with a thick rubber band and a piece of carpet to fly off it. I used pinking shears to make a jagged edge. I also made a carpet cannon. The swords were made from blinds someone threw out. Folded parts for handles and used regular for blades..... Was it in the Summer of 1962 or 1963 that we went to York, Pa? I recall coming in along the higher route to Harrisburg in those pre-new-US 30 days. And in off the road that was there before new US 30 and in past the old green stands at Allen Field. The one ways were all in the opposite direction then. We turned right and parked in front of 820 WALLACE STREET. The kids had a toy fighter jet console so I wanted on too for the coming Xmas (I had always thought it was 1963 we visited but I sure didnt get a toy console in Xmas 1963. I had to be younger). I recall once coming in from the back yard and saying, "It's only me" and Vi saying, "Oh, is that all?". We went to Richards house at 675 Chestnut Street for the very first time and he had that huge model car set-up in his basement which quite impressed me. Then I recall leaving and walking down the street with a girl cousin whose name I didn't remember. And we walked up the street (Chestnut) to the end and I had no idea where we were and she asked me if I knew where I was and I admitted I didn't. Then she (Loralee) led me to her house. I don't recall anything else about that trip and I'm not even sure of the year except that it was before 1964...... 7-7-99 Probably went to the movies a few times with the Mellinger kids. Probably played stickball in the 'Cheesebox' a few times. (I'm going to have to sit down somewhere and figure out 1962 and 1963) _________ ________ _________ _______ ....... Saturday SEPTEMBER 29, 1962: SYRACUSE played Army at the Polo Grounds in NYC. I just looked it up in the NY Times. My father was an usher there that day and he took my mother and me there. Cold! Moist! I recall. Mother rooted for Army. Father and I for Syracuse. We thought Army was the favorite but Syracuse was National Champ in 1960 I believe. 1960 cotten bowl syracuse 23, texas 14, 1961 liberty bowl syracuse 15,miami 14. Actually, what I recall best was leaving as we were cold and miserable.... 1962 had same calendar as 1973, 1979, 1990, 2001 movie, 1951, 1945, 1934, 1923, 1917, 1906, 1900,___________ ____________ Monday Jan 1, Tuesday Oct 30, 1962 my 13th bday, I became a teenager ...... I had no friends in Eighth Grade...... I came in late to school one day on a Catholic Holiday and the teacher asked if it was due to the holiday as then I wouldn't be punished for it. I said, "No, I was just late". The bullies, non-Catholics went nuts. They thought I was crazy to not just say 'yes'. But I didn't lie like that..... .......... ......... ........... ........... .......... ........... .......... under construction 7-8-99

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