Pizzas certainly seemed to taste better in the old days! I now make my own, but the standard of reference is still the Sunday night pizza at the place next to the Graham theater (about 1950?). As I recall, sitting, smelling, and waiting for it may have been the best part ($1--for a giant ?)

Later I think a PS194 classmate's father, Joe De Mello, opened another parlor between Devon and Everett . He lived on Noel Ave; his father came from the Cape Verde Islands, and had a parrot a hundred years old that lived in the garage because it cursed in Portuguese. I think this pizza parlor succumbed to another between Everett and Florence.

All the area around PS194 was empty--at lunch time we all roamed it as Sherwood Weed Forest or something. I recall when the Ave X apartment project was being constructed, it seemed like years of pile driver sounds, banging 24 hours a day. I had asthma and seemed to spend long summer nights listening to it.

I recall when they opened the excavations for the sewers; that activated zillions of toads, they were around for years thereafter. It was great fun to climb around the excavations. Prior to this time the streets were dirt, in the new section there were sidewalks. We lived on a corner lot, and the vehicles turning always created a depression that created a huge puddle when it rained. My father waged a relentless battle trying to fill it in with coal ashes. Other than raising the house, the big milestone was converting to gas heat. The first Beach house we lived in was 59 Beacon Court (1939?). It had a kerosene stove. Overnight in the winter it got so cold the toilet bowl froze. Must have impressed me!

We still had vehicles coming with horses, ice trucks (source of great joy in summers !) junk trucks, etc. [Carlos: ice in summer, coal in winter.--AW]

The beach was a rough neighborhood, in ways much different probably than today. Drugs were unknown, kid fights very common. The dirt streets and fights left me with elbows that still have imbedded dirt, under the skin, visible, apparently benign. My Beach memories are somewhat akin to what we hear about in northern Ireland to a much lesser scale. Many is the time I feel I was lucky to have survived childhood, both for my stupidity and the environment. Swimming around the honey barge!!!!

Remember a kid from Ave W? who drowned in the creek? Big event but name forgotten.[Francis Hardy?--AW]

I remember watching the building of the project. Bobby Swarthout?, was the only person I knew who lived there. The construction work at the time seemed monumental and was fascinating to watch. When it was later destroyed it was a shock that all that could vanish almost without a trace.

We built traps for people in the "sands", and forts reminiscent of 1945 Bogart movies, i.e., Sherman tanks.

The year in which garden watering was banned is remembered. I had a house at 37 Hazel and drove a well as Richard describes. The water came up brownish and stained the concrete. I guess it was from the decaying reeds/moss at the original ground level surface .


Submitted 9/7/98

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