This Boy's Rambling Remembrances

Life as I saw it when I was a boy.

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Another Cock-Eyed Christmas

One Christmas Eve we woke to the sound of our dad driving nails through the trunk of our new tree. “Tree stands are for Park Avenue swine!” Dad would...
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The Fresh Air Kid

That clock you see in the Lost Weekend — the one Ray Milland looks up at when he’s standing in front of the closed pawn shop is located at 1501 Third...
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Story of the week

A Queen's Story

What’s troubles me while writing these memory pieces is why my family moved around so much. In 1966 we left Manhattan for good, moving to an...
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Graduation Day

Elmhurst, Queens, Winter 1968 I was sitting in a front row balcony seat with my feet up on the railing; smoking a cigarette. Kool extra longs. It’s...
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My Cat Never Sang for My Father

Flushing, Queens, Fall 1966 I heard my father’s footsteps as he made his way up the stairs. “What are you doing to that cat?” he shouted. We didn’t...
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The Beatles and Me

The Beatles landed at JFK international airport on February 7, 1964. It was a Friday. Had I been living under different circumstances — ten years...
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Street Kid 1964

I was in a choke-hold, getting my face pulverized, when I saw my dad turn the corner and look. I was secretly relieved. Dad to the rescue. He’d break...
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Story of the week

Carry On, Richard

Maspeth, Queens, NYC 1967 We moved to the borough of Queens in 1967 when I was thirteen years old. It was the first time we lived in a house. An...
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Life and Death Under the Hudson

I didn’t know a wall could move that fast. One moment I’m riding along on my bicycle. The next moment my nine-year-old body is hitting the pavement;...
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A Rambling Remembrance

It’s 1959. I’m five years old. My brother is four. My grandmother and her friend are doily-on-the-furniture old. We live on the fourth floor of a...
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Story of the week

Gym Shorts and Sneakers 1963

Sister Elizabeth marched the third-grade class down the stairs and into the gymnasium. “I’ll leave you boys in the hands of Mr. Greenfield,” said the...
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GI Joe and the Johnny Pump

I was once one of God’s little soldiers, off to church to confess my sins and make an act of contrition. Forgive me father . . . Say three Our...

In Nanny's Kitchen

In a 1910 railroad flat apartment building, three young siblings scrambled down the two flights to their grandmother’s apartment. It was 1964.
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The Channel Changer - A Short Remembrance

When I was a child, the channel changer loomed large in our household. It was a treasured family tool that was valued above all others. Lose the...
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The Avant-Garde Con Artist

On any given school-day morning in 1968 I could be found sleeping on the bathroom floor. Curled up on the bathmat trying to recapture a goodnight’s...
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Waiting on Mitch

Monday, March 27, 1967 I had a crush on my sister’s girlfriend, which ended up getting me a seat at the RKO theater on east 58th street. My sister...
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A Pack of Camels

Sometime early in 1967 ‘Go down to Margie’s candy store and pick up a pack of Camels, a half-gallon of Neopolitan ice cream, and a coupla Pepsi’s.’...
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New Year's Eve 1966

New Year’s Eve 1966 Just before the start of 1967 I made my first solo appearance at a New Year’s Eve party. I now look back and wish it were more of...