Tales from the Stoop
List Price: 14.98
Available: March 2014
Growing up in the fifties and sixties was a time to remember. As I look back, I wonder where the time has gone.
Although I would prefer to now be in my thirties instead of my sixties, I will make the sacrifice to have lived through those wonderful years.
Tales from the Stoop, though a work of fiction, will bring back the memories of a time gone by when a twelveyear- old and his friends could take the train to Coney Island with a sandwich rolled in a towel and not have his parents arrested for child abuse. It was a time when five- and six-year-olds could come home from school, have a glass of milk, and go out and play without the fear of being abducted.
Yes, the neighborhoods in Brooklyn were tough, and the fights in the school yard were there, but a mother knew that if she came to her child’s aid, the perpetrator was polite and respectful even if he did later end up in jail. The groups back in the fifties stood on the corner by the candy store and sang. Some shot craps in the school yard while we played stickball. The fifties were the fifties, and it was the time to wear greasy hair slicked back and try to be tough.
Tales from the Stoop will bring back the feeling and memories of the dances, the music, and growing up at a time when families all lived near each other and life was simple but problems complex. When whoever was outside reading while his or her child played was also watching you and you knew it. When the daily trips to the corner grocery where the proprietor candled the eggs and cut butter from a huge block in his refrigerator to order was a part of life.
Tales from the Stoop also deals with the sixties, a time when affluence was beginning to take hold and the rockand- roll tough mentality was changing to a more civilized good-times-let’s-go-out-to-eat way of thinking. A time when parents began trading their apartments for small houses and college was the place to go. Some of us went and some didn’t, but the mind-set was to move upward. This book says it all.
I was born in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn in the year 1947. I attended a public school—as almost everyone did in those days—located across the street from the tiny apartment rented by my parents. I found school initially boring, whether due to a high IQ or attention deficit disorder, I am not quite sure. I did well, I guess, until I moved to the Bensenhurst section of Brooklyn, where I came into contact with the school yard crowd. I somehow made the Special Progress program when, in dismay, my mother—who was the eternal pessimist—predicted this would lead to my academic demise. My junior high school years were not very memorable or a particularly fond time in my autobiographical time line.
High school was the highlight of my required educational career. I attended Far Rockaway High School. Far Rockaway High was the complete antithesis of high schools in Brooklyn. Dress was casual and class more enjoyable. In the spring and early fall, most students attended with one eye and ear in class and the other at the beach. In my senior year, I overcame my sense of negativity and tried out for a school play. I think it was this role in the show that I can credit with awakening an appreciation of the arts.
Upon graduating from Far Rockaway High School, I attended the Brooklyn College of Pharmacy. Attending a college of pharmacy was not conducive to stimulating a liberal sixties way of thinking. Having to drop out for one semester, I attended a liberal college. It was here that two of my professors put me on the track to academic success. I owe them much. When I returned to the Brooklyn College of Pharmacy, I was long haired and an activist. The school, too, had metamorphosed into a more liberal center.
Soon after graduation and obtaining my license, I married and now have four daughters. In 1978, I moved my family to Florida where we now reside and where my youngest daughter was born. I mention this because it was she who encouraged me to write this book. We took a trip to New York City during the Christmas season, and there she fell in love with the city and wanted us to move to Manhattan. After a brief explanation as to the financial possibility of a pharmacist purchasing an apartment on Central Park West where we had stayed, I promised to write a book, and if it were made into a movie, we would move. Well, eighteen years later, here’s the book, and we still live in Florida.