Stories From Park Slope Past

Old Goat in FL stopped by the boards this week in search of fellow old-timers with whom he could reminisce about the neighborhoods bygone years. “I am retired in Florida. Grew up on 12th Street
between 5th & 6th Aves in the 30’s 40″s & 50″s. Went to PS 124, PS 40’s and the REAL Manual, not John Jay. Attended 12thst Reformed Church. Shocked Is there anyone out there from my neighborhood and era?
” Seems like he predates any of the regulars, but the regulars have been encouraging Old Goat to share his memories of days long past and he’s obliged.

Some excerpts:
In the late 30’s and most of the 40’s most people were still recovering from the depression first and then the war. So few cars parked on the street that we played stickball whenever we were not in school right in the middle of the street. Two sewers was a pretty good hit!

12th Street was like one big family. Every nationality imaginable. There was the Hickeys, Websters, Draddys,
Carsons, Cash, Martin, Jaworski,Strozyk, Murphys, Fiorellos, Placido, Petito, Highlands and so on.”

In Old Goats days the street gangs were the “Smittys’, and the “Garfield Boys”. The best thing was to have friends in each gang and when you met up with a gang member or two be sure to
mention the right guy you knew.”

The only incident I rememnber IN school was when one of the gang members slapped a Gym teacher. The Gym teacher slapped him right back and knocked him on his butt. The teacher offered to meet
the member & his gang one on one after school. The teacher showed up but the gang did not and that Teacher had no more problems.”

“Does anyone out there recall Belmont’s Clothing store for Men & Boy?. Anytime you bought something you got a free gift. It could be a baseball, football or a Baseball glove… Also there was a Bickfords Cafeteria
on 9th Strret as well as a place called the “Cube Steak”. The served a square steak sandwich! Whistle

Well I’m going to try to rig me up a square steak sandwich right now, but I recommend you read the rest of Old Goat’s tales at Park Slope Message Board: 12th street 40’s & 50’s (Brooklynian.com)

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