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Re: Castle Hill Avenue

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Posted by phil on Friday, July 17th 2020:

In Reply to: Re: Castle Hill Avenue posted by Steve on Friday, July 17th 2020:

John's Paradise was a bikers' bar across the street from the cemetery, up on Tremont past Westchester Square and before Bruckner. A fairly rough place--bikes lined up out front, biker guys and girls inside, always a rock band live--though no one ever bothered me as i nursed my 25 cent Rolling Rocks. I liked the gritty atmosphere of the place. I spent most of my bar time at the Chester house and a dive bar called Dominic's (not sure that was the name but it was the name of the owner/bartender) right next to the Circle Theatre. He let us drink there at 17; then he moved to a joint next to the the Castle hill theatre. I also spent time at the Park House, though not so much. The Manor House was the one on Tremont near the garages, no? My brother, Bob, hung out there.
I didn't know Dave S. had died. My mother was good friends with his mother. I spent most of my younger years in the ballfield and the big playground. Rarely in the little one. I was no good at basketball. Most of my time was spent playing stickball in the field or in the handball courts. I was a pretty good ballplayer. Dom Cafaro arranged for me to be on the Happy Felton Knothole Gang (on TV before the Dodger games) but it rained that day and the show did not reschedule me. One of those now-silly heartbreaks of youth.

CATHOLIC BOYS is set completely in the Bronx, as is THE BRONX KILL, and IF ANYONE ASKS, SAY I DIED FROM THE HEARTREAKING BLUES (set in PC under a different name.) Many of the stories in A HISTORY are set in the Bronx, as well. Some times I change things around a bit for author-convenience. So don't be too upset with me for that. For example, in CB, I mix elements of Co-op City and Parkchester together.

I'm curious about your life. You said you went to Fordham, I believe. I've always regretted not going to Fordham Prep, and my grades were so lousy at Holy Cross I couldn't transfer into Fordham College, so had to settle for St. John's, which wasn't nearly as good. But at least i got my grades up so I could get a Regents fellowship to NYU. You went there,too--majoring in what? What career did you choose? Do you live anywhere near the Bronx now? I moved seven miles due west. From the roof of my building, I can see Parkchester (on a clear day.)

Reference ID: BX88681


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