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Re: Castle Hill Avenue

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Posted by Steve on Thursday, July 23rd 2020:

In Reply to: Re: Castle Hill Avenue posted by phil on Thursday, July 23rd 2020:

Not a book I recommended, but sounds very interesting. Here's the Golden Guineas tale – hope it doesn't disappear off the edge.

I was about 6 or 7 and a few of us had just been at one kid's aunt's house on Middletown Road. It was a long walk from Parkchester but it seems in those days, it was something kids did. Anyway the aunt was surprised but pleased to see us. After a while, she gave each of us some change – I got two dimes and a nickel – and told us to go straight home. She warned us NOT to go down by the water in the park (Pelham Bay Park). Naturally, we went right down to the water. The bay lapped the shore making small waves and we saw a dead horseshoe crab. The dead crab was ugly but fascinating. Then we heard a voice.

“Hey, you kids, come over here”. It was a big kid, a teenager. We just stood where we were. We didn't know what to do. “I'm Frankie of the Guineas”, he said. “Do you have any money”? Still quiet, we stared at Frankie. Then he said, “See that guy?”, pointing to another kid, “he's crazy and he'll throw you in the water if you don't give us your money”.

We hated giving up our money, but we were too afraid not to. Frankie got our money, including my two dimes and a nickel. They left and we started on the long walk home back to Parkchester. We never told our parents thinking we'd be in trouble for going down by the water.

A few years later, I heard about the Golden Guineas and figured Frankie had been a member. The gang had a fierce reputation, but I never thought they were that tough. How tough could a gang be that took money from little kids?

Back then, Kenny M lived on the Main floor apartment A in 1595 Met. It was at the end of the hall to the right as you came in. The family moved to Buhre Avenue in the late 50s where they owned a successful candy store. It had a counter to the side on the left where you could get an ice cream soda, a few booths in the back, a rack of comics, and cigarettes, and a newsstand out front with all the papers piled up. Gathered out front, in and out of the store, were a bunch of teenagers hanging out.

A few years back on this very website, someone had written about the Golden Guineas and their hangout at Kenny M's candy store. It was a huge surprise since I used to go to the candy store and help out with Kenny and never realized then that those teenagers hanging out were who they were. If Frankie was among them, I never knew it.

Reference ID: BX88745


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