Daniel Wolfe, author of Cold Ground’s Been My Bed: A Korean War Memoir, brings to life his Bronx neighborhood during the Great Depression—a scene populated by characters that sound like a casting call for Guys and Dolls: Willie the Weasel, Lunchee, Noiviss, Trench Feet, Jake the Pickleman, Pimple Ear, and the Creep.
A street vendor’s cart offered a baked sweet potato, a jelly apple, or shaved ice dripping with syrup. A raucous game of stickball, street hockey, or off the curb resounded with predictable arguments. Dan depicts his hilarious antics as a busboy at a Catskill Mountain resort, a first date boat ride up the Hudson River, and the everyday caustic jokes of the boys hanging out at the candy store. But the heart and soul of Dan’s childhood was found not in his colorful street life but within the two-bedroom flat that his parents made home for a family of five despite a hostile janitor, a cold radiator, and a leaky icebox. The author’s relationship with his hard-working Ma and Pa illuminates this memoir. Like a long talk with old friends late into the night, Seabury Place is an experience you won’t want to end.
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