Taylor and Racine

I responded and still do to where I was from by saying “Taylor and Racine”.  I think of Joe’s Tavern where my dad played shuffleboard and the card game that I remember being called Brisco (probably really Briscolo ?)  Then there was Jerry (red headed) the barber and during the summer a big aluminum garbage can filled with clams on ice on the sidewalk.  A little food mart near Joe’s Tavern where we would steal watermelons from and get the fixings for real poor boy sandwiches using ‘french’ bread from the bakery on Taylor street.

Then there was the sausage maker on Taylor street with the sausages being processed right in the window.  My dad did some glass block construction work (pro bono) for the butcher on Taylor street and I remember the butcher would have a grill in the back and make the best steak sandwiches.

For my asthma attacks at night my mom would call up the pharmacist (Taylor and Racine) at his home to come in and get me my medication as we’d run out.  I finally figured out why the movie theatre was called the Garden. It was named after Mary Garden a world famous opera singer as the theatre was owned by two ‘old’ Italians.  (God Bless the Italians for giving us opera!!)

One of the guys I hung around with was Mickey (Mickey Boy to his mom) Sposato.  To this day he is one of the most dynamic people I’ve ever known.  I think I got my sense of adventure from him. Turns out his son, Nicholas Sposato is now an Alderman.  Doesn’t surprise me if my old friend (now dead) passed on those ambitious genes of his to his children (5 I think).

Crane might have been white in your day but the basketball teams were all black in my day (1953-57).  Nick stood out like a beacon but he started for a very tough team.  I don’t know if he got a college scholarship.

Thanks for the name of the boxing coach and if his name was Art Farrell do you remember if his wife’s name was Tina?  She and my mom were neighborly buddies.

FYI 73 years after having the Geati family next door I’m still friends with them. The mother Anna is now 97 and my friend, Sammy (actually Salvatore) are in contact all of the time.  Hard to beat.

Boy, was it fun living there except the projects living quarters were very small.  I slept on a twin bed in what would be called the living room until I was about 13.

Thanks, again,

Norman Berger (as you know, not an Italian), Menlo Park, CA

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