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Showing posts from October, 2015

You Can't Take Me Anywhere

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I come from a long, proud line of sturdy Italian peasants on my father's side.  On my mother's side, I come from a long line of equally proud and sturdy Northern European peasants, with a few Jews mixed in to make it interesting.  Unless there was some inter-class hanky-panky going on that we don't know about, I don't have a single blue blood among my ancestors.
That's fine with me.
You can take the girl out of the beer and pretzels crowd, but you can't take the beer and pretzels crowd out of the girl.  You can educate me, send me all over the world and pound good manners into me until my brain explodes.  I'm still going to feel the most at home with people who don't mind if I talk loud or get barbecue sauce on my tee shirt or take a second helping of linguine, and who understand when I tell them that my favorite comedian is Jeff Foxworthy and that Pat Cooper's Italian Wedding routine is drop-dead hilarious.
I have also been known to burst into one of …

Life in My Corner

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When most people think of The Bronx, they picture rundown, dangerous neighborhoods with drug dealers, junkies and gangs shooting at each other and hitting everyone else, in between selling crack to first graders, beating up old ladies and scaring the hell out of everyone.  They picture a borough populated with thugs and hookers and dropouts, with a few terrified normal working class people here and there.
Remember The Bonfire of the Vanities, by Tom Wolfe?  If you've read the book, you'll know to what I am referring.  If you have not read it, please do.  It's a great novel. 
Okay.  There are some areas of The Bronx that are not so fine, but the same can be said for almost everywhere else on earth.  Why should The Bronx be any different?
Oh, but we have our nice areas, too.  Yes, we do.  I ought to know.
I live in a section of The Bronx called Kingsbridge.  It used to be an Irish neighborhood, and some of the Irish are still around, most of them older people.  Now it is heavily…