Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Stoop - 10 Years - August 25, 1981

So here we are at the first 10-year reunion, August 25, 1981. Pete had moved to Florida in 1973, followed by Witz and Bruno in '74. Steve and Mike came back to NYC about 3 years later, but I hadn't seen Pete since we'd all gone down to FL for spring break in '74. So it was a real treat to see him and for him to make it back for the first reunion.

The first three shots were taken before we went up to the P.S. 94 schoolyard to shoot hoops. How do I know that? Because in those shots I'm wearing my overalls, and in the last shot you can see my super-cool knee-high ball-playing socks!

In the first shot Errol, Witz and I are joined by Crazy Pete, who's holding up the game ball of The Bronx - The Spaldeen. That's Ken on the top step between me and his brother Errol. Clearly we were trying to mug for the camera.

But in the second picture we're REALLY putting on our best ugly mugs.

The third picture is with Alice Falco, one of the sweetest ladies in the entire world; she's with her dog Ginger The Wonder Pup. Great doggie.

The final shot is of The Boys, with Bruno sitting next to Witz. All of these are pretty rare (to us, anyway) because I don't think we ever took pictures of ourselves just hanging out on The Stoop.

The Stoop - 20 Years - August 25, 1991

And then it was twenty years. By August of 1991 I'd been long gone from New York, and had settled in Atlanta, but there was no way I was missing the reunion.

There's Ken on the top right corner of the other pix. We'd all lost touch with Pete and Bruno, so we had no way of getting them back for the 20th anniversary reunion. But Jack Brooks (in the blue polo shirt) was back on the block and living at 3530, and Gene Nocerino (in jeans and white t-shirt) was still living across the street in 3525 Decatur. 

In the first shot, Errol, Witz and I are still laughing about SOMETHING, but what it was...who knows?

You can see the stickball bat in the left corner of the other shots...we must've been hitting a few up the block that day.

The thing I remember most about this reunion was that because we'd not seen Jack and Gene in such a long time, we spent a lot of time joking and laughing about the old days on the block. And in terms of ragging the hell out of each other, it was like none of us had ever left. Looking at these pictures always makes me smile, because it reminds me how much fun we had on Decatur, and how much of it was shared by all of us.

The Stoop - 30 Years - August 25, 2001

Amazing what a difference 10 years makes! In August of '91 none of us were fathers...but on August 25, 2001, between me, Witz and Errol we had six kids on the stoop!

In the top picture we tried sitting the boys in our classic positions: that's my son Jonathan on the left, Witz's son Jake in the middle, and Errol's son Doug on the right.

The next photo is my daughters Kayleigh and Melanie, and Errol's daughter Maggie on the right.

For the first time, a non-resident of the block -- but a good friend -- joined us on Decatur to mark the 30th anniversary. That was long-time Bronx native Mike Weiser. Errol and I first met Mike in the summer of 1967 at Camp Kinder-Ring. In the summer of '70, Errol, Witz, Mike and I shared a cabin when we were all in KR's "Work Group." Mike went to Lehman College, as did I. He moved to the Chicago area after college, but is Bronx-through-and-through. You can just about make out his Bronx t-shirt in the photo below; Mike is sitting on the bottom step, far right.

Speaking of that shot, Steve's brother Lew also joined us in 2001, and you can see the "extended" Decatur family in the last picture. On the top row from left to right is me, Witz and Jake, Maggie and Doug with Errol.

Then Lew standing next to the stoop, with Jonathan and Kayleigh sitting together, and Mike and Ken filling out the shot.

I wanted to end this page with another shot of me, Witz and Errol, the way the first page starts. I chose this shot because it shows us as we're getting ready for the posed shot, and I love the way we're all cracking up about something.