Tuesday, May 26, 2015

So Far Away, Rockaway The Days

Walked Far Rockaway yesterday. There were signs of the old, signs of the new, signs of the constant. Made me think of two songs, "Rockaway the Days," Springsteen and "So Far Away" Dire Straits.

Feel assured, when we die, the beach will still be there creating memories to treasure for all who come after us.


When I was 15, too many people met at eight o'clock mass on summer Sundays at St. Stephen of Hungary's chuch. Afterwards, we headed up to the #6 Local on 86 Street and took it to Bleecker Street and transferred to the A train to Far Rockaway (sometimes we had to switch trains at Broad Channel). There was one structure left on the boardwalk down there~ a knish stand ~ we called it "the Alamo." The owner, Milton, loved us. We all had the munchies and nobody brought anything to eat. Nothing but potatoes and condiments in our stomachs at the end of the day. Oh, and we drank liquids. There were still a few vacant Victorian homes spread out through the neighborhood. When it rained, we explored them. To avoid having too much fun with the gang, I took a constitutional walk to 116 Street on the boardwalk to check if Curley's was still there and back to Beach 44th Street. A cute sharp redhead named Susan, a junior from Julia Richmond High School usually joined me. When she did, my insides were warm and sunny.


Here are more Far Rockaway photographs.


If you like my work check out my memoir, 
"I Hate the Dallas Cowboys - tales of a scrappy New York boyhood." Available at Logos Book Store or online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

The book has 103 Amazon five star reviews out of 103 total reviews posted. We're pitching a perfect game. My old world echoes TV's "The Wonder Years" ~ just add taverns, subways and Checker cabs.












Monday, May 25, 2015

Service

"They did what they thought was right, for all of us."
Robert A. Pryor with his relatives, 1947, York Avenue
Thomas E. Pryor, home from Europe, 1945, York Avenue
Charles Cuccia, France, 1918



Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Walk Near & Inside Central Park's South End

Photographs here are from a walk near and inside Central Park's South End yesterday. The weather went up and down, little sun, little rain, which made the whole thing more interesting.

There are many nostalgic Central Park stories in my memoir, "I Hate the Dallas Cowboys - tales of a scrappy New York boyhood." Available at Logos Book Store & online at Amazon and B&N.

Here's a link to more photos from yesterday's walkabout.









Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Two Guys Talking On The Corner

w/ Dad on Drive in Carl Schurz Park, 1956.
Today, Dad would be 86.
I wrote this story for him.
Robert A. Pryor  (May 19, 1929 - March 11, 2002)

Thank you, Mr. Beller's Neighborhood for publishing it.

Two Guys Talking On The Corner

Dad and I did four things together: play sports, attend sports, watch TV, and go to the movies. I liked movies the best; it’s much harder telling a kid what to do in the dark. You would have loved taking me to the movies when I was 6 years old. I was a cheap date, one box of Pom Poms caramels and a dime soda kept me blissful through the whole film and I shut up. Didn’t want to miss anything.

It was the fall of 1960, which I remember for three reasons.
Dad's sketch


I had just started first grade, the Yankees had lost to the Pirates in the World Series, and Dad was rooting for Nixon against Kennedy to spite my Irish grandfather. I still believed my father was infallible. He never had to use this line on me — “Are you gonna believe what you see or what I tell you?” He accomplished his goals without direct engagement. Looking back, I suspect he periodically forgot I was his son and thought I was the most intelligent dog in the
Xmas on 83rd Street, 1958.
world. But this day would be different.

Dad’s charm was in full swing as he pulled me along up 86th Street. I kept my eye out for friends. The last thing I needed were the guys giving me the business, “Daddy still holds ya hand, Tommy the baby!” Resistance was futile, so I decided to keep tight to Dad’s side so it looked like we were just walking very close together.

“So, what do you want to see?” Dad stopped at the corner of Third Avenue, moved the cigarette out of his mouth and looked down at me. “The Mouse that Roared, a very funny comedy, or that other film up there, The Time Machine?”

Up ahead of us on the north side of 86th Street were two movie houses, the Loew’s Orpheum and the gigantic RKO.
Pryors on 83 St & York Avenue, 1957.


“What are they about?”

“Well… The Mouse That Roared is about a tiny little country that declares war on the United States. The star of the film, Peter Sellers, is a famous English comedian. You’ll love him.”

I just stared at Dad hoping he’d move on. I didn’t like war. Finally he said, “The Time Machine is a science fiction movie I don’t know much about.”

“What do you know?”

“It’s about time travel.”

“I want to see The Time Machine.”

Dad stared down at me, holding the look, hoping I’d keep talking. I didn’t. Getting this look made me nervous and I usually blabbed on just like Dad wanted so he could carefully talk me out of something. But this time we just stared at each other.

After a traffic-light-missing pause, Dad said, “What???”

“I love time travel.”

Dad rolled his eyes. He had no clue how crazy I was for Mr. Peabody and Sherman on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, which I watched faithfully every Sunday. Mr. Peabody invented the WABAC Machine (pronounced “way back”), which allowed him and Sherman to time-travel to ancient Rome, the voyages of Columbus, the dinosaur era, you name it. I wasn’t sure what science fiction was, but I loved time travel.

Dad recovered. “Oh, I bet it’s going to be one of those talky films you hate.”

I said nothing.

Dad threw a wild punch, hoping it would land. “If we go to The Mouse That Roared I’ll take you to Prexy’s afterwards for a hamburger and a milk shake.”

I ducked his shot. “Why can’t we go to Prexy’s anyway?”

Dad’s shoulders rolled forward and his chest fell as he grabbed my hand. Swiftly, we crossed Third Avenue, sidestepping the spray from a street-cleaner truck, and headed to the RKO to see Rod Taylor, whoever he was, in The Time Machine.
6.12.72 LaSalle Academy Graduation.

12.19.81 Giants beat the Antichrist from Texas.



If you like my work check out my memoir, 
"I Hate the Dallas Cowboys - tales of a scrappy New York boyhood." Available at Logos Book Store or online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

The book has 103 Amazon five star reviews out of 103 total reviews posted. We're pitching a perfect game. My old world echoes TV's "The Wonder Years" ~ just add taverns, subways and Checker cabs.

Monday, May 18, 2015

East River Sunset From Carl Schurz Park

Took a walk along the river last night. It was a beauty.

Here is an album with more photographs of the river, Carl Schurz Park and a side street.


If you like my work check out my memoir, 
"I Hate the Dallas Cowboys - tales of a scrappy New York boyhood." Available at Logos Book Store or online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

The book has 103 Amazon five star reviews out of 103 total reviews posted. We're pitching a perfect game. My old world echoes TV's "The Wonder Years" ~ just add taverns, subways and Checker cabs.












Sunday, May 17, 2015

Leslie Goshko & Washington Square In The Rain

An Old-Fashioned Piano Party with Leslie Goshko last night at the Cornelia Street Cafe was a Ballantine Blast. Leslie walks the walk. She's a beautiful Carol Burnett with all of Burnett's comic chops, a great voice and she plays piano with vengeance. Bravo, LG, on another successful West Village shindig. It started to rain after the show. Time for a walk through Washington Square Park to make sure the fountain was on.

Here is a photo album from last night's show and a stroll through Washington Square Park in the rain.

If you like my work check out my memoir, "I Hate the Dallas Cowboys - tales of a scrappy New York boyhood." Available at Logos Book Store or online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

The book has 103 Amazon five star reviews out of 103 total reviews posted. We're pitching a perfect game. My old world echoes TV's "The Wonder Years" ~ just add taverns, subways and Checker cabs