Staten Island Web logo



I saw a coupla names here I recognized.

The Gregorios lived on Hodges Place, FawCawnahs, for a long time. Can't remember where their florist shop was, but think it was down in Four Corners.

Mr. Rice!

Mr. Rice lived on Beechwood Place (Four Corners) in the red brick attached houses built by Mr. Wolf just before the War (WWII). Mr. Rice lived directly behind where we lived. He lived upstairs. These were apartments, one up, one down.

One summer when I was fourteen, my dad built a garage behind our apartment in the parking lot separating the apartments on Hodges place from those on Beechwood. I was the automatic concrete mixer for the job. Mixed the sand, gravel, and cement. Just add water and mix, with a hoe, and you got a garage. Dad set the cement blocks. Mixing cement with a hoe was hard for a fourteen year old. I had aches in muscles I didn't even have.

Mr. Rice would see me hauling cement out his back window. Was impressed at how hard I seemed to be working. Couldn't tell how reluctantly I performed this task and how fast I would disappear to head for the PS 29 playground whenever there was a break in the action. At the end of the summer he asked if I'd like to work for him in the Curtis Supply Room starting my sophomore year. That became my home room, with Carl Raichle, Pete Ottenheimer, Paul/Larry(?) Xiques, and some other guys. Only guys. We handed out the supplies to all the teachers, which didn't hurt. Wrote our names on the walls and ceilings. A tradition going back decades, as they never painted there and we could climb the shelves to do it. So Mr. Rice became my benefactor and guidance guy for my second, third and fourth years at Curtis. Introduced me to the concept of "Senioritis," which he defined as the kind of goofing off I lapsed into for my last semester. I taught it to my kids when they were goofing off for the same reasons, or threatened to, as I knew what to watch out for.

A very good man, Mr. Rice, one of the best.

-rs



Staten Island WebŪ Forums Index.