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Why we come here Robert Sheridan bobsheridan That's the other funny thing, this growing up in one place and then needing to see the world. Growing up on the Island was, well, insular. You knew you were on an island, somewhat detached from the real world where the important things that you read about in the papers happened, like WWII, and the Dodgers, Giants, and Yankees. You hadda take a ferry to see them, or to get to work in New York, after you grew up.

I'd've felt terrible if I'd been stuck in FawCawnahs all my life and not seen the world. When I told family members I really did want to go to California we discussed it but they didn't try to dissuade me. One uncle said he'd come through California during the war and always wished he'd stayed. That kinda got to me. I didn't want to be one of the ones who stayed behind due to some inertia. Kids don't have at-rest inertia, they have keep-going inertia, and that wuz me.

So I'm glad I wuz borned and raised on StatNisland. I'm even more glad I had the gumption to leave. And I'm very happy to visit my memories with you guys.

One of the things that occurred to me reading Harry's NDHS post about the football rivalry with Curtis is that as small as StatNisland is, it's pretty large, actually. Back then there were four public high schools that I can think of, Curtis, New Dorp, PawRichman, Tottenville, and five counting McKee. That wuz a high school wasn't it? My fellow Islanders here don't think so. They think it was a place where boys were sent to learn how to become prisoners. Kinda the opposite of the private S.I. Academy, where boys were sent to become stock brokers or landed gentry.

At any rate, where you lived pigeon-holed you for the rest of your stay on the Island. It determined which PS you went to (e.g. PS 29, 30, 45, etc.), and which high school. You became familiar with the bus routes from where you lived to say, Port Richmond for shopping when that was the only game in town until the arrivals of the malls, which killed it, after the war (WW2). You became familiar with the bus routes to the Ferry. I never took a bus to the beach, although I worked for six summers at Great Kills, Midland, and South Beaches. I hitch-hiked over Todt Hill Road, and got another hitch along Hylan, then another out to the beach, before getting that very nice used '54 Chevy. Until then I lived with my thumb out for a ride. Eventually that became dangerous, but I never had a problem. Wouldn't recommend it for my kids, tho.' Wouldn't recommend anything I ever did for my kids, would you?

One of the things about getting off the Island is that they could no longer pigeon-hole you by neighborhood or class.
From then on you pigeon-holed yourself according to what you could do, which was a lot more appealing.


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