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sipoet,

I guess your poetic use of words and my "musical" reading of them brought on an acute case of the sillies. "Santa Anna ina piana" just hiaku'd me all over.

But seriously, your information, Santa Anna brought "chicle. He used to chew it as was the custom in his country. He somehow hooked up with an inventor named Adams who tried to make rubber out of it" was something I learned in PS30. I used to think about how Staten Island belonged to the history of chewing gum on the way to grammar school in the morning. Every time I stuck another lump of double bubble in my mouth, the profound history of my personal pleasure would come back. I also thought about the history of chewing gum while sitting in the St. George Theatre and running my hand over the bottom of the seat, attesting to the advanced state of statnislander's chewing habits. However, I don't remember that it was "The Santa Anna," the one we were trying to kill in the Spanish American war, that brought it.

I am sure you are right. Staten Island has always had deep colorful facets hidden behind white respectability.

PS30 and Immanuel Union Church in Westerleigh have histories like that. The area around PS30 was once "Prohibition Park" where temperance meetings were held to end the evil effects of alcohol. A lot of big folks like "Funk" of Funk and Wagnals dictionary fame was one of them. Various famous clergymen were also involved. Westerleigh street names commemorate these guys (names like Deems, Fiske, Stillwell were all big names in Temperance). Five of them, representing Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist and Congregational protestant denominations founded Immanuel Union Church to be a special place where full time "prohibitionists" could worship in a truly "non-denominational" way. They also created "Collegiate Institute" a primary K-8 private school to educate their kids. Collegiate Institute became PS30 long before I attended but some of the gray haired teachers from the old place still had influence on the place when I started in 1950.

So why did I just blurt all this stuff out? Well, its because the main supporters and attendees of Collegiate Institute and Immanuel Union church lived on or near Jewett avenue in Westerleigh. Many of the folks living in the BIG houses were also owners of rum-running operations before during and after the prohibition.

So I am not surprised that we enlightened StatNislanders could see past "categorical thinking" and find a special place for Santa Anna to experiment with stuff to chew. After all, we helped him from being in a sticky situation and he got away from the gum shoes for a while anyway.

;-)

Art

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