Friday, July 28, 2006

Pete Bogs: The Early Years

Where do bloggers come from? OK, I should quickly explain that this isn't going to be one of those "the daddy blogger puts his tinkle inside the mommy blogger's tinkle" discussions. I grew up in the shadow of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, New York during the 70s.

I can still remember pulling crazy daredevil stunts on the bridge, and going down to the disco with my friends on weekends, and doing all kinds of illicit things without fear of consequences. Actually, now that I think about it, that was Saturday Night Fever. But the movie was filmed in Bay Ridge around the time I lived there.

Upstairs on the right, with the A/C unit in the window, is where I spent most of the first few years of my life. (Notice the subject of this photo is partially obscured - it must be a thing with me.) OK, they did let me out of my shame closet occasionally. This is where I became aware of myself and the world. This is where I wore jammies with the feet built in. Yup.

Next, let's cross the street, making sure to look both ways first, of course.

P.S. (public school) 127. This is where I cried my way through my first day of kindergarten. But I soon settled in well enough to make up a story that my mother was going to put on a puppet show for the class. I don't know if word got to the teacher, and then back to my mother, but my mother did indeed put on a puppet show for the class after that. She even sewed all the puppets herself. And she never said a harsh word to me about that little lie, either, which I had told to seem "cool" to the other kids.

St. Ephrem Catholic School. My primary recollections from here are 1) getting whacked on the back by a nun wielding a pointer stick, and 2) being forgotten and locked in a dark classroom by myself at lunchtime. The upside was, those two incidents provided wonderful defense material during my later trial for the, um, unpleasantness. "Scarred for life." Juries are such suckaz!

St. Ephrem Catholic Church. The location of my First Holy Communion. I remember I got a few gifts for that occasion - a Dr. McCoy (Star Trek) action figure and a toy M16 that made a firing sound. I also remember nodding off during Christmas Eve Midnight Mass, dreaming of what Santa was going to bring me just a few hours later. Yes, it was all about the toys for me, ok?

Ahh, now we're getting to something important. Maria Pizzeria. Folks, I haven't eaten at this place in 30 years, and I still think about. And it's still there! My mother used to tell me that she'd walk up to the door, and Joe, the guy who tossed and spun the pizzas in the air, would rush over to help her in with my stroller. Joe would also tear the crust off a piece of pizza - making it unsalable - and give it to me to gnaw on.

I literally cut my teeth on pizza (a small chip, actually), which probably explains my lifelong infatuation with melted cheese on top of saucy bread. By the way, Joe was a real Italian who would sing opera as he tossed pizzas. He later returned to Italy and became a professional singer. No joke.

Well, I figured I should write all this stuff down while it was still in my conscious mind. Nothing to argue or complain about today - just memories to share.


Aunty Belle said...

Yore mama is a prize, honey.

CROAK said...

Now this is a nice piece of:"This is Your Life".
Thank you for taking us for a walk through your past.
Your mum sounds like a gem.
Well she must be look at what she produced!

Really enjoyed this.

Pete Bogs said...

indeed, my mother is a keeper... this was not the only time when I did something another mother would have punished me for, and she did not... maybe I'll tell that one sometime...

K9 said...

/bark bark bark

intersting walk through your past bogshond. ever wish you were back in NYC? i know vanille wants to go back.


fatty ~ said...

dear bogs,

im very sorry that i havent been visiting regularly here :( It's hard to keep up with your posts and frankly it's hard to keep up with american politics sometimes!

see pictures of my home on fat-cam though! well of sydney anyway!

Jack K. said...

Thanks for the look into a part of your life. It reminded me of a time a drank a small glass of beer straight down, fast after mom said to sip it. There is more to the story that I may relate somewhere else, or not.

An eight year old boy does look rather funny staggering from the bar to the table at the local restaurant when we lived in Savannah, GA many, many, many, many years ago.

Thanks for the memories and the jogging of mine.

Pete Bogs said...

k9 - it's a nice place to visit, but yadda yadda yadda... I love it, but the pace, the noise and the crowds are not something I want on a regular basis...

fatty - I haven't been around as much either... I'll visit soon...

jack - my pleasure... it's amazing when you remember some of the things you did... and places you left long ago are still part of you...