Hello, my name is “Pete”. I was featured in Jim’s book,”Hanging Out-City Kids,City Games”(1974)as the inventor of the game “Psyche Job”. I’m the one in the t-shirt,and my brother Tony(refered to as “Chuck” in the basketball section)is wearing the headband.Jim,time has passed but you’ll remember me and the gang of 106th and 3rd Ave in Manhattan. Jim,if you’re still out there,it would be really special if we could connect!Here’s my email address:dro [dot] so [at] verizon [dot] net [dot] By the way,I still have the signed copy of “Hanging Out…” you gave me in Madison Square Garden the evening the book was first put out to the public!I hope to hear from you soon.Meanwhile, I’ll keep the “spauldeen” bouncing on the bars…Your friend,Pedro “Pete” Berdeguez Jr.
I lived on Stuart St. between R & Fillmore and we hung out mostly on the block until we got older and started hanging out in the park near 278 and the handball courts. Played stickball in the spring/summer, touch football in the fall/winter, handball & basketball in the park, weather permitting. Stuart Street boys, at various ages & times, were Danny & Carly Carlucci, Roddy Walsh, Ray Lyons, Chris Dengel, Gene Balise, Robert Russell, Robert “Hoya” Georgia, Jeff & Artie Pearson, John Kennedy, Paul Dutton, Dennis Westbay, Dominic Spatola, Gumpy?, Tom “The Bomb” Carnesee(sp?), Peter Crocilla(sp?), Dominic Montabano, Joey Musso, Palumbo twins, Bobby Hazel, Kevin “MAGOO” McGrath, Kevin Barton, Charly Hurda, John “Johnny Mac” McNicholas Girls: Christine Belici, Dolores Ontario, Pat McGrath, Joanny Hassler, Barbara Dunn, Beth Walker, Kathy Guerin, Georgia girls, Rosalia.
Ketchikan, Alaska in the mid-80’s. I followed a boy from NYC to “the zone” only to be told when we arrived that the only job I could get being a woman and my race is either a go-go dance or a prostitute. Deeply wounded, I cursed this former friend out and descended the mountain. Within an hour of knocking on every business door asking for a job and cheap lodging(and getting rejected), I came upon a large German woman married to an Hawaiian (with 3 dogs-puff, malaia, and kopaah). She checked my arms for needle marks, checked my record (from the police dept.)for priors, then hired me to run her youth hostel, while she ran her restaurant in nearby Thorn Bay, by seaplane. Her place, located right on the waterfront beside the cannery and the Princess line cruise ship loading dock, was the only affordable lodging for the young college boys/cannery workers. It was a young woman’s paradise. One house for guys, one for girls (my house-hardly any other women visited). I was in charge of the running the entire show, and the guys were my own personal buffed body guards. I never mixed business with pleasure, I dated no one, no matter how gorgeous, just loved hanging out with them. Unfortunately, it was true, that most of the young women I saw there were imported meat, or had 5 kids. Single young women were a rare commodity. I felt that dating would turn me into just another pinata for the male majority out there. I had a 17 yr old local boy that was obsessed and followed me everywhere. I really liked that kid. He taught me how to run across slippery logs on the cold lake. I turned 19 out there, and the guys gave me the best party. We were family. Jim, the guy who dissed me when we first arrived, eventually had to come down from “his mountain” due to heavy rains (tent and sleeping bag wasn’t working in that weather), the only place he could afford to stay was where I worked. I had long told Kathy about this guy and what he said to me, so when he came to her door asking for help, she bluntly replied “No, I don’t take ____” He got a heavy dose of his own medicine. (2 years later I saw him in NYC and he apologized to me, said he had it coming.) It was on the 4th of July that I had my first taste of the freshest sushi ever. Pat, Kathy’s Hawaiian husband, had Japanese relatives that came up. They prepared fresh from that sea sushi and introduced me to every young woman’s culinary rite of passage.
Where I grew up many of the boys also played hopscotch (good for hanging out with a potential “sweetheart”). Because quite a few of the streets and yards were dirt, many players became quite proficient at drawing the courts in the dirt using a stick. Spent many hours at this game, especially with Suzanne Poovey!
Has anyone ever heard the “choosing” rhyme that goes, “My mother and your mother were hanging out the clothes My mother punched your mother right in the nose. What color blood came out……. (Then you would call out a color) This crazy rhyme popped into my head as I was looking through this website. Just thought I’d make mention of it. Great Website, I’ve passed it on to other “Brooklynites that I grew up with!!
I grew up on 181 St. and Creston Avenue, right across the street from PS/JHS 79 (Creston JHS). The Concourse was a block away, which meant the D train was a block away. Jerome Avenue and the #4 was all of 3 blocks away. Fordham Road was in walking distance. And the Paradise was simply heaven. The schoolyard was everyone’s main hangout, regardless of the season. Punchball, stickball (mostly fungo), softball, hoops and two-hand touch all year ’round. When we were just hanging out, we copped some time on the stoop across from the yard. When I was 15 my family moved to Decatur Avenue and Gun Hill Road. My mother worked at Montefiore Hospital, so this was a good move for her. Turned out to be a good one for me, as the guys I met there have become my friends for life. We hung out on the stoop of my friend Errol’s apartment building. It was the perfect place to check out what was going on on the block. Great memories, and two great places to grow up in. Steven Springer 2101 Creston Avenue 3539 Decatur Avenue
There is a wonderful site: da Brooklyn Stoop… also one for Queens and The Bronx….don’t forget to go to The Brooklyn Boardwalk and the links… they are terrific! Suzie
TAR HEAVEN!! I had a friend in Richmond Hill,Queens (Carmine), his mom was the super in the apartment building on our corner. He snuck the roof keys from her one day and we went to the hardware store (Moblegots)or something like that, We called it Moblegots & Ghoul! Any way we would sneak up on the roof to hang out, it over looked “The Bagel Factory” and a bus stop. GOD I LOVE WATER BALLONS!!!! I guess I don’t even need to mention Holloween! “When this old world starts getting me down…”
There is no social function in life that was more profound or important than hangin out on da stoop! My stoop on 113th St. in Richmond Hill Queens was the epicenter of the universe from the 60’s to the 80’s, it was a family tradition. My mom’s theroy was she always knew where we were. She was also the self appointed guardian and disciplinarian to every kid on the block. Also my grandmother kept them all fed! Now I live in Florida as does my entire family that moved from Queens. So now we teach our kids about hangin out. Only here we don’t have stoops, so we break out our beach chairs and hang out in the driveway. We call it “Trash Nite”, the Floridians in the neighbor still can’t figure us out, but there kids love learning to play kick the can, I Declare War,skelly, and much more. I’m proud to say at 45 I can still whip some butt in skelly!! I’m also teaching the unenlightened down here about stickball, fast pitch against the wall of coarse.
I didn’t know Steve, but I got the e-mail notification from Streetplay. I got on the list after talking to some of the members who were exhibiting at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. I grew up in Brooklyn and took a walk down memory lane reminiscing about the good times I had playing punchball, skelley, etc. in the early 60’s. One of my strongest memories was hanging out playing my games on the street outside my father’s laundry on Coney Island Avenue. Anytime, a fire engine went by (and plenty went by that street), no matter what we were doing, my playmates and I would jump up and wave vigorously at the firemen. In those days, they stood on the ladder. They would chuckle and wave back. We would wave and wave until they went out of sight. We just admired them so much. My heart goes out to Steve’s family. He must have been a great guy.