On every day I lived in my life, I was affected by where i lived at the time. To begin with, I and my family lived in lower Manhattan on Mulberry Street, an Italian American Community. Because of where we lived, I and all who lived there were protected by each other. older people treated the young as though they are family, so although it stopped a lot of fun for kids, but also, we felt safe by it. Even the police realized to stay off the street and there was no crime because of the local men who enforced peace and calm organized by their social clubs each located on each cross street. so, my growing up there was wonderful and safe in a city that was not safe. So it actually was a place within a place, that can have a positive effect on life.
When I was 10, in 1942, we then moved to the Bronx and rented the first floor of a two family private home on 205th street. The street had mostly privates homes on it but at each end were a 10 story apartment buildings. So now my life went into a different faze, as we were new and had to fit in. I and my brother were finally in our own bedroom and our sisters had there bedroom, but now i had to prove that i was not to be hassled by the boys my age on the street. New boys on the block had to learn to fit in, so it was a question for me to prove it. At the time I never met any boy who was left handed like myself, so i was never noticed of being different. It was natural that there would be confrontations with boys thinking a small little boy would be a pushover. So, one by one i had to prove just who I was and i never lost and boys around my age realized that i was not to be pushed around, and once I was accepted, everything became great for both my brother and myself. it became fun living there and now my friends and began a “Victory Garden” in an empty field on the street below us called 204th St. because the second World War was going strong and the garden planted with vegetable of all sorts. i was gear to do and made us closer together at a time when there was nothing else to do. TV was only available to the very rich! All my friends went to public school, but our mom insisted we go to the local Catholic school, and because we did, i began to have another set of friends and other interests. so now my interests hold a lot more religion and my faith became very strong. this created a new how I received a new name, I was called by my friends on 205th St. “The Saint”! So here again where I lived had a very large influence on my life, and the direction of where my life and desires was going. Didn’t like girls because they were always taking my friends away to do stupid things, at least that’s what I thought. i knew that i liked leading and like finding new things to do and as I got older I knew i Wanted to do things, and the next place we moved was where i learned to do everything I wanted to do and try.
In 1947 we moved again, but this time into our own home. It was further north and west near 138th St. in the Bronx, near the city of Mount Vernon in Westchester County. The house was heaven to live in with a big back yard and a garden that I helped my mother to make, and a young Tulip tree at the edge of the little grass we had. My Mom grew up on a small farm in Yatesville, Pennsylvania and knew all that was needed to make a beautiful garden, and at the same time she taught me all that she knew and as I was to learn, I was going to do things for her to make our home even beautiful again, almost like new, as it needed a lot of work on the outside. So to work onto the roof to put new shingles where they were needed. Then my Mother said we need to replace all the outside walls with a new product just invented. they were asbestos Board with one side smooth black and the other that would show, red brick design that actually looked like a finished brick house. later on in my life I would a similar thing to a very old house, but it’s another story i’ll eventually get to as it’s about me and my boys. Well let’s get back to what my Mom wanted next: Junior: We need to call Ludovigo and have him build a garage and you can learn how be his helper as I used to be laying bricks. Ludovigo was a man who loved my mother and actually wanted to marry her, but was refused as my mom thought of him as a brother. My mom hadn’t met the man of her dreams yet, My father, here again is a story in it’s self and I wrote a while ago look for it! so Ludovigo came and we began. first My job was to clear the back property line of all bushed and fencing. we then began laying concrete blocks until a wall was created and it became the back wall of the garage. but as it was being built we added blocks that would form the side walls. then we finished the side walls . we then stopped to put a roof on top to protect the floor we then made. it was going to be a three car garage and used for big parties. Well, the next portion was to put a front of solid bricks and then a door to finish it. hen it came to put a top around on the roof of the garage, Ludovigo said he would use a new product he designed. When my Mom saw it, she said we needed to have a large patio added onto the back of the house with a porch with steps leading from the kitchen to the patio. Well, we did it and Ludovico’s new patio tiles of 18”x 18’ was used to finish it. wow ! what a great house now, one to be proud of, and it was, cause I would have all my friends from 205th St and others to come every weekend to work on our cars, with my father bar-b-queuing great meat along with my mothers pasta, and cakes. Later when my oldest sister, Elizabeth, was going to get married to Domenici Guerrerio, we used that Garage to hold her engagement party. The family from all over was there and I’ll find the pictures to go with it. At that time I was 17 and working as a carpenter with two friends of Ludovico’s living in the Bronx. We were building new homes in Harrison, New York, and I loved it, making real money and with it to buy a car from Dominick’s brother “CherryNose”, or Cherraaze in Broken Italian.