Enjoy Most (and least)
"I started Elementary School at Patterson which was about 1 mile from where I lived. We lived on top of our Deli. Patterson went from 1st to 6th grade. There was no school bus service so Patterson was a neighborhood school, you either walked or took a trolley car. The trolley cost 10 cents. I walked to school with a bunch of neighborhood kids. I don't remember any parental supervision walking with us, but there were school crossing guards at most intersections. I was always fond of telling my kids how I had "" to walk 10 miles uphill in both directions with no shoes and holes in my socks"" whenever they complained about the weather or walking. During my adolescent years, I took piano lessons. I did this in the hope that would improve my hand-eye coordination and my baseball career would greatly benefit. Did not happen! But I did give recitals at school and enjoyed playing the piano. My first piano instructor would sit next to me on the piano bench with a ruler in her hand and rap me on the knuckles whenever she deemed I made a mistake. I remember my adolescent years as being happy years. My parents let me help in the store stocking shelves, cleaning, running errands and delivering to neighbors. I liked the kids in the neighborhood. We played stickball, hoseball, and basketball right outside our homes in the street. Our playground, Finnigan, was about 7 blocks away containing football fields, baseball fields, basketball courts and a swimming pool. During these years I played all sports and swam in the summer. All in all, these were happy times. One of the most memorable events that I recall is one day when I left for school, unbeknown to me or my walking classmates, my brother who was not yet school age, followed us to school. He never entered the schoolyard and after some period of time as we began to enter I noticed my brother outside the gate. I told a teacher and she telephoned my mother. Mom was worried sick as she knew Paul was missing, called the police who were searching for him. This was the very first indication that Paul would be a man who loved a good adventure. This would be shown as true as he got older and had many more adventures. During the summer I would spend a lot of time at Finnigan playground both swimming and playing basketball. As I graduated Elementary School and began Tilden Junior High I realized I had no future in either baseball or football, but I was ok in basketball. Monday, Wednesday & Friday was swim days for boys. Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday were swim days for girls. Sunday the pool was closed. So when it was girls swim days I was on the basketball court playing in pick-up games. There were many very good basketball players who were to be well known later in their lives. Wilt Chamberlin, Wally Jones, Bob Boozer, Guy Rogers & Earl Monroe to name just a few. These and other basketball players were who we admired and we followed their career in High School, College and finally the Pros. During the summer of 1955, my parents sent me to Camp Skymount which was located in the Pocono mountains in upstate PA. The Camp was a 2 week overnight camp. This was my first time to be away from home for any period of time. I cannot remember very much about this experience except I must have enjoyed because the next year they sent me to Camp WAN-WEE-TAH,I was 10 years old."