“New York, New York,  a helluva town…the Bronx is up but the Battery’s down.” Frank Sinatra sang this in the 1949 MGM film, “On the Town.” It had been a Broadway musical, but for the film, they changed “helluva” to “wonderful,” of course! I wouldn’t trade Los Angeles for New York, but I did have some New York adventures, especially in 1959 when I went to visit my school buddy, Jackie Del Savio, from fifth grade in the Bronx (PS 33). Luckily, I have kept scrapbooks of my younger years, and it’s such fun to look through them and remember how young and adventurous  I was. I think the photo below is glamorous for high school students.

We were both in our senior year of high school but had kept in touch through letters since 1953. Jackie was still living in the Bronx and I was going to school in Alexandria, VA. She had visited me in Virginia the previous summer, and I was paying a return visit. I took the train north and Jackie showed me a wonderful time–the Empire State Building, the UN, Radio City Music Hall, Greenwich Village, Fordham University (dates with two cute students), Broadway, the Jager House (a German restaurant). I celebrated my 17th birthday there on January 1, 1960 and got a birthday telegram from the Fordham students I had met. Jackie and I are still friends and we both now live in California. She’s in the San Francisco area and I’m in the San Fernando Valley of LA. And we’re still trading visits.

Me and Jackie in the photo booth.

Me and Jackie in the photo booth.

Andy Griffith & Delores Gray in Destry Rides Again

Andy Griffith & Delores Gray in Destry Rides Again on Broadway

A crazy coffee shop in Greenwich Village in a converted garage.

A crazy coffee shop in Greenwich Village in a converted garage.

These mementoes (I haven’t shared them all on this post) have traveled with me to Libya, Germany, the College of William and Mary, and then all over Southern California. I estimate that I’ve lived in about 30 different homes–fairly typical of an Army brat.

One Comment

  1. Patt says:

    Great Blog. I always enjoy reading about your many adventures. This one to New York reminded me of when we piled our two kids at 5 and 8 into the back of our pickup truck with legos to entertain them and headed out across the country from Los Angeles. We traveled 19,000 miles in 21 days (before seat belts were mandatory). We went up to Yellowstone across to South Dakota and Niagara Falls, and when we got to New York, we took a ride up to the top of the Empire State Building. The man in the elevator said, “Ah, looks like a little family outing today!” I replied that we drove from California to show our kids how big the United States was. He was amazed. We continued to see Washington D.C., the Ford Theater, and down to Williamsburg.

    My oldest son returned on a business trip when he was around 34. He had not been to the Empire State building or New York since the age of 8. He really enjoyed the reminders of his earlier travels.

    Thanks for reminding me with your great blog!

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