Thursday, May 18, 2017

Throwback Thursday - The Notebooks

To clear up some confusion, the Notebook passages posted on Throwback Thursday were written by my father and found by me after he passed away. They were his attempt to tell the family history. He was in his late 80s or early 90s when he wrote them. Today's chapter:

Also, my sister, Olga, at this time was assigned to take Bobby outdoors. I would take the carriage down 3 flights of stairs and she would take him down. And in due course, she would bring him upstairs, and I would take the carriage upstairs.

Bobby was growing and putting on weight and one day she dropped him on the stairs. This upset mother. And I took over, I must have been 12 years old at the time. [ed: Bobby would have been 2 years old]. So I would take the carriage downstairs, put a milk bottle in my back pocket and take him down.

In Winter when it snowed, we would pile the snow against a fence and make a big mountain and then in the freeze we would create a door and clean the snow out and we would have an igloo so to speak. And it was well built some of the boys would go on the top which was flat and jump up and down to make the roof fall on those inside. It never happened in my year that we built this igloo.

In the Spring, we would play baseball. One Spring, I went to the play spot with the boys. I saw a ring and two boys were boxing with boxing gloves. Two brothers were encouraging their younger brother and when I got there he had already beaten 4 or 5 boys. I watched and he did the same two moves. The little I watched I saw the loser just throwing punches but they weren't trying to fend off the blows. No one else wanted to box this champ.

I was asked to fight. I didn't want to. But I was being teased about being a sissy and that did it. The older boys put the gloves on me. Gave me advice and told me to block, duck, etc. to avoid getting hit.

We touched gloves and stepped back. Now my opponent would get a surprise. In sports, I'm left-handed. He had been boxing right-handed boys. He was puzzled when I made my stance with my right on his left. He threw the first punch and I blocked it and him good with my right. Up to this time he had done well. I kept hitting him and his brothers coached him from the sideline to fall down. And as the count climbed up, would tell him to get up. This kid was the bully on that end of the street and all the boys were for me. I was beating him good. But then this was my first. He had been meeting all challenges and was tired, I think. He wasn't fast and he seemed slow.

Anyway, this first fight gave me a reputation. And I got into a number of fights, I didn't want to but I did not walk away from one.

One of the older boys was 20 years old and I was about 12 years old. Wanted to spar with his peers but they refused. He asked me to box with him and he said he wouldn't hit me.

I accepted and we boxed in his cellar. He would give me points and I was learning how to box. I learned a lot but he didn't learn anything from me as I had nothing to teach him.

And as I went along I also became quite a boxer. I got into a lot of to-dos. And the thing that got me going was when I got to take care of Bobby. Calling me sissy or mama's boy brought my fist in action and that put a stop to that.

There were other escapades and that was not what my mother and father expected. It seemed I was always getting into some trouble.

I spent a good part of an afternoon trying to beat up my best friend. He was taller than I was. At the time he was studying music, violin, and he was told that if he wanted a career not to injure his hands as violin required all fingers to be played. His reach was longer to so what he did was to put his palm on my forehead and keep me swinging in the air. He also had a protruding chest bone and hitting him there did him no harm. His name was Leonard (Leo) Rossitti.


  1. I love these stories every week CJ. This reminds me of bits from my book I am reading. :) Have a "cool" day, or try to stay cool at least. Hugs-Erika

    1. Sounds like it's gonna be a scohchah!

  2. I can just picture your father, friend's hand on his forehead, swinging his arms trying to hit his BFF! ;)

    1. I don't have to oicture it. The Brother used that move on me. :-D

  3. CJ; what a clever idea making the igloo like your dad and his friends did though I'm sure he appreciated NOT being in it when the "roof caved in" !! ☺☺

    I almost thought your dad was going to say he boxed later in life, in the ring. He was smart in that he watched the moves of the kid beating up everyone so he in turn could best him !! ♥♥☺☺

    1. Tough times during The Depression so the kids had to make their own fun.

  4. Sounds like there was a lot of rough and tumble when your father was growing up. I always enjoy the thrill of each week as you share his memoirs.