Gangsters and Friends - Art

Gangsters were no strangers to the neighborhood of Hamilton Avenue in Red Hook Brooklyn and the Bracco Candy Store had a birds eye view of what was going on in our neighborhood any time of the day or night. Not only did my grandparents own the candy store but the entire building where most of their eight children, my aunts and uncles lived as well as well as my family. Many happy memories developed for me as I felt that we had so many people who were always there to keep an eye on me and my sisters and cousins, This family web allowed me to grow up with respect for others and concern for my growing web of siblings and cousins. While the world around us was in chaos during those few years, I was inside my safe place with the ability to run and play with no real worries although my parents had the weight of the world on their shoulders because the depression was in full bloom and my father had to struggle and fight to find work, anything he could do to care for his family. I learned many wonderful traits during my formative years and the most important one was respect for my parents and others as well as the knowledge that we had to work for what we get and it was an obligation and duty to see that our family was taken care of and to help others who were in need as well. This close knit family relationship allowed me to experience some of the wonderful memories of growing up in Red Hook Brooklyn in the 1940's surrounded by people who loved me. I sincerely hope you will be able to see the results and causes of helping a young child grow into a responsible person. I think you will find my stories interesting and many of you will see yourself in many situations I found myself in and as you read my stories, thru not only my book but by the colorful illustrations which is the foundation on which this story is told. The more you see and the more you read, I feel that you too will suddenly remember some of the things which happened to you as you grew up, maybe not in Red Hook Brooklyn but any hometown or city like I did and I hope it will bring a smile to your face and pep in your step as you face challenges today. For those of us who survived the great depression are well prepared to do whatever it takes should hard times raise their vicious head's again. I urge you to :Make good memories for they shall sustain you. I hope you enjoy my work and that it will help you to discover things in your past which will make you feel good about yourself, Then, like my wife and I do, go to bed with a smile on your face and find that time, just before you fall asleep to share great memories between you and your spouse and fall asleep with a smile on your face. Bedtime is our most favorite time of the day because we share events of our children and grand and great grand children and how proud we are of our family and friends. Hopefully you will look at the artwork here on "Life on the stoop" as a life story. After all that is what great art is about. Telling stories which can last a lifetime and be pulled up by future generations whenever they need those examples the most.

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