August 10, 2010 at 8:32 AM | Posted in Growing up | 3 Comments
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A memory of a sentence has been running through my mind now for many weeks. I don’t remember the year but it could have been 1958 as well as any adjacent year. That’s a long time ago. I was in the Resnick Brothers Dry Goods Store in the small Allied shopping center around the corner from our house on Salem Road in Hicksville. My mother didn’t drive and so we were over at those stores all the time. The shopping strip was “anchored”, as people say now, by a Stop and Shop supermarket and there was Jack’s Northern 5 & dime, and I once played on a team he sponsored. There was a candy store that sold newspapers and cigarettes and it was right next to a Chinese Laundry that we referred to as “The Chinks” — and  I don’t recall any one ever saying it disparagingly. Close by was Crown Bakery, a Sunday fixture in our lives in those days before carbohydrates were invented and not being husky was frowned on.

As we walked from our house the first place we came to was the Alpine Tavern which was a traditional bar but early on it had a hey-day when it made not only pizzas but great pizzas. I spent a lot of time in that bar. Now, these were the days before the mall, Mid Island Plaza, became central to us. Our world was very small and personal then.

I was with my mother at Resnicks that day. The two Resnick Brothers had started with one store, expanded to a second storefront and then, when I turned my back, disappeared. But on this day they had just one store and my mother asked a question whose answer I can’t get out of my mind. I remember so well her smile when she heard it. Only now do I think that it was a memory for her of the ethnic Brooklyn she grew up in.

“Anything for you Mrs. Mackey. Your money is gold.”


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  1. Beautiful. It’s painful to think of the sayings of our grandparents’ generation dying out. Our kids tend to like different things and I’m not aware of much being handed on that I haven’t remembered for myself. At appropriate moments my grandfather would ask: ‘Where was Moses when the lights went out?’ The answer of course: ‘In the dark.’

    And when we played cribbage (a game you may not know) and the scores were close, one would say ‘Not much in it’ and the other: ‘Like our front room.’

    • I had not heard the Moses story. I do know of cribbage though I’ve never played it.

      I think that I remember Darwin saying something to the effect that ‘there was not much in it’ but the ‘like our front room’ is new.

  2. I grew up around Allied in the other direction, down Walnut lane and remember all the same people and stores as you. the Candy store was sometimes called “Phil’s” becasue that was the name of the man behind the counter. If you remember he had a small lunch counter in the back, I never ate there but would get a Coke sometimes, which was !2 cents…..

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