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Just Kids from the Bronx: Telling It the Way…

Just Kids from the Bronx: Telling It the Way It Was: An Oral History

by Arlene Alda

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My dad grew up in the Bronx, initially on Hoe Ave then later in Grand Ave. He was a child star on vaudeville, and later in the silent movies. Played stickball on the street, and broke his leg one day when he slipped because he was wearing new leather shoes. Went to Townsend, and graduated City College at the ripe old age of 14. In 1932, when he went for his interview for Medical School, he looked so young that the dean at Long Island School of Medicine told him to "come back when you're wearing long pants." He did. He also fell in love with a girl from another country, one called "Brooklyn". He was afraid to tell his folks he was dating a girl from so far away, and when he got home late from seeing her safely home, would to tell them he'd fallen asleep on the subway, and missed is stop. Most of my memories from childhood visits to New York center on the more boisterous Brooklyn clan. My father's family was wounded, and we spent much less time there. I've been going through old papers of my dad's and wanted to find out more about his world, so picked up this book.

It's a good collection of oral histories, progressing from people born in my father's era to the 1990's. I was more drawn to the earlier ones, and wished my dad, who died in 1981, could have been around to contribute. I'd probably read anything that included excerpts from Carl Reiner, Mary Higgins Clark, Jules Feiffer, andNeil degrasse Tyson, though.

Favorite quote: This is my life. Art chooses you. You don't choose art. You become possessed. This is my commitment and I've never deviated from that. Milton Glaser in "Just Kids from the Bronx: Telling It the Way it Was, An Oral History: By Arlene Alda ( )
  bookczuk | Jun 27, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I love the Early Reviewers program! Being a California girl I really enjoyed the stories and have already passed it forward to a friend of mine from there. Definitely worth the time! ( )
  sdmtngirl | Jun 2, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I am something of a rarity in the Bronx. I'm the 4th generation of my family to live here. I raised my kids here, and still live here. And as a Community Organizer, I'm proud to have been part of the Bronx' rebirth. I love the place. So I was anxious to get my hands on Just Kids from the Bronx.

Happily, it did not disappoint. The stories told are like those told by my mom, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Like the time my uncle fell through the ice while skating on the Bronx River. A cousin pulled him out and flagged down a stranger who put him in his car and drove him home.

The sense of growing up in a richly diverse community where people took care of each others, is very much what I've known and lived, and its such an antidote to what people usually hear about the Bronx.

Thank you, Arlene Alda for telling the truth. I hope everyone reads this. ( )
  sdunford | Apr 29, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
As someone NOT from the Bronx, I found this book an interesting description of a part of the country totally different from my upbringing. I was grateful that the book had been put in a chronological order, so I could understand how the culture changed over time. Some of the people didn't interest me, so I did a lot of dipping in and out of the book over time. I feel the greatest appeal would be to folks that actually grew up in the area - not an outsider. ( )
  Pmaurer | Feb 4, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a well written book of stories of yesteryear. I enjoyed the stories. I think someone who was from the Bronx and is in show business would appreciate the stories. ( )
  jeanie1 | Jan 18, 2015 |
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