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While I am a Southern Gal, Phil Is Pure Brooklyn

Growing up in The Depression Years In Brooklyn
Aug 19th 2010 at 10:17 AM

              While I am a Southern Gal, Phil Is Pure Brooklyn

Many people say that growing up in the 1940's was a difficult time.  The depression was in full bloom and many families were deprived of food and the necessities of life.  But as a boy growing up in those years, to Phil they were pure treasured memories.  Of course his parents worried about what they would eat and how they would keep the family warm and protected but under their protection he was able to simply live and do the things he wanted to do because he had the things which were most important to him - Friends and family surrounding him on all sides and he was not deprived of one the the most precious things one can have and of which most of todays children are deprived - the desire to have something but in the meantime finding alternative ways to have fun and enjoy life and until today his life is rich because of those early experiences.

One of his most frequent sayings is "I had the best childhood any person could even dream about."

Being a street Artist, Phil has created an entire collection in Watercolors which has preserved those memories for our children and grandchildren and I would like to share one of my favorites with you.

                                                          Fences, Card Board Boxes and Clotheslines

No one will ever know the countless hours we spent playing in my backyard as well as our neighbors yards.  All that our young minds could imagine would be acted out in this playground of ours.  We were coyboys, Indians, Soldiers, Firemen and especially superman!  We could perform a truly great dying scene as we got shot and rolled in the soft brown dirt.  We were always covered with dirt and our faces , legs and hands displayed it.

Screams from my Grandmother "Don't pull the clothesline down!" are still vivid in my memory today. We must have looked like large squirrels as we climbed everything imaginable - fences, drainpipes, poles and fire escapes.

Cardboard boxes were our club houses, caves and hiding places and no outsiders were allowed in.

Such a simple way of life before childrens imagination was lost with the invention of the TV, and other modern inventions which compelled the youth to stay inside and so began the demise of many of the wonderful games and interactions of neighborhood life.  The only electrical entertainment was the radio which really opened up our minds because we could imagine anything we wanted to match what we heard emanating from that talking box.  "I could see Superman flying thru the air and  outrunning a speeding train, leaping over tall buildings and landing on our fire escape.

All of these wonders were performed in our back yard in a loving environment of our Parents and other family and friends as all the heighborhood watched out for the children as they played.

A simple life which has been lost forever - never to be recaptured!  Progress?  Give me the good old days!

Phil Bracco




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