Pretzel Boys

by John Desranleau


(Walter's memory:
I also sold pretzels on Wilson Ave and Stockton St. under the Route 1&9 Overpass! I was just a kid and I was usually the last one he would offer the basket to. This was in the mid-60s.

Sometimes, like on a Saturday during the summer, there would be two kids under that overpass. One on the island, the other on the corner.

You took your life into your hands running across Wilson Ave to make a sale to a car across the street.

Stockton St. was lined with junkyards, that esso gas station and at the far end was the Ramp Diner.)

Walter, The 2 Guys you saw under the overpass if it was around 1967-68
Then it was me and my brother Andre

Six years ago on a Good Friday I wanted to go back to that spot.
I hadn't been back there for 31 years.

As I was trying to remember exactly how to get to that spot, my family was with me.
I told my wife and kids that my brother and I sold pretzel down here.
First thing I notice were the changes - Dewy Garage - Gone!

The over pass was complete rebuilt.
The little ESSO Gas station - Gone.
All the used tires yards - Gone.
Nonchalantly told my wife I wrote my Initials under the railroad trestle
back in 67 on a Good Friday.

As we went pass -(Could not stop because of the traffic behind us)
My wife yelled out I saw your initials!
I said to myself the ""fumes"" down here must have gotten to her.

No Way I declared - Where? Turn around.

I made a quick U turn and headed back. I parked the van.

Ran across the street and to my total amazement YES! My initials
Were THERE! "JD" written in white spray paint way back in 67!

Think of it - before man landed on the Moon (1969)
Think of all the pollution - Dirt -Grim -Moisture Wind Rain Freezing Hot
and all the Exhausts from all the passing Train/Buses/Trucks -Yuk!
No special industrial paint/primer or special preparation or treatment
was done to assure the initials were to stand up all these years!

As I examined it closer I went to the other side of the post and both mine and my brother's initials were on the other side JD AD.

That was 6 years ago.
Every Good Friday I go back for a revisit - Yes they are still there!.
I took a picture of them and sent a copy to my brother in Florida.
He could not believe it either. He said Hey why is your Initial over mine.
I said Pal! 1. I’m the older brother 2nd I’m the Pretzel King.
(Sold 2500 Pretzel in one day at Hayes Pool – July 1968)

37 Year old Graffiti- I call it God's Little Miracle from Good Friday 67.
If you are ever down there check it out.

John Desranlesu is a Car Show Photographer. You can view his work at:



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