What a Time It Was!

by Dave Rosko


I've always felt a little sorry for people that didn't grow up in the Columbus Homes during the sixties. The music, the sports, the clothes, and the styles of the people who lived there. What's missing today is the deep rooted culture we had back then.

In the projects while playing stick ball you could hear James Brown blaring from one window and Sinatra from the next. Transistors blasting that great Puerto Rican Salsa on the back porch in the summertime.

Remember Italian knits, high roll collars, cuban heels and sharkskin pants from Universals downtown?

The nights in the Rec Center at McKinley School. We played football, basketball, and who could forget checker pool. Mr. Russamano, Mr. Agresti, and the infamous Mr. Federici. If you got out of line with him, he'd give you a "fee" knuckle on the head. He'd say boys I've got a 66 model this year, power breaks, power steering etc.

On Saturday nights from Apt. 3C I would listen to the Italian and black men sing Doo Wop in the parking lot. What a sound they made, singing to the girls and the stars.

Anyone remember Willie's on Sixth Avenue? A pool hall with a great Jukebox and pinball machines. I was only eleven when I started hanging there. You had to be tough or well liked to stick around. I wasn't tough.

Great guys from Sixth Avenue - Mikado, Jjunior Nnnelson (he stuttered) Angelo Stella, Gerard Fuerule, Mike Pelusi and Joe the Baker.

Newark set a great foundation fro my music career in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performing all over the Metro Area with a high degree of enjoyment and success.


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