- Growing Up Bronx
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When I was young, we lived on a very tight budget. Frankly put, we were pretty damn poor. I mean, we had stuff and there were others that were much worse off, but we were definitely poor. My mom worked miracles to get us nice sneakers, nice clothes and she did the best that she could for us. I always knew and still know that today. I’m forever grateful to my mother for all that she did.
So when I was a kid, my dad was in and out of the house. Mama bear used to kick him out when he misbehaved due to his drug use, infidelities, and so on. At some point, through the power of Christ and a very nice lady named Margie, my dad cleaned up his act. He stopped using heroine and became a contributing member of society. This was good for us because he was better that way.
I’m not a religious man, but I do believe that religion can work miracles for some people. I believe that some people require religion in order to function. There belief that there is another place, and they need to be good people to get there works for me. Sure, it is a form of control, but we are all controlled by something. If it makes you a better person, why not?
So now that the old man was holding down a steady job and had a steady place to live, we began to visit him on occasion. In hindsight, I wish I made more of an effort and spent more time with him, but there is no sense in crying about spilled milk now is there? He’s gone and so is the time to act. All I can do now is spend more time with the loved ones that remain.
Anyway, my pops lived in NJ, and when we were still young, my mom used to have to escort us over to visit him. We’d all go to his place, or his lady’s place. We all got along with Margie, she is a sweet woman and to this day I value her a lot. Speaking of which, I need to give her a call to see how she is doing. It’s been a while since I talk to her.
So in order to get to Newark we’d have to take the PATH train. This required taking the regular train, then switching to the path. Once there, we’d usually have to switch at least once at Journal Square. It was a bit of a pain in the ass for a kid to spend so much time commuting.
Some days though, when things were looking a bit better financially, Mama bear would treat us and we’d get on the luxurious NJ transit train. Unlike the path, this was a one stop train with no transfers. Say what? Word! We’d just get on that train and be there in no time flat.
These days I’m not rich, but I’m slightly better off than we were then. So we’d never ride anything but NJ transit or whatever the better version is now. But I sure do love the memory of how great it felt to have this fantastic luxury when we were children.