account of a young boy growing up in Brooklyn during the thirties
and his sudden awareness of the changing world around him.
With the specter of World War II looming as the 1939 World's
Fair was in preparation, the contrast of a world anticipating
a bright future and one fearing the scourge of war becomes
puzzling to a young boy. Episodes range from watching radio
shows being broadcast live to glorious days at Ebetts Field,
home of the legendary Brooklyn Dodgers where the first black
Major League player made history.
Brooklyn Chronicles is also an attempt to dispel the notion
that Brooklyn was strictly the territory of the Amboy Dukes
and Pete Hammil. To the contrary, it was then known as the
city of churches and drugs were purchased not on the street
but in a drug store along with ice cream sodas and magazines.
First generation Americans were emerging from their balkanized
neighborhoods and striving to become good Americans while
their children developed friendships with other nationalities
and even religions. The Roman Catholic church, still a step
away from ecumenism, kept stern watch over its flock lest
it be consumed by Protestants and theAmeriker-Deutscher Volksbund
praised the forthcoming Nazi regime. The Communist party outspoken
yet subversive controlled the garment industry and touted
the Soviet revolution through its newspaper, the Daily Worker.
It was a time of change, of reform, of new ideas, of hope
and ultimately of despair.
Many of the stories involve the young boy's Italian, immigrant
father and his devotion to his family. Employed as a bank
teller in New York's' predominantly Jewish lover East side,
he spoke fluent Yiddish and exposed his two sons to the strange
habit of shopping on Sunday, a day then normally reserved
for recreating by the rest of the city. Accounts about the
rapid changes in world events are sprinkled throughout like
Pearl Harbor day and the boy's brother John as he enlisted
in the U.S. Marines. Brooklyn Chronicles is a humorous and
sometimes bittersweet recollection of a loving family trying
to adjust to an insecure world and their effect on the world
we live in today.