Monday, January 20, 2014

Simonson Ave




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If you had ANY kind
of childhood at all...
then this bunch of rambling bullshit
you're about to read...
is going to make you smile
from ear to ear!


Even you girls
will get a kick out of it.
And it will help you understand why I was such a loser when trying to get into your pants.


I spent all my time playing stupid games instead of learning how to fuck the prom queen!
(C'mon now... it's only a silly word!
It can't hurt you!)


Man... I'm such a jackass!


Awesome... yes!
But still a jackass!




We first lived at
316 Simonson Ave
Staten Island, New York


and then moved up the block
to 336...

336 Simonson Ave Staten Island, New York August 1978
We lived on the left side and Jean & Frank...
the greatest neighbors anyone could ever hope to live next to...
were on the right.

... and that's when the fun began!









Simonson Avenue



Simonson Ave.


Man what a street!


It’s the street that I grew up on.
That I bled on.
I laughed,
cried
and wondered why on.


I spent my entire childhood on that street and I wouldn’t trade a second of that time
for all the money in the world.


Well maybe,
no no no, not a second!


Do you guys remember your old neighborhood?


I hope the memories that you have are as great as the ones that I have of mine. I was lucky that I had two brothers and a bunch of friends who actually liked to do things. And almost everyday there was some kind of activity going on.


Now this story may bore you
if you've had a prim & proper upbringing.
Or it just may pique your interest.


But I'm betting that
there's going to be something in here
that strikes a cord with you!
No matter what kind of childhood you had.


This could very well have been...
your childhood as well as mine!


In my neighborhood, just about everything we did revolved around sports. And if it wasn’t a sport, then we somehow transformed it into one.


Here’s just one example.


A little sissy girl game you say?


Wrong!


Not when it’s played
by a couple of competitive retards
out for blood.


No really dude...
You see, it’s not the game itself that determines if it’s a girls game or not, but rather the way you play it. That’s what makes all the difference.


We made leagues out of fucking everything we played. Yes even those hopscotch games
were mutated into a league.


And then there was Ping-Pong
on the side of my house in the driveway.
We had 2 big pressed-board green painted ping pong table sections that we sat atop our picnic table. This lasted several months. We played that game with a vengeance. Even my father got in on the action. He kicked our asses pretty good.

336 Simonson driveway with old Pinto in it... LoL July 1976

The picnic table we used with our dog Trixie standing on it July 1972
That's the actual picnic table we used to set up the ping pong table on.
Look at little Trixie. She was such a tough chick!
When company came over she would somehow squeeze
under the couch and bark and snip at them... too funny!
She gave our family some amazing years!
There's our big green monster Ford Fairlane 500 family mobile.
That car brought us everywhere!! Great car!

We set the table up in the driveway about where that oil catch pan is.
We played for hours on end!
See that Pinto in the top pic? Me and Billy M. used to get in it.
Let it roll down to the street and then try to get it in gear and
drive it back into the driveway to learn the stickshift.
It never went well... LoL


Stoopball was really big as well.
You know this game right? When you throw a tennis ball or rubber sponge ball against the brick steps of the front porch of your house, aiming for that elusive 90 degree edge
of course. The other team stood out in the street
at the ready to catch your offering.

Tommy Mondello & friends and his stoopball steps Halloween 1970
Best pic of my front steps I could find.
That's me, and my older brother Joey in the red dress.
Not sure who the others are.
I'm hoping... that this was Halloween... LoLoLoL
1970 was a fun year... I was 9 years old here.


Man, when you hit that edge just right,
that ball went a long way. But when
you hit it wrong, look out!


Instead of flying out into the street,
the ball flew backwards,
crashing into one of two things.


My screen door...
or my neighbors’.


Bang!
Uuhh, sorry ‘bout that.
It won’t happen again…… Bang!


Wow, I wish I knew the number of times that we used that line. Too many to count. Luckily we had amazingly awesome neighbors!


But wait, there’s more!


Even when it began to rain we were outside competing with one another. A little water wasn’t gonna stop us from having a good time. We welcomed the challenge. But what could you do when it rained? Glad you asked.


Well, while all of the other mama's boys were home fretting over the bad weather,
we were out in the street racing boats.


That’s right. Racing boats!


The water ran really fast down our block alongside the curb, especially the side opposite our house. We used to find bottle caps, old ice-cream sticks, twigs, and any other thing that would float. Then drop them into the water all the way up the block and follow them along the way until we got to a designated finish line.


Man that was great!
It didn’t take much
to keep our attention back then.


But not everything was a sport, so to speak. Sometimes, we got into a little mischief
around the neighborhood as well.


Like when we used to ring people’s doorbells and run. Wow, pretty exciting huh? I mean this was our criminal act. Ringing and running!


Nowadays, kids are pulling you
outta your fuckin' car at gunpoint for fun.
Things sure have changed.


But the doorbell thing was just so stupid. Everyone we hit knew it was us doing it. We were so dumb, because we would ring the bell of the house directly across the street from mine. Then like commandos we would run back across the street to my front yard. Dive over the two-foot high hedges and hide there
hoping not to get caught.
It was just so dumb.

Ring & run hedges... LoL How stupid were we!!
That's my younger brother Michael and his pals playing football.
This is the view from my front porch. We used to ring the bell
of the yellow house across the street and then come running
back and leap over my hedges on the right like fucking commandos
and laugh our fucking asses off.
We must have been the dumbest kids alive... LoLoL

And I'm sure this is the reason why I never received a tip from them
my entire paper route career. They would hand me a dollar
and I'd have to hand back the 35 cents... everytime!
The paper was 65 cents back in the early 70's.
But this pic was taken August 1978.
Payback really IS... a bitch... LoL
Muthafuck!



Oh, along with the bell ringing
we would also mess with oncoming cars
that drove down our block as well.
And again, it was SO stupid... LoL


We would see a car approaching. Stand in the middle of the street down by the brook. And then as the car got closer we would walk to either side of the street while making it look like we were pulling on some sort of cord and then
disappear off into the weeds.


The car would stop to investigate the stupidity and then quickly drive off in a huff! Hi-fives all around muthafucka's... got another one!


We also did this with a small pile of dirt in the middle of the road later on at night. As the car approached we'd light a match and then tear ass into the weeds. It really did look like we left some sort of explosive object out there. I'm thinking now that we're pretty lucky some dude didn't get out of his car and beat our asses...
for well... being asses!
Although we did have a few close calls
along with some yelling by a few guys!


Wiffleball was huge!
We played for hours. Some neighbors even
came out and watched us like they were
watchin' a Yankees game.

Simonson Ave playground at work! April 1974
April 1974 and I'm thinking this is Michael and his crew playing hockey.
And I say that because they seem to have at least ONE, female admirer!!
We never had fuckin' ANY. None that I could remember anyhow.

SO much happened right within this one photo.
When we played wiffleball we used those 2 gates within the chained link fence as our backstop/strike zone.
The other team would stand out in the yards across the street.
And the pitcher would stand about in front of or just to the left of
the brick steps across the street. Awesome!
Wiffleballs were flying everywhere!

When there were just 2 of us we would pitch an entire 9 inning ballgame.
Pitcher stood by the steps and the catcher knelt by the gates.
It was all balls & strikes.
You had to strikeout the side to get out of the inning.
And then we switched and the other guy had to strike out the side.
The other team scored when you forced in runs through walks.
It was tougher than it sounds to constantly throw strikes.
Hours upon hours of this!!

We also played tackle football in the yard across the street by the white car.
I think of this now and wonder why noone on our block
ever told us to be quiet, or to get the fuck out of their yards.
My neighbors were so so fuckin' awesome! 


Good thing I had really great neighbors too. Because I mean, we were running all over their yards, hopping fences, just tearing things up.


All kinds of balls were bouncing off of their cars, homes, and heads. That’s right, heads! And none of them ever complained once. Even when I blasted my next door neighbor in the head
with a half-deflated kickball.


Oh man, it was so funny.
I was playing with Billy. Remember the guy who could throw a football, and,
throw up in the cattails?


Hi, Bill! LoL

More sports on Simonson ave August 1978
Not sure what we were playing here. August 1978.
But that's Billy pointing and I see younger bro Michael in the yard
with the white & red shirt on.

When you read the next few paragraphs, my dad was talking with my
neighbor on the porch just to the right behind the fence. And Billy
was pitching right from where he is now and I was standing
about a pole length away to the right when I connected with the ball... LoL

And of course there's yet another basketball backboard up on the pole.
We went through so many of them over the years.


Well, we used to play this game with a wooden bat and a semi-inflated kickball. One guy would stand about three-quarters of a pole length away and pitch the ball to the other guy.
And, Whack! I belted one.


And when you made contact with that baby it really took off. Not quite the same
as HockeyBall... but close.


Well, my neighbor was sitting on her front steps talking to my dad no less, when POW! I nailed her right in the side of the head with a screaming line drive. It was so great!


I mean the ball left my bat like a bottle rocket. Had to be a one in a million shot to hit that head. Unfuckingbelievable man!

Tommy Mondello on bike April 1974
Just found this pic. It was taken April 1974.
There's the porch on the right where my dad and Mrs. B. were talking.
I was standing in the street down by that pole on the right
and Billy was pitching from the street just to the left beyond the photo.

Don't know what's going on here.
But that's me on the bike eaves-dropping.
That's a cop in the blue helmet and things look a bit tense.
But since there were no fingers pointing towards me, all was cool... LoL


Yeah this block has just so many memories I could write forever. But I don’t wanna extend my welcome for too long here with our childhood street antics. Just a couple more, though.


I’m having trouble writing this story because I have so many thoughts racing through my head and they're all trying to get out at the same time. I’m gonna have to reread this mess a few times to smooth it out a bit. So if it’s reading a bit choppy, sorry. My fingers can’t keep up
with my thoughts.


Let’s see, what else?


Oh yeah, army!


We played army in the woods for hours at a time. Using sticks for guns. Digging holes along the paths and then covering them up with twigs and leaves waiting for someone to break an ankle. I know, I know, a little over the top, but we were really dedicated to everything we did.


But wait, back to the water sports for a second. Whenever it rained real hard, our street would get flooded as the brook down the block from my house began to overflow and Simonson Ave was transformed into a dirty-watered lake.

Simonson Ave flooded out August 1968.
August 1968 and one of our many floods.
That's my neighbor Tootsie to the left and I think another neighbor
Marie Ruggirello with daughter Cathy.
Tootsie lived in the house just to our left.
You're looking down towards the brook and towards Walker Street.
It got to 3 maybe 4 feet deep down by the brook.
Looks like that 2nd car didn't make it through!
That could be uncle Mike's car... LoL

We used to race the boats along the curb on the opposite side
of the street from us and started the race back up the block
towards Forrest Ave.
And of course every time the water rose in the streets,
it also rose in our fucking basement... LoL

I was 7 years old when this pic was taken.
I'm 53 at this point while I'm posting this story,
and I STILL wanna go grab my gigantic round rubber tire tube
and go floating around in that wonderful toxic sewerage.
I guess the kid never really does leave you huh!


We used to get out our tire tubes and go floating around in the filthy brown water while the older guys from down the block were hunting for water rats with bows and arrows. When they weren't pile-driving us into the ground of course... LoL Too funny!


I’m tellin’ ya man.
Everyone on this block
was a sports fanatic of some kind!


And then there was hockey.
Street hockey and ice hockey when the pond froze.Anytime, anywhere was our motto.

Tommy & Michael Mondello ice-skating at the swamp up the block Feb 1971
February 1971... Michael on the left and me.
This swamp was a favorite of ours for everything!
We would have to skate around what ever was sticking up out of the ice...
tires... stumps... whatever. We had some great games here.
This was just maybe 4 or 5 houses up the block towards Forrest Ave
and on the opposite side of the street from my house.
But we played where ever there was frozen water!

Look at those skates baby.
Obviously we sucked at skating as our wet knees
would attest to that! And look at my fuckin' chick doo... LoL

You would never find kids doing this nowadays.
If it's not an organized event in some fancy pavilion, it just
ain't gonna happen.


The funniest thing I ever witnessed while playing street hockey was when big Eddie
got the stick jammed into his groin!


Oh my goodness, this was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen, ever! Eddie was a big guy. Over six feet and beefy. Had to be at least two-fifty plus in the weight department.


Well he was running for the ball when his stick got caught in a crack in the street.
(he was running along the sidewalk actually
right in front of the ring 'n run house across from me)
He was running full speed at that point.


Well, that stick jabbed him between his dick and his belly button and, man, his feet left the ground. I shit you not!
His fuckin’ feet lifted off the ground!


To this day I don’t know how to explain why the hockey stick or blade itself didn’t just snap in two. It defies all physics.
(Where are the guys from The Big Bang Theory
when you need them!)


It was the funniest fuckin' thing. A big guy running full tilt and bang. Stopped short, both feet about a foot off the ground still moving in a running motion while a hockey stick was trying to skewer him like a shish-kebab. Beautiful!
It was truly poetry in motion!


Yeah, Simonson Ave was really good to us. We played a bunch of other things like basketball, many forms of baseball and of course, football that we’ve already talked about earlier in the blog. Plus, so many other cool things happened on this block that there are too many to mention.


But not everything happened outside.
Remember Nerf Basketball??
We hung that fucking hoop over
every doorway in our house!


We also used the nerf ball to play hockey
in the living room as well. Awesome!
We used the coffee table as the goal.
Pushed it up against the couch. Then took 2 cushions from the couch and put them on either side of the table leaving only one long side open. We all stayed on our hands & knees and used our hands as the stick. It was great!


But one of the funniest things ever was when my father and Michael played "Newhouse".
So fucking funny.


Newhouse was for Robert Newhouse.
He was a running back for the Dallas Cowboys.
He was known for his gigantic thigh muscles.
They called him the human bowling ball!
He was so powerful when he ran.

Robert Newhouse Dallas Cowboys running back.
Look at how fucking gigantic his legs are!
How the fuck did he ever get tackled... LoL

Well, Michael would stand at the kitchen wall
at one end of the house. And my father would be sitting on the edge of the cushion on our
gold love seat, that was facing the kitchen,
in the living room at the other end
of the house closest to the street.


And yes... this was the very same gold love seat in which I had my very first orgasm on while I was... well... while I was smackin' my monkey, to the lovely Pussy Galore in all her glory while watching the best James Bond film ever... Goldfinger. Oh like you never jerked off.
Get over yourselves already... LoL
And don't worry, nothing ever
landed on the couch... LoLoLoLoL.


Anyways I digress.
Michael would run full speed towards my father
and they would crash together as my dad tried his best to not let Michael "Newhouse" Mondello over the goal line. It was like watching
a train wreck happen.


My father was cracking up. Me and my brother Joey were anxiously on the sideline awaiting the carnage, and Michael was all business... LoL


It was the funniest thing ever because Michael was just like Newhouse. He was a solid fuck with big thighs and was tough to throw around. And that's why we called that craziness "Newhouse"... LoL Awesome yet again!


I have mostly fond memories of those years spent on Simonson Ave. Sure, there were some shaky times, but you’re gonna have them
no matter where you live.


Well, I hope you were able to fight your way through this choppy mess. I’ve decided not to make too many changes, but to keep it in its present form. I want it to read exactly the way it first came rushing outta my head. I don’t wanna really polish it up too much for fear of erasing some of the passion within the thoughts.


Man, I was all over the place though wasn’t I?


Army, water rats, and I even admitted
to playing fucking hopscotch.


That's too funny!


Man, we were awesome kids!