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REMEMBERING BROOKLYN: The gang finds a girl oasis

The East 98th Street kids learned of another oasis that was swarming with girls. We were now a little older and looking for more action than was available within our own neighbors. It could be that the girls on our block were not so stingy with the rather feeble attempts made by us to explore in off-limit areas, if the attempts were made by guys not in our clique. Since we were rebuffed from any untoward move in that direction, we assumed that they were untouchable. Greazy Gus had ventured into this new territory on a block we had never explored before. Greazy listened in on conversation between the guys and girls on that block and he deduced that they were a little more advanced than the girls on East 98th Street. A conference under the light pole on our block, the usual meeting place, ended with a decision to infiltrate this new block and get some information on what was then called nuzzling. In those days it was not even an option to indulge in real intimate sex. Some titillation exploration was the limit of what even promiscuous girls would allow. Suddenly the girls on our block found the streets deserted of male companions and they were back to rope jumping double Dutch and only Cockeye Hogan, the one male who was a steady ender because he was unappetizing for the girls to date him, and he declined to join us in the new venture of the new block. Greazy Gus had done some real good reconnaissance on that block and we found that what was off limits on East 98th Street was routine here. It wasn’t long before we paired on with new girlfriends and the regular guys on that block regarded the former East 98th Street kids as real competition. Two of the more generous girls, named Fran and Margaret, for the first time in our experience went all the way and it was for the Great Greazy Gus and the guy we least expected to lose his virginity, Punyititaty. In those days it was not taboo to kiss and tell, so Greazy in his usual braggadocio informed the rest of us about his great success. Soon the two more popular girls had the rest of us angling for dates with Fran and Margaret. It was not all that easy to duplicate the successes Greazy and Punyitiaty had. The two girls suspected that their new popularity with the East 98th Street kids stemmed from Greazy’s big mouth. When they dated one of us, they stopped short of going all the way. For the first few weeks of our venture in to this new territory, only Greazy and Punyititaty were privy to the good graces of the ones we named merely F and M. One of the brighter young ladies held out for a future with Fred. The guy who delivered laundry to customers with his own Reo-truck. In those depression years, a guy with a job was considered a good catch for any female. Alice kept Fred interested with the promise of sex and gave him only a hint of what was in store for him when they were married. Alice made it big with Fred when Fred reached his 19th birthday. They were secretly married without the consent of their parents. It was only after Alice had her first child that her in-laws accepted her into the family. Our venture into the new block in the 30s was more interesting than the years in which we grew up on the celebrated East 98th Street. Greazy Gus and Punyititaty became men and Fred became a daddy, but the rest of us had to wait until there was a new block in Canarsie that held new promises for the guys who did not strike when the irons were hot.

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