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Tenement Dwellers: Anecdotes and Tales from the Old Neighborhood, Lawrence - My Hometown
by:Richard Edward Noble
Tenement Dwellers is the second volume of anecdotes from my series of books about the old neighborhood and growing up in a collapsing, forgotten industrial mill town along the Eastern seaboard of the United States. Lawrence, Massachusetts was my hometown. It was seven square miles of three-decker tenement houses, housing projects, kids and congestion. It...
Tenement Dwellers is the second volume of anecdotes from my series of books about the old neighborhood and growing up in a collapsing, forgotten industrial mill town along the Eastern seaboard of the United States. Lawrence, Massachusetts was my hometown. It was seven square miles of three-decker tenement houses, housing projects, kids and congestion. It was schoolyards, churches, smokestacks, pool halls, back alleys, barrooms and mile after mile of abandoned, redbrick mill buildings. Life was difficult trying to raise oneself in such an environment. As I said in my first volume, "Just Hangin’ Out, Ma," thank God for the street corners of Lawrence, Mass. and hangin’ out. My best times growing up in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s in Lawrence were those many hours spent with my childhood buddies hangin’ out on the street corners, shooting hoops in the schoolyards and just idling here and there. Lawrence was a forgotten town and we were its offspring. We were not only forgotten; we were ignored and avoided. But in that abandonment we kids found companionship and camaraderie. We discovered the intricacies of friendship, breaking chops and having fun. I have no definition of the term love other than friendship. I learned it as a tenement dweller hanging on the periphery of a social disaster with my buddies. I learned it hiding from the cold in a stranger’s hall way, sitting on the wall up at the Howard playstead, shooting hoops under a streetlight or going out of my way to walk a buddy halfway home in a snow storm on a late evening. I’ve had a good life, making friends wherever I’ve gone and I’m still at it. Enjoy this book, my friends. If you don’t learn anything from it, I do hope you at least get a few laughs.
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