Into the Sicilian-American lives of Sadie and Frank Scherma came a cute, bouncing baby boy: me! I am a child of Brooklyn and I cannot escape my roots. As a teen I wanted to be a man’s man, so I joined my high school football team; Sadie objected, but I got Frank to sign the permission slip. I tried my best but really, it was not a good fit. Then I studied to be a Roman Catholic priest for about four years and after Frank had a religious revival and Sadie got used to the idea, I left to become a Latin teacher in the Public Schools of New York City [uh huh]. I went on to become a guidance counselor, a college adviser, and then a psychologist. At present I have a practice with adults in Greenwich Village.
When I was embarking on a new graduate degree, Sadie would ask me plaintively, “Don’t you know enough yet?” I replied, “Oh Sadie, I have so much to teach you and Frank.” I took them through my religious phase to my spiritual and from my straight relationships to my gay ones. “When does it stop?” Sadie inquired. I said, “Never.” I was always trying something new even though it was not my nature to do so. I went off to Fiji to find God, off to the Seminary to find Jesus, off to loving men and women so that I could be simply who I was.
I hated the cold walking west on 58th street, 1am on January 20th. The freezing currents had a way of trapezing down from steel cut condos, making the walls of my nostrils suddenly raw. My arms crossed themselves as I braced my way toward 10th Avenue. I had been in New York for several months, […]
My first encounter with the Pelham Parkway neighborhood took place in my mid-teens, around 1970, when my grandparents moved to a building at Lydig and Wallace. Most of the Jews in the Bronx were moving to Co-op City or the suburbs, but Pelham Parkway was very likely the last of the old-fashioned Jewish immigrant neighborhoods […]
When I think of my dad, I think of the stories he’s told me. What he knows and what he wants me to know. I think of the time at Friendly’s when he etched the web of our ancestors onto a napkin. Patrick to Matthew, Edward and Agnes and Teresa and Mary, and at the […]