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most of the baseball players were farm and country boys because
there were not diamonds to play on in urban areas.
Did you aspire to become a professional athlete?
I was never good enough to be a professional athlete. As a
matter of fact, I was a substitute on the college basketball team. It
was clear I was not going to go anyplace. There was no point
anymore. I was playing in the band and that, but I'm running ahead
in my story.
Okay. One other thing, just of a point of curiosity I've always had,
my father describes downtown Brooklyn as being an incredibly alive
and thriving kind of place. It was like Broadway.
But what year is he talking about?
He's about five or six years younger than you.
The only time I went to downtown Brooklyn was when I went
to Brooklyn College, because Brooklyn College was located in an office
Before the campus?
I still refer to that as the new building because when I was
graduated in 1936 it was the last class before the opening of the new
building in Brooklyn. So we were located in that area, a lot of people
who went to school there with me. But later I became more familiar
after the war because my first job in a union was in a department
store and we represented the workers at Namn's and Loeser's and
Oppenheim-Collins in Brooklyn, so I was around there all the time.
But we never really went downtown Brooklyn for entertainment,
except if I would go to the Brooklyn Paramount, was a key thing where
people went to the movies. They had a stage show, and the Brooklyn
Fox. But we didn't go there that often. We went there from time to
time but I don't recall it.
You mentioned a story about going to Manhattan. You were how
old then when you went to hear the comedians?
My brothers were in high school, so I had to be in elementary
school when I was doing it, and I would memorize acts. I knew all the
gags. I'm jumping ahead. I was very interested in that thing because
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