Patricia Donohue

It was in the early sixties that we moved to Brentwood and, after being brought up in Queens, NY, it seemed like a little village you would see in a Jig Saw puzzle. But, it felt like home right from the beginning – all of us on First Street getting together at night to sit on our stoops and discuss our day and watch our kids – all about the same age – playing.
There is so much about Brentwood that will always remain in the mind. Like the ‘Beep Beep’ man. He lived around the block – nobody knew him personally – but he had a small house and a garden. Every day he’d drive around the area in his small, sort of battered truck, and beep his horn to let everyone know he was there to sell his wares. It was crazy, but his main customers were the children looking for a treat of some sort. I think my son Ricky would have been thrilled if I let him buy a leaf of lettuce just so he could say he bought something from the Beep Beep man!
The local grammar school was called the Village School and it couldn’t have a better name. The teachers really cared and parents got to know them and have a relationship. My daughter, Debi, went from Kindergarten to 6th grade at that school and loved being on the stage and being teacher’s pet. She also felt that she was experienced enough on the stage that she could assemble neighborhood entertainment – usually shown in one of the friend’s backyards. Of course, us mothers loved sitting in the hot sun, getting bitten by bugs, and keeping a perpetual loving, proud look on our faces. Beth was a sort of mischievous student – no hiding that fact! One day she came home and told us that her teacher told them to all go home and give their parents a speech on “The Dangers of Smoking”. I listened like a good mom, went out and borrowed a cigarette when I discovered she his mine, and then proceeded to write a note to her teacher saying “If you had my daughter, Beth, whom I love dearly, would you quit smoking?” The answer I received was “Let me know if you need matches.”
Dr. Grigoletto, our family doctor, was someone we should have written a book about. When one of your children was sick, there were many times he would run into the house while eating a sandwich to take care of their illness. It was his nurses who gave the injections for vaccines or illnesses – I always thought it was because he was so busy only to find out he didn’t have the heart to do it himself – he was so sympathetic.
I’ll never forget Cinderella Bakery on Brentwood Road – never have I had a better roll. Bohacks!! Still I feel the best grocery ever. The butchers gave personal advice on the meats, etc. When I told them my family loved Yorkshire Pudding, they began saving the suet for me, which definitely made the best Yorkshire Pudding.
I could go on and on with wonderful memories but I think I’d better leave room for some others!

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