Sunday, September 20, 2015


pt. 11
For the first 8 years or so, the street I lived on
had not been paved; that didn't happen until about
1963. Inman Avenue had been always a loose-gravel
covered roadway, along which for too often cars sped
on their way to or from Route One, which joined at the
end. Because of that, the gravel, every six months or so, 
would be blown or have migrated, by the fast tire-tracking,
to the sides, so there'd be a 2 or three inch pile of the
gravel densely collected, and the road bared. The town road
truck would come by every so often then and re-grate the
little stones with a large rake-like contraption so the roadway
was re-covered. Then it all started again. Myrtle Yacullo,
and her husband Jim  -  my across the street neighbors  -  
were very good at sitting on their evening porch and just
loudly yelling out to cars passing : 'Slow Down! To no
real avail. A person could get to a pretty spontaneous
50mph along that street with no trouble. Jim Yacullo, whose
son my age was also named Jim, was the first guy I saw who
could whistle that loud whistle that guys do with their fingers
in their mouth. Enough to stop the world. I could never do that.
He always bought big new Buicks  -  a 1958 really glitzy
Buick Special, convertible, was my favorite. It was massive,
really tough-looking, and like a tank. Myrtle herself, the wife,
had a perfect 1955 Chevrolet. If any of us even got near its
blue and white two-tone paint, she start yelling for us to get
away from the car with our belt buckles and denim studs and
things (the rivets near the pants pockets on dungarees). I guess
she had a point, for scratches and stuff. Jim, the boy, friend then, 
he too is dead now (I've lost a lot of pals). I met his mother and 
his sister at some gathering a few years back and Jim's mother, as
I asked about him, where he's buried, etc. (They're all living 'down 
the shore' now), without hesitation just said, 'Jimmy, he did it to
himself; we all told him to stop, he ate himself to death, just kept
it on. He got so huge it killed him.'  -  which actually was a surprise
to me, hearing that. I always thought he was a tough old egg.
Jim had an uncle, from Carteret, who was a doctor. That's really 
all I know about him; we just called him 'Doc.' Every year, in
October, Doc would get a brand new Chrysler Imperial  -  huge
beast of a car, stately, finely-attuned  -  it was Chrysler's version
of a fine Cadillac. Without fail, each year for the five or six I can
recall, he'd drive over to us, on Inman, and Jimmy and I would get
the first ride with him in his new Imperial  - ten miles or so, just
tooling around the area. It was great. Jimmy, even back then, always
said he was going to have a car someday with a telephone in it. That
idea was amazing to me  -  he meant a regular house-type phone, on
which he'd talk and contact everyone as he drove. No cellular stuff  - 
except Jimmy and I talked more than a few times about how in 
the world he'd figure out the needed extendo-wire the phone 
would require. The kind of stuff boys tackle, and bicker over. 
Good memory.

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