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November 10, 2008


bill mahan

Brooklyn in the 1940's and 1950's was very simple if you were poor and lived in the melting pot of ethnic flavors. As times changed and we became more sophisticated as a nation and addressed the intolerances that had been institutionalized, daily life for kids became more complicated. Too bad.

My memories of the Bushwick-Bed Stuy section of my youth includes being yelled at in Italian, Spanish, Yiddish, German, Polish and the Brooklyn dialect that passes for English. I remember going to a jewish classmates' bar mitzvah with our classmates and seeing a row of black kids wearing yarmulkes while Norman spoke in Hebrew that he probably understood not much more than we did. It was a time when color, religion, heritage all were noted but not important in the important things of life. With Obama's election, it is wonderful to see that the nation has caught up with the Brooklyn street kids of fifty to sixty years ago. It would, however, be more appropriate if the President elect were a stickball player and not a basketball lover.

Bill Mahan

Otis Jefferson Brown


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