Share full page

Welcome to Our Story Page!

For the past few months, our Life Story Club has met every Tuesday to share neighborhood stories. Now, we’re delighted to share a few of these stories with you! Some are funny, others painful, each are memorable, all are true. They are some of the countless small moments that make up our lives. We offer them to you, with love. Thank you for listening and reading along with us!

A Football Wedding

Mary K.

Everybody got married in January. And on the seven there was a hurricane and, well, the church that I was getting married in was on the corner. And yet the limo and no, it didn’t show up. If it wasn’t for an uncle who lived in Connecticut, I would have had to walk up to the church, which was on the corner. 

My husband was in the service. He was coming home on leave and they were going to be shipped out to Korea, so we wanted to get married before he shipped out. And my parents were from Italy. I have two papers that we took out applications to get married. We had to take a Wasserman test to get married. I have the papers, but I changed my mind at the last minute because I couldn’t do it without going to get married in church. So we just let the papers go and we waited and we made a plan. On his first leave, we would get married. And that’s it. I had a football wedding. 

It was called a football wedding because it was in the house, we served sandwiches and were no decorations. You didn’t have a band. We took my mother’s room apart. Her bedroom was the biggest room that we had in the house. And we took that apart and put it in one of the other rooms, and that was it. And so they used to call it that, especially on Mulberry Street, which where I came from. They called it a football wedding.

The marriage lasted until he passed away. But it wasn’t a wedding where all the memories from that wedding were the most wonderful thing. It wasn’t. It was pouring. There was a hurricane that day. The relatives couldn’t make it because they came from Connecticut and Jersey and all that. The limo didn’t show. 

But it was a good wedding. They say, when it rains, it’s a good wedding. And it was. We were married 38 years, and we had four children, and so everything was good. 

I had the traditional white dress, and it was cold. My neighbor was wearing a fur cape, which she loaned me for the walk to the church. I would have had to end up walking to the corner to the church in all that rain. I was on Avenue B, and the church was on Avenue A.

Everybody got married in January. And on the seven there was a hurricane and, well, the church that I was getting married in was on the corner. And yet the limo and no, it didn't show up. If it wasn't for an uncle who lived in Connecticut, I would have had to walk up to the church, which was on the corner...

↓ View Full Story
0:00
/

My Sisters

Adele P.

I have two sisters. We’re all within five years of each other, so we’re very close. We used to get movie magazines, and we would tear out the pictures and we decorated our hallway with the pictures of all the famous movie stars that we’d liked at that time. They were very handsome guys, and our whole hallway was. We had those pictures up, and that’s what I recall that we collected.

I was the elder sister. I was always in charge of my sisters, even though I was only five years difference. I always felt responsible for them, and I do to this day. I have one sister now. She’s in the hospital, fighting for her life. I’m so sad because you go back with your sisters the longest–before you married, before you have children, you had your sibling. And that’s my story for today.  

I have two sisters. We're all within five years of each other, so we're very close. The only thing that comes to mind that we collected, we used to get movie magazines, and we would tear out the pictures and we decorated our hallway with the pictures of all the famous movie stars that we'd liked at that time. They were very handsome guys, and our whole hallway was. We had those pictures up, and that's what I recall that we collected...

↓ View Full Story
0:00
/

The Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Theresa L.

When I was young, my mother had a lot of recipes written down, but she didn’t have the recipe for cranberry sauce. So one day, I asked her if she could please give me the recipe so I could write it down in the book so I would have it for when I got older. And she said I didn’t need the recipe because our family recipe was on a package of Ocean Spray.

The story goes–and I tend to believe it because other people in my family said it was true–many years before I was born, my grandmother made cranberry sauce, and it was delicious. She passed away many years before I was born. I never met her, but I loved her cranberry sauce.

She’d put it in a mold, and she made it from fresh cranberries. And when Ocean Spray came out with their packaged cranberries, she would get the package of Ocean Spray, and use those to make her sauce. So one day, she decided to write to Ocean Spray and tell them her cranberry recipe and suggest that they put a cranberry recipe on their packaging. She wanted to make sure people knew how to make it, because many people would ask my grandmother how she made her cranberry sauce. And so the story goes that ocean spray did put my grandmother’s recipe on the package of ocean spray cranberries, the fresh cranberries, and it’s still there today. 

When I was young, my mother had a lot of recipes written down, but she didn't have the recipe for cranberry sauce. So one day, I asked her if she could please give me the recipe so I could write it down in the book so I would have it for when I got older. And she said I didn't need the recipe because our family recipe was on a package of Ocean Spray...

↓ View Full Story
0:00
/

An Extravagant Wedding

Arthur S.

My wife’s name is Rita. At our wedding, we had a catering hall, and there was 150 people there. And it was the works with an orchestra name. It had everything. What it didn’t have is the blessing of either me or my wife, because we didn’t want it in the first place. This was her mother’s doing. She said, “You’ve got to have a wedding and blah, blah.” So I just kept quiet. But we didn’t want it in the first place. 

They couldn’t afford it. They couldn’t any of afford it, but that’s their business. We were not consulted or asked or anything. Both of us agreed that we would have been better off if they just helped me get started in my business life, my work life and everything else. My first job and all that stuff. I could have used this very small amount of that money for help for both of us. It all went into the wedding. It was a wonderful wedding. We had bridesmaids, we had ushers, a movie star wedding. But when I look at the pictures now, and by the way, the only one that’s alive in that album is me. The entire picture album. Everybody’s gone. And when I look at the memories of the wedding, it was nice. 

But if we had a choice, we wouldn’t have done it. Wow. We just wanted to be married. I didn’t need the frills. We had tuxedos and the whole business. She went nuts, my mother in law, but there is a reason behind it and that reason is very sad.

Our wedding took place shortly after World War II ended. We got married January 1, 1949, and the war ended in 1945. And unfortunately, my wife’s older brother lost his life at the very end of the war, at 20 years old, right at the tail end. It was just about over, and he got killed in Germany. I think this is a big reason why the mother and father wanted this thing, and it’s a very big reason why I kept my mouth shut. I just kept quiet. I figured they needed to go all out on this celebration after the loss of their son.

My wife's name is Rita. At our wedding, we had a catering hall, and there was 150 people there. And it was the works with an orchestra name. It had everything. What it didn't have is the blessing of either me or my wife, because we didn't want it in the first place. This was her mother's doing. She said, "You've got to have a wedding and blah, blah." So I just kept quiet. But we didn't want it in the first place...

↓ View Full Story
0:00
/

A Magical Day on the Slopes

George P.

I was with the PSIA, the Professional Ski Instructors of America. I was just a training instructor during that time, the low man on a totem pole. It was the best though though because they spent most of their time trying to teach you how to ski better and make you ski the way everybody else did in that program. 

When it became the Christmas season, they had this one big guy, and he was always Santa. He didn’t want to do it that particular year, so he grabbed all of me and he said, you’re going to do it. And I was just an in training ski instructor, so I had no choice in the matter.

I had to dress up like Santa Claus and had to put a couple pillows to make me look heavier. Now I’m heavier, unfortunately, on my own account. But being Santa Clause that day turned out to be one of the most fun days of skiing that I ever had. I was just skiing up and down the mountain, and I had, like a bundle of little gifts that I would stop and I would give to people and little kids. It was kind of a magical day for me. 

I was with the PSIA, the Professional Ski Instructors of America. I was just a training instructor during that time, the low man on a totem pole. It was the best though though because they spent most of their time trying to teach you how to ski better and make you ski the way everybody else did in that program...

↓ View Full Story
0:00
/

Thanksgiving Memories

Louise W.

For the Jewish holidays, we all were at home. We did not track travel for religious reasons. We ate at home, and we cooked for the holidays.

We did go out for Thanksgiving in later years. And what I find interesting is that my grandmother chose Cafe Baba as our gathering place this one year. And why she particularly liked it is because she enjoyed the belly dancer. I found that quite interesting.

I can tell you one other fact: It’s not about my grandmother. My daughter liked to make fun of me because one year I joined them. But before I joined them earlier in the day, I went to a vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner. I was not a vegetarian, and I ate meat, but I wasn’t a particular turkey fan. My daughter likes to tease me about that. 

For the Jewish holidays, we all were at home. We did not track travel for religious reasons. We ate at home, and we cooked for the holidays...

↓ View Full Story
0:00
/
SMS
Email
Copy
SMS Email
Copy

Download the Free Story Prompt Cards

Enter your information below for instant download

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for our monthly email newsletter to stay up to date with our work and upcoming events!