In the South Bronx, my building on Bathgate Avenue was a veritable UN of European immigrants: Slovaks, Poles, Germans, Italians, Jews, you name it. All the latter 19th century leftovers…
I could tell where the families came from as I ascended the multi-story stairwell by the smells of the food and the screams of the kids…and the parents chasing us.
The outside world for me in the late ‘40s was mostly Puerto Ricans filling the spaces of earlier groups moving to the suburbs. For a long time, I thought my name in Spanish was “Pinche Flaquito.” For us kids, most of our play was secured “Up On The Roof“… more…
My usual prison routine included catching the early morning news on TV before work call. I’d catch it again in the early evening.
Generally, I tended to agree with JFK’s Chairman of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), Newton Minow, who described TV back in 1963 as “a vast wasteland.”
In prison—at least in the dozen I was in over the past 20+ yrs—in order to listen to the TVs, a prisoner has to purchase a radio with earbuds at the commissary. Each TV has its own broadcast frequency. The TVs are usually located in the common areas of the housing units and a part of the leisure library area.
The radios currently cost $42.90. The salaries of inmates who work for the prison stands at 12¢/hr. That comes to about $17/mo. UNICOR workers average 92¢/hr., if you can get one of the available jobs…count on a two-yr waiting list. more…
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