The banner on the page is a photograph of Sunset Park in Brooklyn. I never stopped missing Brooklyn, though I think I got over living inside Bush Terminal.
I might do the unthinkable and reprint pieces of what has become a series of stories with the same name, Sunset Park and another series of stories about a small town in Duchess County.
I might use other pieces of the people and things I enjoy writing about. I’ve lived in some crazy places and intend to have fun with at least two of them. I began my life in a factory district, skirting the Brooklyn docks and ended the New York City part of my life in a crazy place called Washington Heights in Manhattan. I’ve met dozens of eclectic and marvelous characters, fodder so rich, how could I avoid using them?
I think of the disclaimer on The Naked City and Dragnet in the early days of television drama … the names have been changed to protect the innocent.
If you look on the copyright page of most fiction books you will see a similar statement. No resemblance to anyone living or dead I have ever known, now or ever, never, I do so swear.
Better leave them alone completely and write about someone else’s family. It’s safer and it prevents law suits or death threats.
If any of those persons, living or dead, see themselves in any of my characters, now and until the hour of my death, amen … get over it.
My first homage is to Brooklyn …
Sunset Park from Fifth Avenue to Seventh Avenue, from Forty-First Street to Forty-Fourth Street with its handball courts, huge pools and sloping hills. It was here that Toni loved to come for the namesake of the park, to watch the sun setting over the rooftops of the houses, the factories, heading down the long hills into the waters of the Narrows.
To the kids who grew up there with me …