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Chapter 14 - "Movie Theatre Tickets" & Sams '43 Horse Wagon


"43 Horse Wagon

This is me and my older sister when we went to Public School 88 on 86th Street and 1st Ave in Manhattan's Yorkville section back in 1943..I had the job on Sam's Horse Vegetable Wagon in those days....

~ Sam's Horse (model of) eating oats ~ Photo courtesy of Nelson Ho ~




..........We were racing down 86th Street in the Yorkville section of Manhattan sometimes referred to as "German Town"........Sam kept whipping his horse as we continued along past 1st Ave and than down towards Carl Schurz park..........As the horse galloped by 1st Ave I could see from my position in the vegetable wagon, and to my right, the Elementary School PS 88 that I and my oldest sister Angie attended back in those days.......[school now long gone and replaced with hi-rise buildings]

Sam loved racing his horse down 86th Street as this was where some of his wealthy customers were located........They would live in beautiful high rise buildings but as much as I enjoyed going into some of their back yards to play and "hang" with some of my school buddies after school or work I didn't particularly care to work in this area because when I made deliveries to Sam's customers we never got to see the owners but instead would only see the maid.......This was not good for getting any tips as maids are only workers like us guys and never TIPPED the help............After all I was only eight years old and the job only paid "tips" [from one penny to ten cents, almost like, 'pennies from heaven'] and "all you can eat" for us delivery boys.......Sam had all sorts of vegetables on his wagon from tomatoes to peaches to carrots and corn and so on.........Sam would be the one who taught me that one could eat whole tomatoes without being sliced and than made part of a sandwich.......I found them to be delicious.........

.........Sometimes Sam would take me to the local stables [I think Ninetieth Street] to park the horse in the stable for the night and he would also rub axle grease on the horse's brused hip quarters in order to protect the horse from hungry fly's.....Sam took great care of his horse as this was his livelihood and also similar to a car of today's times.........Incidentally, 93th Street is where the famous MARX BROTHERS lived and grew up during their early years.........Also JAMES CAGNEY the great screen actor of many outstanding films was rumored to have grown up in the Yorkville neighborhood of NYC......

Should you wish to see a short clip of the MARX BROTHERS home, click on the link/video below.....

..........Some of the fun moments would be when Sam would push out his teeth from his mouth while I wondered, "what the heck was going on with Sams teeth" were they some sort of magical teeth that he had?.......But Sam liked to kid the delivery boys that worked on his wagon.......My father would later tell me that they were false teeth and Sam was only joking with us........A strange sight to see for us guys back in those days........I still had not visited a dentist yet as my dad would pull out our first teeth by hand whenever they became loose.....He was good at it and would always compensate his children with a "tooth fairy prize" under our pillow just as most kids received in those days whenever we/they lost a loose tooth......I'm sure this practice still goes on today with some youngsters.........

..........Basically my job working for Sam would be to cruise the local neighborhoods with his galloping horse and wagon with Sam at the reins, and then wait for a while on a street for his customers to look out the window after Sam would yell at the top of his lungs, "peaches, tomatoes, cauliflower, corn" .....The delivery boy would fill a bag with 2 lbs of peaches or what ever, whenever the customer yelled back their order and deliver the vegetable item up to the 5th floor if that's where they lived in the building........It was a little rough when it rained as we continued along his vegetable route until we were finished with all customers and than some.......Feeding the horse was also a great chore but Sam usually would take care of this........A bucket of oats and a pail of water was all that was needed and this would keep the horse satisfied........When the horse had to relieve himself it was funny to see, as horses are probably the biggest endowed animals around especially when they are on the relieving stage............And when the horse would drop his dung some of my friends would jump up and down on it only to remark it was only hay....... In 1943 there were still many horse and wagons in the city doing all sorts of work from deliveries to passenger rides.........This was all part of growing up in the big city of Manhattan......

.........On one particular day I can recall the tips were good for the day and Sam now also paid me 50 cents a day and he had already paid me for the week...............I was sitting on the stoop of our apartment building on 1st Ave and my mom from the window above warned me to come up to empty my pockets of my good fortune for the day.......As I had just finished working for the day I wanted to relax on the stoop for a while when a stranger approached me to ask if I wanted to make some easy money......My mom was no longer at the window and being an ambitious youngster I agreed to another small work order to finish the day.......

We walked together up 1st Ave while he explained the job requirements.....We were now two or three blocks away from my apartment building when he finished explaining the job details........I was to go to the local gas station further ahead and ask the owner/attendant for the "movie theater tickets'" so I could deliver them to the theatre, only thing was that I had to leave my earnings with him so that the gas attendant would not rob me.......At this point I knew what was going on but being that he was an adult and a lot bigger than me I had no option but to comply with his demands...After I did what he demanded I continued to the gas station just to get away from him as I feared for my life........

.........When I returned to my home and explained to my dad what had happened, he would take me to the local bars to see if I recognized this "so called employer" but we never did find him.......At that point in time, I also feared what might happen if we did find him as I was concerned for my dads life too.........The stranger stole about ten dollars in pay and tips which was considered a fair amount of money in those days but better to be here telling this story than what might have been......It was and became a lesson in life and a "growing pains'" experience for me that we sometimes all go through in growing up...........oh!......And one more thing, when Sam heard of my threatening life situation he would increase my salary to 75 cents a day.........Sam was just a great guy.........May he Rest in Pease wherever he is...............Nick...... 6/28/2011,_Manhattan

PS.........The link below this paragraph will show pictures of the great '40s and the second picture will indicate the type of wagon sam would use on his "vegetable route"...........It also appears that you can find Clint Eastwood at picture number 7 just hanging with his pals.....

Cushman's Pictures

...another photo that may depict Sam's Vegetable Wagon even in a better light...For a larger photo click on the picture...

A phony story by a thief about "Movie Theatre Tickets" was more like a forced Christmas Gift from me to him...

~ Joan Rivers RIP passed on 93rd Street in Manhattan ~ Another famous comic lost to an unfortunate incident ~ See last two comments below for more information ~ Photo added on November 23, 2016 ~

~ I certainly could have used the 4 of them when I was robbed on 93 street, too bad they weren't around than lol ~ Photo added on November 23, 2016 ~

~ Last time we were here when I took my family to Grace Mansion for a tour, I noticed that this entrance way no longer exists as the building has been refurbished from 88th Street to 89th Street on First Ave ~ The new entrance way for the whole block and building has been made at 401 East 88th Street and it looked nothing like when my family and I lived here ~ This building photo at 1710 First Ave is not the actual photo as we knew it ~ Photo added on December 9, 2016 ~

~ The famous actor James Cagney who was loved by all also lived in Yorkville ~

~ My Dad with his arm around me, brother Vito and the author Nick (me) with my arm around my younger brother ~

Video and audio clips

...Yesterday on August 15 was the day many years ago that Groucho came into this world and so it was Groucho's Birthday too.!!!...

"MARX BROTHERS" 93th Street Home

As I mentioned in this story the tips were one penny to ten cents, almost like, ' pennies from heaven'

~ James Cagney in "Angeles With Dirty Faces" trailer ~

~ A Horse with an erection for continuing his blood line with other colts ~


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nickmon4321 on Oct 27, 2012 said:

Faster than a speeding bullet.......Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound......More powerful than a locomotive......It's SUPER - SAM........

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nickmon4321 on Mar 3, 2013 said:


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nickmon4321 on Sep 19, 2014 said:

Joan Rivers recent demise occurred in a Yorkville building located on 93th Street and the eulogy on a later date was delivered by none other than Howard Stern sometimes referred to as the 'schock jock'....

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nickmon4321 on Aug 16, 2015 said:

...It was very ironic that in 1943 on 93rd Street that I was robbed of $10 from a child predicator and 71 years later on September 4, 2014 Joan Rivers was also robbed but with her life, by human error, approximately one block away from my robbery...Who would have thought ! and like they say it sure is a small World.!!!...

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Anonymous on Dec 30, 2016 said:

How great to be so close to history!

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nickmon4321 on Dec 31, 2016 said:

~ Thank You for your Anonymous comment my friend and I am going to assume that this wonderful comment was sent by Groucho Marks himself as the last person I sent this story to was Groucho when I came across a FaceBook site just yesterday with your name on it lol ~ Thanks again ~

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nickmon4321 on Sep 20, 2017 said:

on May 24, 2017 Nick said: ~ So that I have a memory of who I sent this chapter to I am going to keep the name and date of each recipient in this comment, but if any one wishes that I not mention their name in this area just let me know and it shall be removed without any hard feelings ~

~ Claudia York - Joe Spinnel friend - 9/20/17

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