When we were 9/10 we didn’t know any better—–the world was our “erster” ——you lived a very interesting life—-not many can say that. I look forward to your thoughts and comments—even though they sometimes sting.
Back when I was catching copperheads I was living in Hamden, Connecticut. And the catching was usually preceeded by lunch. We’d go to Charley Marchitto’s grocery on Dixwell Avenue and get subs.
Charley’s mother — I’m sure she had a name, but we just knew her as Mrs. Marchitto — made all the subs. She’d take a loaf of Italian bread and cut it in half for a sandwich. She’d then slice open the half a loaf lengthwise and pour olive oil on each side of the crumb, and then she’d add some dried oregano, salt (I think) and pepper. Next would come the Genoa salami, the cappicola, the mortadella and then the provolone cheese. She’d then top all that with some roasted red peppers, and sometimes some olives. Never any lettuce or tomatoes or onions. It was a sub sandwich, you see. Not a damned salad.
Anyway, we’d take the subs, grab a Frisbee pie each — my favorites were the lemon and the pineapple pies — and sodas. It was either a Pepsi or an Xtra-Cola. ( A coke was just six ounces, Pepsi and XtraCola each had 12 ounces.) Total cost? A quarter for the sub and a nickel each for the pie and the soda. Naturally, we never had any money, but we’d just tell Mrs. Marchitto to “charge it.”
Then we’d go outside and sit on the store’s stoop and eat our lunch. After that it was time to do battle with the copperheads in the fields, woods and swamp next door to the grocery.
Now those were the days.