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A Summer Week in 1960

Charles Priore

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At ten years old 1960 was a time of fun and learning. We had just moved into a new neighborhood when Elvis came home from Germany. The news gave us a preview into the 1960's to come when Air Force pilot Francis Gary Powers U2 spy plane was shot down by a Soviet missile. On Saturday, my cousin and I stopped to buy some baseball cards on the way home from seeing Ben Hur at the corner theatre. After brushing my flat top with a landing strip-like center, we decided to see if any “chicks" were hanging out on their porches. After being distracted by an older guys 230 horsepower Corvette, we reached out destination.

The ladies dropped their hula hoops when we invited them to a twist party in my basement. Saturday afternoons were for twisting after morning little league baseball or a movie. My parents just bought a new Cape Cod house for $10,500 and the unfinished basement gave the Twist an echo-like sound and we pounded some glass coke bottles down. The night brought a series of cool black and white TV featuring Raw Hide for us.

Sunday we went to church. Of course during communion we would grab the weekly bulletin and head off to Parkside Candies for a Vanilla Phosphate to talk about sports and chicks. The early afternoon was filled with the scent of mom's sauce cooking and the clanging of dishes and silverware. Sometimes there were family gatherings where we would play trivia on Sunday nights and more often, it was just a time to relax and watch TV. Maybe we would catch the Olympics in Rome and watch Cassius Clay win the gold.

Monday through Friday brought a variation of activity. You could daydream about how you were going to draw a US map now that Hawaii became the 50th state. Someone came to the door and delivered a 45 record-type promotion for some guy named Nixon who was running for president. Of course, it was baseball just about every week day as my dad cleared a field for us to play on with a hand sickle.

A visit to my cousin's house was usually in order too and sometimes I stayed overnight. My nickname was “Trouble" so that should give a hint about tipping over garbage cans and throwing tomatoes at various objects and sometimes subjects. We were pretty bad for a couple of guys wearing “clam-diggers". Of course no day could be complete without making faces at the lady in the window of the “Fish Store". She actually had a baseball bat with spikes driven through it, so when she moved from behind the counter, we ran faster than Maury Wills.

The summer of 1960 brought Mazerowski's famous home run against the Yankees and a Pittsburgh Pirate World Championship. It was the year of the underdog, the “Twist", listening to Dion, watching the Flintstones and for a ten year old, a hot fun filled summer.

The American Italian Baby Boomer

Charles Priore

Italian American Baby Boomers Club


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