74th Street Stories
Don't ask author Gary Mielo what it was like to grow up in North Bergen, New Jersey. He's likely to relate personal essays and anecdotes that include 'the most heinous experience, the one which can easily produce the deepest and most lasting of scars, is an affliction known as the senior prom." He'll evoke 'a time when yellow air raid shelter signs, hanging on the walls of virtually all candy stores, ice cream parlors, and other public buildings, reported the way to alleged underground safety." And narrate the demise of his 1955 DeSoto 'while traversing one of the world's most heavily trafficked truck routes, the infamous Tonnelle Avenue."Comprised of 44 personal essays, "74th Street Stories" extols New Jersey's Hudson County as it and its North Bergen residents lived through two of the most bizarre decades in recent history, namely the Cold War 1950s and the Strung Out 1960s. Nevertheless, the moments of sudden awareness recounted in many of these essays go beyond the merely wistful or the distinctively reminiscent. The characters and incidents described in "74th Street Stories" have their roots in a town and a county that nurtured an identity that was nothing less than wonderfully peculiar.
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