When we moved in, they
Only neighborhood lore
1915...King, Cameron, Sullivan, Kelley
Chauffeur, conductor, carpenter, machinist...
"There were gangs on Brook St.,
big gangs of kids. It was
a rough place," our neighbor
1928...Schnell, Rugerro, Mahoney, McKenna, McGuire
Barber, salesgirl, stenographer, laborer, janitor...
When the Depression came.
they beat an orderly retreat,
homes turned lodginghouses.
They never surrendered.
1934...Dolan, McPhereson, Whelan, Towel, Brenn
Bookkeeper, bellboy, plasterer, cook, waitress...
Like an invading army,
little Shermans through Georgia,
we gave no quarter.
"War changes the landscape."
We fought them block-by-block,
house-by-house. The artillery
of our checking accounts pounded by day,
the bombs of our parents' loans
exploded by night.
1985...Peabody, Brown, Sternfield, Schechter, Rogers
Computer engineer, doctor, lawyer, teacher...
The gangs are gone.
On Halloween, well-scrubbed kids
in scary masks, play polite
pranks, make us laugh.
Our cars are safe.