As I was walking to Hicks Street to find my friends, I was thinking about Joanie’s Bamboo Chinese Finger Trap game. I wonder how the Chinese came up with this game. Maybe a Chinese Dad made it for his kid for his or her Birthday. I have to ask my sister about it, she seems to know a lot about this stuff. Like when I went to Coney Island with my sister and her girlfriends this summer. I asked her if she knew why everyone calls that part of Brooklyn, Coney Island. Well, she said, I asked myself the same question so I went to the Brooklyn Public Library and looked it up in the Encyclopedia Britannica. The book explained that a long time ago when the Dutch settled in Brooklyn to farm the land they couldn’t plant much on this island because it was too sandy. But they were able to hunt small animals there for food. They found that mainly Rabbits lived on this sandy Island. So when a Dutchman was going there to hunt he told his wife that was going to Rabbit Island or Coney Island which is Dutch for Rabbit.
The name stuck, and then everyone, called this place Coney Island, even though over the years all the Rabbits were gone. Years later it became a fun place for city people get away to play at the beach, swim or go on carnival rides. The first roller coaster was built at Coney Island in 1884 and it kept on growing with all kinds of new rides like the Parachute jump. I have to ask my sister about the Chinese Finger Trap game. Maybe she can look it up for me the next time she goes to the Brooklyn Public Library. Then I’ll know how and why this game came about in the first place. I got to the corner of Luquer Street and Hicks but my friends were not there. So I went home. When I got home about four o’clock I wanted to see what Roger was up to. I went to the top floor of my building were Roger lived with his family. When I got to his apartment I walked right in without knocking. There are so many people living in his apartment they never close or lock the front door. I walked all the way to the back bedroom to find Roger. I knew that there was a good chance he would be there if he wasn’t out trying to con some kids out of their money.
Roger is sixteen years old, he dropped out of school and he doesn’t have a steady job. But Roger is smart and he manages to get money one way or another. When I walk into his room I was shocked to see him cleaning a Daisy Red Rider BB Rifle and I said. “Roger how in the Hell did you get your hands on a Daisy Rifle?” He Said, “Well it’s a long story. I made a bunch of trades and then I conned Crazy Joey Hook Nose into giving me this BB gun. Do you want to shoot it?” “Hell yeah, I always dreamed of having a Daisy BB Rifle, ever since I saw the Christmas ads for it in my comic books. I never thought I would be able to shoot one. Come on let me hold it.” Roger pulled the gun next to his chest and said. “Not so fast Pepino. If you want to shoot my beautiful Red Rider BB gun it will cost you ten cents a shot. “I started to laugh and said. “What, ten cents a shot? One BB costs less than a penny. That’s not fair.” Roger says. “You can’t shoot a BB without a BB gun and I have the gun stupid.” Wow, I told you Roger is smart. He’s going to make a fortune off of this scheme he thought up.
It looks like he sucked me into being his first customer. So I gave him the three dimes I had in my pocket for three shots. He took my money, opened the bedroom window, gave me the rifle, and said. “Go ahead, now you can shoot the rifle. But you better not hit any cars or people walking down there with your three shots.” I took my time, aimed the gun at a broken window in the vacant lot across the street and pressed the trigger. Puff, Puff, Puff, the shots rang out and I could hear glass breaking. It took me less than ten seconds to blow thirty cents.
But the thrill of shooting a Daisy BB Rifle was worth it. It was a better thrill than throwing Darts with Nunzio. After I gave him the rifle back Roger said. “Listen Pepino, since you were my first customer, I have some good news for you. You may remember the Go-Cart we made last week for Fatso Jeffery. His Dad Larry BB was so happy with the Go-Cart he asked me to go with him and Fatso Jeffrey to see the Dodgers play at Ebbets Field this weekend. He said that I could bring a friend with me. Guess what friend, would you like to go with me?” “WOW, Yes, Yes, please take me.” I did not think much about whether my Mom and Dad would let me go to a major league baseball game with Roger.
I am so excited that I kept on begging Roger to take me with him. If I know Roger he will milk me out of every last dollar I have for God knows how long, but it’s worth it. I heard so much about the Dodgers and I never thought I would get to see them play at Ebbets Field. Even if my Dad had the money he would never take me to see a major league baseball game. My Dad’s sport is soccer. It’s the only game he and his friends talk about.
The following day I came home from school and told my mother and father that I was invited to go to the Dodger baseball game at Ebbets Field on Saturday. My mother didn’t jump for joy when I said that Roger was taking me to the game. My mother never liked Roger, the fact that Roger is a teenager and not an adult scared her even more because we were going to a place she has never been to. I knew that she would feel this way so I told her that Roger’s adult cousin Larry BB was also going with us with his son Fatso Jeffrey. She didn’t agree to let me go to the game.
She told me that she wants to talk to Roger’s Mom, Emma about this trip to the ball park. Another day went by, when she sat me down to tell me that it was okay for me to go to the game. Roger’s Mom said that she will talk to Larry BB to make sure that he will keep an eye on me so I don’t get lost in the crowd at the big stadium. Wow, I was in, now I’m getting pumped up. Saturday finally came; the day of the baseball game was here. Roger knocked on my door at ten in the morning to tell me that we will hook up with Larry BB and Jeffrey in an hour and we will all go together to catch the bus to Ebbets Field. The Dodgers are playing the Giants and the game starts at two o’clock.
I said “wait a minute Roger; I never ask you before about Larry’s name, what the Hell does BB stand for.” Roger laughed and said, “Just take a good look at Larry with his big belly and you can see what the BB stands for.” Yeah, now it all makes sense to me. I am ready to go, Roger went back up stairs and I went to my mattress hiding place to get five dollars to spend at the game.
I took out money for the Feast last week and now I’m taking another five dollars for the baseball game that only leaves me with three dollars to spruce up my bike. Oh well, I’ll just ask Mr. Nick if he has some work for me to do at the sandwich shop so I can make some extra money. I went down stairs and met Roger in front of our building and we walked together to Hamilton Avenue to meet Larry BB and Fatso Jeffrey to catch the bus to Ebbets Field. I loved the bus ride; we passed so many places that were new to me. Like Prospect Park, I heard about the park but I never knew how big it was. Now I know that’s the park is Huge. Prospect Park has a zoo, a big lake, boats, horseback riding, Museum, and paths that go on for miles.
I have to ask my sister to take me to Prospect Park’ I would love to see the animals at the zoo and roam the park with her. We got to the stadium about one o’clock. Larry BB gave each one of us a ticket and we went into Ebbits Field to find our seats. We found our seats three levels above the stadium’s entrance. We sat down and I got Goose bumps when we stood up to hear the National Anthem. I am so proud to be an American. The Dodgers took the field and I see Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Roy Campanella, Gil Hodges, Carl Furillo and other team members getting ready to play ball. Seeing Jackie Robinson live for the first time is really something. I have his rookie baseball card at home but it’s no substitute for seeing him in person running on to the ball field.
I hear so many good things about him when he came to join the Dodgers last year. The game started and the Dodgers are playing great. I hear a Giant fan yelling out bad things against those Brooklyn Bums. I was getting upset at that and then Roger said “Don’t get crazy, the name calling is all part of the game.” As the teams were fighting it out we are eating Hot Dogs, Cracker Jacks, Popcorn, Ice Cream and we washed everything down with an ice cold Coke. The best part of the baseball game for me is to see Jackie Robinson run so fast in the outfield and around the bases. I am amazed that a player has such lightning speed. Jackie Robinson topped it off for me when he hit a home run right out of the stadium. The Dodgers won the game six to four. When we got home my mother was so happy to see me come back alive and well. She ran up to me and hugged me so hard that I couldn’t breathe. It was such an exciting and long day. I had some pasta for dinner and then I crashed to sleep on my cot.