Thirty Seconds Over Brooklyn

Spencer Tracy and Robert Mitchum in Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
The men of the stoop in their dreams.
(Movie poster for Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo)

Many of the stoop sages are veterans of World War Two. Joe Pinto lost an arm on Guadalcanal but still holds down two jobs. And, veterans or not, everyone on the stoop agrees that the Allies should have unleashed General George Patton. At the end of the war, Patton wanted to go clear across the steppes of Russia and clean out those commie creeps once and for all. But, Truman wouldn’t let him. 

“That’s why they killed him,” grunts Joe Pinto while crushing a beer can with his one remaining hand. “You think Ike wasn’t in on it? Jeep accident my ass.” 

Let’s say it’s another soft, summer night in 1955. Only lightning bugs and burning cigarettes illuminate the faces on the stoop as they agree, again – “We should have unleashed Patton.” Later, only flicker from TV screens illuminate their faces as they sit on their sofas watching Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo. Again. And, sipping a beer, they murmur, again – “We should have unleashed Patton.” Their wives sipping beside them nod in agreement. 

Boy outa Brooklyn a murder-memoir by Jack Antonio
Image: the smiling face of Steeplechase park in Coney Island, Brooklyn

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