The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


September 4, 2013

Teen Hangouts --- The Revere and Marcucci’s

Marcucci's and the Revere were rivals in attracting the teen-age crowd in the 30's and 40's.  Both were popular hangouts.  Amos "Curly" Pollastrini ran the Revere Candy Store, and Pete Rastrelli took over its candy kitchen around the mid 1930's.  When the Revere Hotel was torn down about 1950, Pete moved up to Main Avenue.  Curly Pollastrini was bald and his son Herbert, due to his association with candy, was always called "Hershey."  Once I asked "Hersh" what his real name was, and he answered in a thick brogue, "Ah, Mr. Herrity, me name is Hair-burt!"   I fired back questioning why he, who was a __ (inappropriate ethnic slang for Italian), and was speaking with an Irish accent?!  In those days, the town was filled with varying degrees of native speech dialects, so everyone imitated each other's ethnic roots for good-natured aggravation.

This spot, at the NW corner of South 2nd Street and 4th Avenue South,  was very busy because of the Revere, McFadden's Cafe to the right in the picture, and Sino's Grocery market across the alley.  We lived nearby and I regularly traversed the neighborhood on my tricycle, gathering information along the way.  Across 4th Avenue was the Maid Rite,  Firestone's, Beier’s Bakery, and Clarence Bach's gas station.  Ah, Smell that newly-baked bread in the air!

Down the block lived the Jack Warnock family.   Beyond them, the Wooster Building, where the pool hall was.  Next to it was Campie's Shoe Repair.  Tooling down the block, I'd often stop at the Revere's back door and knock on the door until a guy who "didn't speak no English" opened it and gave me soft ice cream in a cardboard dish.  It was Pete Rastrelli, and he always knew exactly what I wanted.  Then it was on to Second Street and, although Mother drummed into my head to, "never, never ever go near the river," no one minded my navigating busy Second Street on my trike!  One of my sisters was probably with me, maybe.  How fortunate to be the eighth child!  My parents, exhausted from raising the others, more or less left the eighth to chance.

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