Could everyone write one simple essay about something that once happened in Saltaire…that they saw or were a part of…and put it on one big website? Somebody should collect a lot of stories before we all forget. Otherwise it is like a line in “On The Beach” : The history of the war that now would never be written.” -(JO'H)

Monday, January 1, 2018

Wharf Rats

Blasts from Our Past: an occasional republication of our best posts. We have posted hundreds of posts; almost a thousand pictures. posts, all of which can be accessed by scorlling down. You can also use our search engine.

Ed. Note: This Post, "Wharf Rats," first published on Jan 4, 2008 generated some some of our largest volume of comments. Back by popular demand: "WHARF RATS"

A picture of some of the Maple Avenue Wharf Rats forty years ago-- summer 1968--- left to right: Sneaky Pete; Noel F. (before his hair fell out); The Chief (who worked on the freight boat); Skinner; Tom Southard (Captain of the Wing Ding); unknown couple; and Larry Neuschafer-Paprocki.

Simpler times - $1.50 for parking. The amount of liquor consumed in that parking shack by Sneaky and Crew could not be accurately measured. Keep in mind that Sneaky Pete and Skinner had once been rumrunners. Frank Mina recalls: "Please note that Skinner's glass is already empty lest Elmer (FI Ferry Owner Elmer Patterson) come around the bend trying to catch Al drinking on the job, one of Elmer's favorite pastimes when he wasn't kicking stones around his own parking lot. That makes the attached photo especially poignant. This picture was 1968. Skinner's last year on the job was 1969."


Beaver said...

Referring to the parking lot photo - One Sunday afternoon in July(??) of 1968 I was on my way back to Ft Devens. I was on about a 2PM ferry out of Saltaire. Capt Al sees smoke filling the sky over near BayShore - he asks on the ship to shore radio what was on fire, One of the other ferry captains responds that "Gil Clarks is on fire" to which Skinner responds "Oh my God, it's a tragedy in the making, imagine two hundred and fifty thousands cockroaches will now be homeless"

Monk said...

Please correct caption on photo as to IDs of the couple between Tom Southard and Larry.
BTW, I confirm Beav's comment on the fire at Gil's
Thanks, FXM

JOH said...

True Story: Larry Neuschaefer was as strong as a bull - he got p.o'd at Frank Mina and Beaver one morning during the summer of '67 - he grabbed both by their belts, lifted them simultaneously and tossed them in the dumpster behind Flynn's.

Beaver said...

The "elegant sufficiency" main course that I always remember was moo goo gai pan.

Looking back some forty years it's sad to see that almost half of those in the picture(Sneaky Pete, Chief, Skinner,) are no longer with us.
The Chief was a certifiable lunatic - he was ex-career Coast Guard who Patterson hired to work on the freight boat - he was about 5'9- or so, very thin, and had maybe half dozen broken teeth in his jaw. He'd spent a number of days floating around on a raft after his ship was torpedoed and sunk off of Guadalcanal during WWII. The tropical sun probably fried his brain which accounted for his later actions. He used to claim to be able to do the work of fifteen men and the rest of we slackards were nothing but a bunch of lazy "chicken f*ers" The last year or so that Skinner worked on the boat he lived in a room in a house adjacent to the POW parking lot - Chief also had a room in this house - Skinner used to say the first thing he'd hear at 6 or so in the morning was the pop/hiss of a beer can being opened as Chief's normal breakfast was a can or two of beer and some raw hot dogs.

Anonymous said...

I remember when Frank Mina fired Sneaky Pete and Larry back in the mid - Summer of 1973- He then called me to to have a job at the Saltaire Parking Lot. I can't remember for what reason, Frank then offered the job to me. I took it and mainly did the afternoons and then taking the 9pm boat back home to Saltaire. One of the best perks about the job there was free lunches and dinners from Flynns- Don't know if Frank ever knew that perk. Out through the back door at about 5 to 5:30 pm came dinner from Flynns. Combo platters of fish, steaks, pork chops. We just watched their cars for them in the front part of the parking lot. Even when I went into the restaurant and sat down for a meal which I was willing to pay for- the waiter would come out and say this one is oth ( on the house)

Anonymous said...

That couple is 2 of the Dunleavy family

Capt. Frank said...

The unidentified couple are not Dunleavys, but teacher friends of Laree and Jeanette.

BTW, I never fired Sneaky Pete or Laree. Patterson did the "dirty deed" since he owned Fire Island Terminal until 1974.