from Neighborhood to 'Nam......and back.

Growing up in a close knit neighborhood during the ‘50s and ‘60s was not unusual, it was the norm. Friendships were long and the bonds were tight. Friends walked to school together; joined scouts together; played sports together; grew up together. They dated and married girls from the neighborhood. . .And, most of them went to war together, not as a group, but as single individuals….and those same friends parted ways for a time. Each moving on to a new phase of their life.

The neighborhood was ‘Kaisertown’, a Polish-American community on the far east side of Buffalo New York. . .the war was Vietnam.

This blog is a collaboration of stories and experiences from this group of men, childhood buddies, all now in their sixties, whose friendships have lasted a lifetime.

These are also recollections from those young men who stayed behind. . ’caretakers’, as you will, of the old neighborhood that was a part of them . . .keeping the memories alive until all returned.


Dan: A Real Adventure

And then there was a Marine by the name of Jim ‘Fergie’ Folger.  For as long as I knew Jim, we were mostly always drunk at Wiechec’s bar.  One Friday night we were all getting pretty buzzed as usual, someone got an idea to go to ‘Franks Casanova’, it used to be a strip joint. That evening, the entertainment was an all female impersonators show.  We all loaded the cars and went on a adventure.  

As we sat by the bar and had a few drinks, the show started in the back room.  Jim kept looking at the dancers, the big thing was, he didn't know that they were all male. We didn't say a word to him.  After the show the dancers would come to the bar and mingle with the customers.  Jim picked out one, and bought him/her a drink, and then a few more. He thought it was a sure thing for the night.  As he sat there next to me, I watched as his hand went around the dancers waist, and squeezed his ass. . .the guy looked at Jim, and said “IF YOU DO THAT AGAIN, I'll BREAK YOUR FUCKING ARM!”. . . Jim leaned over to me and said, “hey Derf, mine has a deep voice”.  We laughed all the way back to Wiechec’s.

Many a time we had to carry Jim home, being so drunk.  He's gone now, and its ironic, the Greek (John Nichols) and I carried him to his final resting spot.  He’s been gone about eight years now, but we can still remember all the good times we had with Jim, WE ALL MISS YOU "BUD" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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