Jimmy Diamonds, I Hate You: Picture It and Write

Those were the days, back in Canarsie…

Picture It and Write from ermiliablog@wordpress
Write a paragraph of fiction or a poem to accompany the image.

The picture prompt for this week is below:

from ermiliablog

from ermiliablog

Jimmy Diamonds, I Hate You

Legs Montgomery, Andy Cap, Blue-eyed Sheila, Cats Fitzpatrick, and Lenny the Goose are almost all gone.

We was all friends down in Canarsie a hundred years ago. Legs would dance on the street corner, Andy took off his golfer’s cap and squatted down on one knee before passersby and begged for loose change. Blue-eyed Sheila and Cats Fitzpatrick swung their fake fur shoulder tassels around and around, sashayed their hips, rolled their eyes and pop-pop-popped their chewing gum. Lenny, ah Lenny the Goose, that really wasn’t the word for him. Lenny was a booster. He’d lift your pockets, steal your wallet, or milk your purse all while you laughed at us putting on that corner show.

It was poor times back then and we had to make a living.

But Jimmy Diamonds, he had the sweetest deal. He’d come back from the war with one leg, and would hobble into a jewelry store telling the help about how he had made it back from the war and wanted to get his goil a diamond engagement ring, and before you knew it, he had them with 4, 5, maybe even 6 of those sweet things lying on that black velvet show rag, and he’d swipe one by switching it with a fake one, or just plain pocket one when they wasn’t paying attention, or his best act was losing his balance on because of his leg, and the ice would go flying, and he’d beg off embarrassment and how sorry he was, and the help would all him get up off the floor, and dust him off, and ask if he was all right, and he’d thank them, and continue to apologize, and feign embarrassment, and all that; all that with one of those sweet stones in his pocket.

It was easy for Jimmy. I had to get on my knees and beg like a damn fool with my golfer’s cap stretched out in front of me pleading for the change. You see, I was Andy Cap. Jimmy had a sweet deal. I know it sounds stupid. He didn’t have a knee to beg on – or a leg to dance on, either.

And he’d boost a hell of a lot better than Lenny did. That’s fer damn sure. But I hated him anyway.

Randy Mazie


16 thoughts on “Jimmy Diamonds, I Hate You: Picture It and Write

  1. It’s almost like you knew those guys. Great job. My dad tells of his 3 buddies and him as teenagers hanging out on the corner in Brooklyn in the late 30’s. That’s how he met my mother. She was dating one of the other guys. I don’t think they had a Jimmy Diamonds, though. It was between wars. But I wouldn’t doubt they pulled some stuff that was just this side of illegal.

    • I felt like I knew them.
      I was raised in Brooklyn for my first five years but grew up in Queens.
      My dad was actually from the Bronx, and he would tell stories from the depression of selling peanuts in the park near his house, and then people would get thirsty, so his friend would come by and sell drinks. They’d keep rotating through.


          • Sun, sand, and surf, proximity of Hollywood, Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Universal Studios, growing up with the sons and daughters of those in the movie industry, none of which are conducive to a realistic world view.

            • wow – now there’s a story waiting to be told. I can’t imagine what it was like and how it changed or affected your view of the world.

              But I guess, my growing up in New York affected my sense of suspiciousness, sarcastic humor, competitiveness, street view of things, as well as an appreciation of museums/art/music/theater/writing, and cultures such as Italians, Greek and Chinese, and the importance of buses and subways and the wonder of city living – which also drove me to bring my children up in quasi “country” as we live in a somewhat rural style area in acre properties with horses in south Florida.

              • South Florida sounds great. I’ve only been as far as Orlando for, of course, Disneyworld when the kids were about 7 and 8. Lynn and I have property in Utah where we want to build a small cabin- money, or lack of, is the only drawback.

                A lot of my growing up was straight out of the “Beach Blanket” movies, if you’re old enough to remember them. I am! I was not a very good surfer as I was a worse swimmer. I hung out with kids whose families were all more affluent than mine.

                I went back to New York and ended up working in the city for 25 years, living in Long Beach, commuting via the LIRR and subways. Now we’re in Las Vegas, taking care of my dad who lives alone at 90! Lynn’s mom just died this past May.

                What else can I tell you in this abridged account? All the kids are grown and more or less on their own, though we still help out a few of them. When we do build that cabin, Lynn wants a horse. I’d settle for a dog. We’ll see what happens. I doubt we will get either for quite a while as we both want to travel. maybe we’ll even end up visiting you one day, who knows.

                So, merry Christmas and stay safe this holiday! We’re heading out in a few minutes to “give back” in our own small way!

                • Thank you for sharing that – and happy holidays to you and your family.

                  I do remember the “beach blanket” movies.
                  I worked in Long Beach in the “70’s moving the psychiatric patients out of the DIPTHA homes (the old Long Beach Hotels) back into state psychiatric (mostly Creedmoor) facilities. I ran a mobile crisis unit for the state – it was all part of wining the democratic vote on Long Island for Governor Carey’s reelection. And of course, every few years the treatment of psychiatric patients swings back and forth between incarceration and release into the community. Both having huge pluses and minuses.

                  Do you like Vegas? My wife, Debbie, and I went there about 5 years or so ago for a vacation.
                  Our dream for retirement is to buy a pick up and 5th wheel and travel across country….


                  • I remember those hotels. from what I understand they are now luxury condos. Our old home was destroyed this year by Sandy. we were in the canals.

                    Neither of us are crazy about Vegas. We never go to the strip unless there is a show we want to see, maybe once or twice a year. The outskirts are just like any other suburbs in any other town, I imagine. We live in a 55 and older community and we love it. Nice and quiet. Yes, everyone seems to go to bed around 9 at night. The sidewalks are empty night and day. But we’re relatively solitary people so we enjoy it.

                    Lynn wants to travel through Europe when we can. But until my father is no longer with us we will stay within the continental U.S. We looked into renting an RV but ti seemed even more expensive than driving and staying in a hotel or motel. In the past couple of years we’ve driven to Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona, California, and Illinois. Oh, and upstate New York. We have no plans right now for next year.

                    So stay warm and healthy for the holidays. OK, and for long afterwards, too. I expect more comments for the following year between us. My writing has fallen off but I’ll get back to it soon.

  2. Haha, I gotta love a title that says, “I hate you” right in the middle of Christmas, Randy. When you said, “goil’, it reminded me of “Thoity doity boids.” Darn that Jimmy… driving up the price of diamonds! I hate him too.

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