Rediscover Childhood Memories
“Joe and John Gindele are two of the most interesting blokes you are likely to meet. Yorkville Twins recounts their memories of what gave rise to that uniqueness. In it we follow the boys through playgrounds and schoolrooms and family dinners. We meet their Czech and German families and friends who immerse them in colorful childhood escapades. Being twins seems to more than double their memories of precious details of outlandish adventures.
Their stories clearly reveal answers to specific questions such as ‘Why have Joe and John led such interesting and successful lives?’ But they also tackle much larger topics, too, such as ‘What is it to be an American?’ At this time when aspects of immigration are bothersome to many, Yorkville Twins reminds us how vital and important that experience has been to the growth of our nation.
For Easterners the tales of growing up in Manhattan in the 1940s, 50s and 60s will bring warm nostalgia. For those like me who grew up in quiet Midwestern towns, they reveal surprises of how different, and yet really how similar, childhood experiences can be.
For a real hoot, spend an afternoon with Joe and John Gindele. Not possible? Then enjoy your romp with them in Yorkville Twins.” –Jim Olson, author of Boomer
Live the Immigrant Experience1
“In this story, Joe and John Gindele shine a light on two threads in the fabric of New York City in the 1940s and 1950s, specifically that part of the fabric which covered Yorkville, a neighborhood on the east side of Manhattan just north of midtown.
Yorkville was, at best, an area of working class people. The people worked in jobs that kept the city running. There were no executives. No bosses, except perhaps for a few foremen who worked in some blue-collar industry and had not moved away because of the easy traveling to and from their jobs.
Most people lived in a four- or five-story, walk-up tenement building. Often their apartments had no toilet. Families would share a common toilet in the hallway. There were no showers. The only bathtub in many cases was a washtub located in the kitchen, a tub so small the best a full-grown person could do was sit on the edge and put his or her feet in the water.”
“The time Joe and John Gindele reminisce about is post-war America in a large city. It was a time when news reports, politicians, and leaders were believable in the public’s mind. It was a time when teachers, priests, and the police were never challenged. It was a time before TV. Some people had telephones. Most didn’t. Radio programs which sparked the imagination of children and adults alike were the daily fare.”
“Joe and John make vivid the characters, personalities, and ordinary pursuits of the common people of Yorkville. Their perspective is all the more unique because they are not just brothers, they are twin brothers
Only a few blocks away from Joe and John, on the other side of Third Avenue, lived the richest people in the world. But Joe and John’s world and the world of the people who shared it with them ranged from poor to working class at best. Yet the joy and happiness in their recollections is apparent in every story, indeed in every character they describe and in almost every word.”
“For someone like me who grew up in Yorkville just a couple of years before Joe and John and experienced the same things and the same kinds of characters each and every day, their book is exhilarating. Nostalgia and recollection are inspired with each story.”
“Joe and John Gindele have preserved their particular recollections of that wonderful time and place in their book. Its value for those of us who shared that time, and also for those of us who would like to know what it was like, is all there in their wonderful and special story.”
Anthony C. Lofaso,2 author of Origins and History of the Village of Yorkville in the City of New York: Second Edition (Xlibris, 2014)
[Anthony Lofaso was a second-generation Sicilian who worked the streets picking up and dumping garbage cans from apartment buildings into sanitation trucks as they drove down the streets. He worked himself up to become “Head of the Department of Sanitation for the City of New York.” Yet another immigrant success!]