Tom is my upstairs neighbor. He has lived in his apartment for 80 of his 87 years, the other 7 took place about 3 blocks away.. This is Tom’s spot outside where he reads his mail or the newspaper and tells me tales of Brooklyn days gone by. To live in one place your whole life and watch it change or not change over and over again, that’s pretty amazing.
I am the total opposite. I have lived in about 30 different houses 5 different cities over my meager 37 years.
I’ve always loved history but Tom’s has imparted in me a sense of Brooklyn history that you can not read in a book. I can visualize him playing sandlot baseball with Dizzy Dean or working at the various warehouses along Red Hook. When I sit with Tom on the steps of our building I can see the history of Carroll Gardens speed past me like a flip book.