Sunday, 30 November 2008


The Meatpacking District, officially known as Gansevoort Market is bounded by Horatio Street (and Greenwich Village ) on the south, 16th Street (and Chelsea) on the north, Hudson Street and 9th Avenue on the east and West Street.

The original Gansevoort Market took its name from its location on Gansevoort Street which was at one time an Indian trail leading to and from the Hudson River. To begin with this road was called Great Kills Road (a corrupt form of the 'kiln' that was located alongside the road) and later renamed in 1837 Gansevoort Street after Fort Gansevoort at the foot of the street. Peter Gansevoort (1749-1812) was a New York General from the Revolutionary War.

Today's Gansevoort Market area is actually the site of three distinct markets that have existed here at various times during the past century and a half, the original Gansevoort Farmers Market, the West Washington Market and today's Gansevoort Market Meat Center.

By 1900, Gansevoort Market was home to 250 slaughterhouses and packing plants, but by the 1980's, it had become known as a center for drug dealing and prostitution, particularly transsexuals.

By 2003, only 35 of the 250 slaughterhouses and packing plants remained and the district had gone through a transformation which had started in the late 1990's.

High-end boutiques such as Diane von Furstenberg, Alexander McQueen, and Stella McCartney, restaurants such as Pastis and Buddha Bar, bars such as Hogs & Heiffers, and nightclubs such as Level V, Tenjune, Kiss & Fly and APT, all haved opened to attract and cater for young professionals and hipsters. In 2004, New York Magazine called the Meatpacking District "New York's most fashionable area".

Saturday, 29 November 2008


On a fine Saturday morning, there can be no better relaxation than to visit Union Square, and chill out on one of the many very comfortable park benches, catch up on the week's newspapers, watch the world go by and like Doctor John Dolittle "talk to the animals" who are in close attendance. There are also market stalls in abundance featuring a wide range of organic foodstuffs, plants and other merchandise with a slight bohemian/hippy/Greenwich Village arty edge.

"A squirrel is just a rat with a cuter outfit!"
(Sarah Jessica Parker quote as Carrie Bradshaw)


The Episcopal church of St Luke-in-the-Fields on Hudson Street between Christopher and Barrow Streets, has close ties with the current popular conception of Santa Claus. On October 22nd, 1820, Clement Clarke Moore with a small group of residents of the riverfront village of Greenwich organised an Episcopal church for their growing community and named it after St. Luke, the physician evangelist, in recognition of the village's role as a refuge from the yellow fever epidemics that plagued New York City during the summers.

Clement Clarke Moore, a wealthy landowner and gentleman scholar of biblical Hebrew and Greek penned the poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" (also known as "The Night Before Christmas" and "Twas the night before Christmas" which was first published anonymously in 1823. It is largely responsible for the conception of Santa Claus from the mid-19th century to today, including his physical appearance, the night of his visit, his mode of transportation, the number and names of his reindeer, and that he brings toys to chidren. Prior to the poem, American ideas about St. Nicholas, and other Christmastide visitors varied considerably. The poem has influenced ideas about St. Nicholas and Santa Claus beyond the United Stated to the rest of the Anglosphere and the world.

Cover of a 1912 edition of the poem, illustrated by Jessie Wilcox Smith

'Twas the night before Christmas

when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring,

not even a mouse


Friends the very popular American sitcom about a group of friends in Manhattan, New York City. It was originally broadcast from 1994 to 2004 in a total of 236 episodes. The show has been broadcast in more than 100 countries and still continues to attract good ratings for its episodes in syndication. The final episode of the show was watched by an estimated US audience of 51.1 million. During the show's 10 year run, it won 7 Emmy's (including one for Outstanding Comedy Series), a Golden Globe, 2 SAG Awards, and 56 other various awards with 152 nominations.

The corner of Bedford Street and Grove Street in the West Village is the site of the fictional home of the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. show characters. At some point in the show every character has lived in one of the 2 apartments in the show.
The ground floor now houses the very popular, cosy (small and a bit close together) Little Owl restaurant which specialises in bold flavoured Mediterranean cuisine and, apparently, is a hot spot for romantic dining, known somewhat ungallantly as 'clinching the deal'. Due to its compactness and popularity reservations are the order of the day.

Friday, 28 November 2008


Battery Park is a 25-acre public park located at the Battery, the southern tip of Manhattan, affording the most spectacular views of New York Harbour. It is named for the artillery battery that was stationed there at various times by the Dutch and British in order to protect the harbour. At the north end of the park is Pier A, formerly a fireboat station, and Hope Garden, a memorial to AIDS victims. At the other end is Battery Gardens restaurant, next to the United States Coast Guard Battery Building. Along the waterfront, ferries depart for the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. There is also a stop on the New York Water Taxi route between the Statue of Liberty Ferry and Pier A.

The park is an attractive area to stroll through taking in the river breezes and enjoying some magnificent scenery. It is but a short stroll (10 mins) to continue up alongside the East River passing the Downtown Heliport, to the South Street Seaport Museum, shops and restaurant complex.

To the northern end, nearby Pier A, is this stunning memorial by sculptor Marisol Escobar, dedicated October 8, 1991 and depicts merchant mariners in a sinking lifeboat. The plaque dedicates the statue to all merchant marines lost at sea.

Thursday, 27 November 2008


Astor Place is named for John Jacob Astor, who arrived in New York in 1783, and progressed to becoming the richest person in the United States at that time, and one of New York's most famous sons. After arriving from Germany, he built up a fur-trading empire in the Great Lakes and Canada and then invested his fortune in New York real estate and became the country's first multi-millionaire, later becoming a patron of the arts.

"perhaps he tried turning The Cube by himself?"

The trapezium-shaped traffic island in the center of Astor Place is a popular meeting place, hangout spot, and center of much skateboarding activity. But the island is most noteably home to Tony Rosenthal's sculpture "Alamo" aka "The Cube", which consists of a large metal black cube mounted on one corner, which can be spun on its vertical axis by one person with difficulty, or two and more without trouble. In 2003, the Cube was subject to a prank when the ATF Squad (All Too Flat) turned it into a giant Rubik's Cube.


In the UK this morning we awoke to face the prospect of seeing Woolworths, our much loved and iconic high street retailer with over 8oo branches and 30000 staff, being erased from our lives forever. Woolworths has been placed in administration (similar to Chapter 8) and the chances of it arising from the ashes are not rated highly. To most of us many things have happened in our lives, some good, some bad, but one thing has until now remain unchanged - Woolworths in a prominent high-street position awaiting to serve us with a multiplicity of merchandise.

In the USA the Woolworth retail brand disappeared in 1997 when the brand was converted into a sporting goods retailer, firstly under the name Venator Group, and then in 2001, changing its name to Foot Locker Inc. However, Manhattan was left with a memorable and long lasting treasure on which to gaze with pleasure and act as a constant reminder of F. W. Woolworth Company.

The Woolworth Building
Many find the Woolworth Building, at 233 Broadway, to be one of the most attractive elements of New York's skyline; the elegant structure was called the "cathedral of commerce" when it was built and it was the tallest building in the world from 1913 until 1930. The design is neo-gothic, with finials and small spires accenting the main tower. Subtle shading creates the illusion of shadow and adds to the sense of verticality.
Mr F. W. Woolworth paid $13 million in actual cash to to have it built, and the lobby includes a carved representation of him counting coins - not bad for a 'five-and-dime' business man. After the chain went out of business in the late 1990's the building was sold for $155 million to the Witkoff Group.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008


" Our rural ancestors, with little blest,
Patient of labour when the end was rest,
Indulged the day that housed their annual grain,
With feasts, and off rings, and a thankful strain."
Alexander Pope

In 1620, a boat filled with over 100 people sailed from England across the Atlantic Ocean to settle in the New World. The group had begun to question the beliefs of the Church of England and they wanted to seperate from it. The Pilgrims settled in what is now the state of Massachusetts and their first winter in the New World was extremely difficult. They had arrived too late to grow many crops, and without fresh food, half the colony died. The following spring the Iroquois Indians taught them how to grow corn (maize), a new food for the colonists. They showed them other crops to grow in the unfamiliar soil and how to hunt and fish.

In the autumn of 1621, bountiful crops of corn, barley, beans and pumpkins were harvested. The colonists had much to be thankful for, so a feast was planned. They invited the local Indian chief and 90 indians who brought deer to roast with the turkeys and other wild game offered by the colonists. To this very first Thanksgiving, the indians had even brought popcorn.

Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday of November, a different date every year and affords everybody the opportunity to relax, enjoy a sumptuous turkey roast dinner with family and friends, watch sport and generally have a good time. For many in New York City, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is an unmissable attraction, particularly the children.

The Macy's Thanksgiving Parade is an annual event presented by Macy's Department store. The three-hour event is held in NYC starting at 9.00am EST on Thanksgiving. In the 1920's many of Macy's employees were first generation immigrants. Proud of their new American heritage, they wanted to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with the type of festival their parents had loved in Europe.

In 1924, the annual Thanksgiving Parade started by Louis Bamberger in Newark, New Jersey at the Bamberger's store was transfered to New York by Macy's. In New York, the employees marched to Macy's flagship store on 34th Street dressed in vibrant costumes. There were floats, professional bands and live animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo. At the end of that parade, as has become the case with every parade since, Santa Claus was welcomed into Herald Square. With an audience of over a quarter of a million people, the parade was such a success that Macy's declared it would become an annual event - only missing the World War II years.

Large animal-shaped balloons produced by The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in Akron, Ohio replaced the live animals in 1927 when Felix the Cat balloon made its debut using air for inflation but by the next year helium was used to fill the expanding use of balloons. The balloons for the parade are inflated the day before on both sides of the American Museum of Natural History in NYC. The balloons are split up between 77th and 81st Streets between Central Park and Columbus Avenue. The inflation is open to the public the afternoon and night before the parade.

And finally, our best wishes for a happy, relaxing and peaceful 2008 Thanksgiving Day are warmly extended to all in New York City and beyond, especially for our Manhattan domiciled son, who is always in our thoughts.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008


Perhaps the most important comic director in the New York cinematic canon, Woody Allen started his career writing scripts for other comics. He did his first stand-up comedy in 1960 at the Blue Angel in Manhattan, and wrote the successful Broadway play Don't Drink The Water in 1967. He is best known for writing, directing, and starring in more than 20 comic films, most of which take place in New York City, such as Manhattan (1979) and Annie Hall (1977). The characters he plays are quintessential New Yorkers: self-obsessed and worried to the point of incapacitation, they suffer and writhe in the agony of urban existence, without ever losing their romanticized vision of the city.

His stand-up comedy was unique, self-depreciating and Jewish with quips such as "I failed to make the school chess team because of my height," and "I am very proud of my gold watch. My grandfather sold it to me on his deathbed." He also used the comic rant well, for example, "I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead. Not sick. Not wounded. Dead!"

Allen is a passionate fan of jazz which is often featured in his movies' soundtracks. He has played the clarinet since adolescence and chose his stage name from an idol, famed clarinetist Woody Herman. He has performed publicly since the late-1960's, notably with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on the soundtrack of Sleeper. He performs regularly with his New Orleans Jazz Band at the Carlyle Hotel, 35, East 76th Street (between Madison & Park) on most Mondays and has performed in his beloved Manhattan for more than a quarter of a century. The music created which is predominantly pop and jazz played in a Dixieland style is now attracting worldwide attention and the band have toured Europe and appeared in international jazz festivals such as the Montreal Jazz Festival for two consecutive nights in June 2008.
Last word to Woody, who said that on the question of the legacy of his varied talents "I don't want to achieve immortality through my work, I want to achieve it by not dying!"


Go over to East Third Street - where number 77 is the headquarters of the Manhattan chapter of the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club. This is a functioning clubhouse: be discreet. It is recommended that you don't park a vehicle directly outside as tyres tend to become slashed, do not ask to go inside to use the rest-room nor ask the members inside to come outside to pose for photo's with your loved one's. Even the smallest digital camera can be extremely painful to surgically remove from tight orifices.

The Manhattan chapter was chartered in 1969 by Sandy Frazier Alexander - an ex-marine who moved to New York in 1967 joining the Aliens motorcycle club. He decided they weren't tough enough and established Hell's Angels in Manhattan and soon Alexander's power and reputation rivaled that of the most famous angel in the country, Sonny Barger, of Oakland, California.

Originally little more than hell-raisers, they quickly attracted the interest of the law enforcement agencies and, a massive raid here on May 2, 1985 resulted in scores of arrests on drug charges and splintered the chapter. Alexander was sentenced to 16 years in prison and at a later trial William "Wild Bill" Medeiros, testified for the government that the gang had imported massive quantities of amphetamines for resale and had murdered at least two members suspected of informing.

A mural and bronze plaque in the form of a leering skull can be found opposite, on the building accommodating the six closed-circuit security cameras trained on the facade of the Angel's lair, and memorises Vincent "Big Vinny" Girolama, a particularly ferocious and intimidating member of the Manhattan chapter. He distiguished himself in Angel annals on September 21, 1977, when he threw a 32-year-old Mary Ann Campbell to her death from the clubhouse roof as other members cheered him on. Before he could stand trial he died in 1979 from a ruptured spleen suffered during a fight with a fellow Angel in Oakland, California.

Residents in the area say they feel more secure as the presence of the Angel's HQ tends to make local criminals think twice about attracting the wrath of the chapter members. And who can blame them as on the Manhattan Chapter's website it gives the following piece of advice:-


Can't say fairer than that then, can you?

Monday, 24 November 2008


Gennarro Lombardi, began selling pizza in 1905, laying claim to being the father of the American pizza. Originally, Lombardi's was a grocery store, but it soon became a popular stop for workers looking for something to take to work for lunch. Gennaro started selling tomato pies, which were wrapped in paper and tied with string, and the many workers of Italian descent would take them to the job site. Most could not afford the entire pie, so it was often sold by the piece. There was no set size or price, so you asked for whatever lets say 2 cents would buy and you were given a portion of what was equal to the amount offered.

Over the years Lombardi's has become almost a cult like Mecca for pizza enthusiasts. It is situated at 32, Spring Street (corner of Spring and Mott Street) and prides itself on using only the very best of ingredients, cooked in traditional coal fired ovens.

The reason to come here will soon become evident to you: beautiful, smoky-crusted pizza with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella. The allure of this pizza starts with the crust, which is black and crispy on the underside, but gives way to a wonderfully soft, yeasty interior and is a 'slice' well worth taking the trouble to experience in a city rich in good pizza establishments - arguably the best in the world.

Saturday, 22 November 2008


The Bowery Poetry Club is a New York City poetry and other performing arts space, founded by Bob Holman in 2002. Located at 308 Bowery, between Bleeker and Houston Streets, in the Lower East Side, the BPC provides a home base for established and upcoming artists encompassing poetry, all kinds of jazz, folk, hip-hop and improv theatre acts

Events at Bowery Poetry Club feel less like the usual one dimensional staid literary readings, more like big, friendly parties replete with alcohol, conversation and some of the last edginesson the Bowery not yet channeled into boutique hotels.

Time Out New York says "the name of this colourful joint on the Bowery reveals its poetry-slam roots, but it's also the truest current iteration of the East Village's legendary arts scene."

A varied and full programme of entertainment is on offer most nights and at very reasonable prices. The BPC offers a range of sandwiches and hot and cold drinks and there are generally seats available to rest one's weary feet.

If you have a taste for the bizarre and don't offend too easily, keep your eyes peeled for anything from the Jollyship to the Whizbang musical puppet crew.

At the performance on 19th March 2008, one of the performers seems to have let the beauty of the rendition go to his head.

"......Playing a game of cricket,
The ball flew down his trouser leg
And hit his middle wicket."


The total area of New York City is 301 square miles. Manhattan, New York City's best-known borough is only 22,7 square miles. Within the city limits there are 6,374 miles of streets.

There are approximately ten million bricks in the Empire State Building.

More than one-fourth of the worlds gold bullion is stored in New York, at the Federal Reserve Bank on Maiden Lane (well it was prior to the Toxic Debt Credit Crisis!)

The Statute of Liberty's index finger is eight feet long.

There are 578 miles of waterfront in New York City.

The average speed for cross-town automobile traffic in New York City is less than six miles per hour. The maximum possible average speed for cross-town traffic, as maintained by the timing of traffic lights, is fifteen miles an hour.

There are more than 2,000 surveillance cameras keeping watch over Nre York City - so be warned.
In New York, rats may outnumber people by as much as four to one; the rat population is somewhere between ten and fifty million. The above picture illustrates quite graphically the dangers of allowing rats to live off pizza, hot dogs and New York cheesecake scraps.

New Yorkers produce approximately 26,400,000 pounds of garbage everyday. Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island is the worlds largest landfill. It was in constant use from 1948 to 2001, and covers 2,800 acres. The surface of the landfill is now covered and landscaped. Considered as a single mass, the landfill is the largest human-made object in the world.

* Peter Sellars imitating Sir Michael Caine on the Michael Parkinson Show.

Friday, 21 November 2008


In, 1919, at the end of World War I, a group of New York writers gathered at the Algonquin Hotel, 59, W 44th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues, for a lunchtime "roast" to celebrate the return of theater critic Alexander Woolcott from service as a war correspondent. Thus began a decade-long daily ritual for some of the era's most prominent artist-intellectuals. Dubbed "the Algonquin Round Table," regulars included Woolcott, writer, critic and acerbic wit Dorothy Parker, playwright George S Kaufman, actor and screenwriter Robert Brenchley, novelist Edna Ferber, performer Harpo Max and Harold Ross, founder of The New Yorker magazine.

Famous for their stinging wit and merciless criticism, Dorothy Parker called her lunch partners "the vicious circle," while Edna Ferber referred to them as "the poison squad." For example Dorothy Parker commenting on a new novel said "This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force." And acknowledging the inevitable consequences of her liking for alcohol penned:-

I like to have a martini,

Two at the very most.

After three I'm under the table,

after four I'm under my host.

The Algonquin Round Table in caricature by Al Hirschfeld. Seated at the table, clockwise from left: Dorothy Parker, Robert Brenchley, Alexander Woolcot, Heywood Broun, Marc Connelly, Franklin P. Adams, Edna Ferber, George S. Kaufman, Robert Sherwood. In back from left: frequent Algonquin guests Lynn Fontanne and Alfred Lunt, Vanity Fair editor Frank Crowninshield and Frank Case.


Thursday, 20 November 2008


At the end of the 18th century the Bowery was New York's most elegant street, lined with fashionable shops and mansions of prosperous residents. Lorenzo Da Ponte, the Libtrettist for Mozart's Don Giovanni, Marriage of Figaro, and Cosi Fan Tutte, ran one of the shops - a fruit and vegetable store - after he emigrated to New York in 1806. But by the time of the Civil War, the mansions and shops had given way to brothels, beer gardens and flophouses, like the one at No.15 in which the composer lived in 1864. It had also become the turf of one of America's earliest street gangs, the nativist Bowery Boys.

From the second half of the 1800's to the mid-1950's the Bowery district was an enormous hub of commerce as well as home to between 25,000 and 75,000 homeless men. Each night they would spend their hard (or illicitly) earned money on food, alcohol and to stay in one of almost 100 'flophouses'.

Today only a handful of the old flophouses remain, the rest having been swept away in an implacably rising tide of affluence. These flophouses are the last vestiges of a different time and a different city, and The Sunshine Hotel, 241 The Bowery, between Stanton and Rivington Streets, is one of them.

The picture (above) taken circa 1903, at another similar flophouse, shows the usual layout with men sleeping in a warren of 4' X 6' cubicles called pigeon coops, which stand only 7' high, beneath 12' ceilings, covered over with chicken wire. The narrow gray hallways are lined with flimsy wooden doors.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008


It was on a cold, snowy evening on 23rd January, 1917 that painters John Sloan and Marcel Duchamp, poet Gertrude Drick, and Provincetown Playhouse actors Alan Russell Mann, Betty Turner, and Charles Ellis slipped through an unlocked door and climbed the spiral staircase to the roof of the Washington Arch.

These six so-called "Arch Conspirators" then spread out blankets, hung Chinese lanterns, tied red balloons to the arch's parapet, sipped tea, shot off cap pistols, and talked until dawn.

At some point during the night, the ringleader, Gertrude Dick, read a proclamation by candlelight into the cold windy night - a declaration of independence for what the Arch Conspirators' somewhat ironically called the "Free and Independent Republic of Washington Square." Social commentator, Luc Sante astutely noted that the slightly comical declaration of January 23rd, 1917 "actually named the thing that all the inhabitants of the Greenwich Village of that time were aiming for, a revolution in more than just a legislative sense, a free territory untrammeled by convention."

While 1917's Declaration of Independence was soon forgotten, Greenwich Village's spirit of rebellion and breaking with the past was very much alive, then and now and it is no understatement to declare that modern American art became deeply rooted in and around Washington Square in the decades after the Arch Conspirators stunt. Artists like Sloan and Glackens were the vanguard of an entire movement of realist painters, including Thomas Hart Benton and Edward Hopper, who painted around Washington Square. Others to follow Duchamp's iconoclastic footsteps, most notably Jackson Pollock and other abstract expressionists.

Please do not think about launching your own bid for a Free and Independent Republic of Washington Square, as nowadays the access door to the west pier of the arch is locked, the spiral stairs secured and the arch roof off limits. But on a chilly January night, 91 years after Drick and her co-conspirators proclaimed the independence of Washington Square, rebellion and artistic expression remain very much a part of the spirit of Greenwich Village.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008


It doesn't need a 'degree in deduction' to fathom out that Spring Street in Soho got its name from a spring - one in fact that was tapped by Aaron Burr's Manhattan Water Company, which was set up as a sort of late-eighteenth-century utility company that later became a banking company instead - The Chase Manhattan Bank no less. Aaron Burr, the New York lawyer who became Vice President of the United States, lived close by in a splendid white country mansion.

But here is a creepy twist of death and and supernaturalism: Local legend has it that in 1800, Juliana Elmore Sands was found floating in the well, that is now in the basement of a restaurant, The Manhattan Bistro (between Wooster and Greene Streets). One of the men who fished her out from the well reported her appearance ".....was horrid enough - her hat and cap off, her hair hanging all over her head, her comb was yet hanging in her hair, tied with a white ribbon; her shawl was off; her gown was torn open with great violence, and her shoes were off."

Her murder shocked New Yorkers. Sympathy for the ingenue poured out and her funeral was large, so much so that the crowds so determined to participate, resulted in her body being laid out in the street in front of the large boarding house where she lived and had been wooed by one of the boarders, a carpenter named Levi Weeks. Apparently earlier on the fateful night, Levi had secretly promised to marry Miss Sands and was soon the main and only suspected murderer. Levi Weeks was eventually acquitted of murder charges but Juliana returned as a ghost.

"unsuspecting customers in The Manhattan Bistro"

Many sightings have been reported of poor Juliana. In 1974, a nearby local resident, said a gray-haired apparition wearing mossy garments rose from his water bed and in The Manhattan Bistro, The Ghost of Spring Street, has supposedly caused plates and ashtrays to fly off the tables, and staffers once saw a spiraling mist ascend from the well itself.

Monday, 17 November 2008


Joel Russ, a Galacian Jew from what is now East Poland, began his career on the Lower East Side in 1911, peddling Polish mushrooms from a horse-drawn wagon.

He established his "Cut-Rate Appetising Store" on Orchard Street in 1914.

But the gruff, hard-working Mr Russ had little patience with his finicky customers, and the business suffered until he put his three, pretty daughters, Ida, Anne, and Hattie, behind the counters. He had no sons.

Renamed Russ and Daughters, the store moved to its present location at 179 East Houston Street, between Orchard and Allen Streets, in the 1940's according to Maria Federman, wife of Mark Federman, present owner of the store and son of Joel Russ's daughter Anne.

Russ and Daughters still sells fresh Malossol caviar
and 50 varieties of smoked and salted fish prepared on
the premises from recipes unchanged for over a century: like lox, smoked salmon (including sweet-smoked Gaspe), smoked white-fish and lake sturgeon, matjes herring, and the rather sweet chopped herring salad.

Each of the three daughters met their husbands while working at Russ and Daughters. Today a portrait of the Russ daughters, adorns a wall of the store, and hanging in the window are long necklaces of dried Polish mushrooms, the kind that Joel Russ sold on these same streets from his wagon, years ago.