Toritto – A Life In Pictures – #5

Toritto and Judy at my senior prom – May 1959.  I was 16.  She just turned 12.


The years went by between my 6th grade elementary school and my 12th grade high school graduation.  Leaving P.S 187, I attended Edward B Shallow Junior High and then New Utrecht High School.  During the Summer before my junior year our family moved to our own little house on a dirt street in the outskirts of Coney Island.

I continued to attend New Utrecht until school authorities learned our family had moved out of the district.  I was transferred to Lafayette High, which in some ways was a superior school.

My problems in high school, to the extent I had any, revolved around my age.  I was a year younger than everyone else.  I had completely skipped the 8th grade (clever boy!)and was now a 16 year old senior.  I was a kid in everyone’s eyes.  Additionally, I had transferred in during my junior year and didn’t have the long term friendships I had previously enjoyed at my old school.

Graduation was approaching and it seemed everyone had a prom date except me.  There wasn’t an 18 year old girl/woman alive that was going to attend her prom with a 16 year old too young to drive, drink or go to night clubs after the dance.

Enter Judy.

Judy was my best friend Billy’s younger sister.  Judy had just turned 12!  Billy and I spent half our lives at each other’s houses so I knew his sister well.  When kicking around my date difficulties I thought of his sister.  You can see she had blossomed quite nicely and quite early.   So I asked her casually but then had to ask her parents because, after all, she was only 12.  She had never been on a real date and only knew the boys in the neighborhood, including me.

“O.K. she can go but it’s only because we know you so well.  There is to be absolutely no drinking or clubbing!  Do we understand each other?”

“Yes sir.”

So Judy and I went to my senior prom, held at a fine Manhattan hotel.  I was 16, She was 12.

Obviously there was no getting a 12 year old (or me for that matter) into a night club afterwards.  So Judy and I went to Coney Island in prom dress and tux and to cheers, applause and congrats of the crowds rode the Cyclone, the Wonder Wheel and the great Parachute Jump.  Mostly we were waved on any ride we chose to go on for free.

I graduated high school on a Thursday and went to work on Monday at what is now Citibank.  In the mail room.  Suddenly everyone began treating the 16 year old as if he were a man – a working man – including my father.

I learned during the holiday season that Judy passed away last year.  She will live forever in the ether of the internet.  Always my date to the Senior Prom.

About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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7 Responses to Toritto – A Life In Pictures – #5

  1. Lara/Trace says:

    What a great story (again)! You are quite the achiever, Frank!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. beetleypete says:

    I was so sad at the end to read about Judy, and I never even knew her. What a shame. She looks so happy to be your date, and I am sure she had a crush on you. Taking her to your prom must have been one of the highlights of her youth. (You look much older than 16, very grown up)
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. paolsoren says:

    Brilliant story. And going to Coney Island – now that was the highlight for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Billy and Me – New Years Eve – 1959 – 60 Years Ago | toritto

  5. Pingback: Billy and me – New Years Eve – 1959 | toritto

  6. jennasnanny04 says:

    RIP Judy. She sure was a cutie and you both obviously made great memories. Thank you for sharing and posting the sweet Prom picture.


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