The missing Mickies

The purpose of these stories is to share with each other those wonderful experiences and happy times growing up in the North End. We all have many, you know them: holidays, dancing, dating, hanging out, sports and those that are private and unprintable. Because most anecdotes will be covered by the aforementioned, I selected an experience of mine that was bizarre, maybe supernatural. I will explain, you decide. So come along and enter the twilight zone as I take you to the fall of 1957.

At that time, I was attending the Michelangelo Jr. High. Because we were Catholics in a public school, we were required to attend Christian learning classes at St. Leonard’s Church. Every Tuesday, promptly at 1.00pm. Father Edmond and his aide, Stanley, would arrive, congregate the 40 or so guys, and escort them to the Parish Hall. That’s when the phenomenon started.

As we proceeded down Charter St. onto Salem St., taking lefts and rights on different streets, at each turn the guys started disappearing. First, Murray, Louie Sforrza and Toto were gone. Johnny Brad, Gumpsy Scarpicchio, Guy G. and Buddy Micelli vanished. As we turned into Tileston St., Guso, Frankie Marino, Alie Federico, and Richie Gambale were no where to be found. The ranks dwindled as we neared the parish. Suddenly, Carlo De Luca who was to my side seemed to vaporize. I then became alarmed. I tried to find Chippa Venuti, Joe “Delie” Deliberti and Ritchie Fan, but failed.

Finally arriving at church, no more than 3 or 4 survived. Fr. Edmond was unmoved. He was composed. His aide, standing to his right was transfixed, mute. They were both oblivious to the voids left by the trip. Were they under a spell, demonized? What happened? Why was I spared? Did my Guardian Angel, which I earned for spending 9 years at St. Anthony’s, save me? After dismissal the bizarre events continued. Miraculously, the guys suddenly reappeared. First, at Carlo’s poolroom, then Minnie’s, Mazza’s was next. Roger’s, Pegleg’s, Fiore’s, followed. I couldn’t believe it! Thank you Lord, they’re safe.

Fortunately, we lost no one that year. Our class, 9 C-208, celebrated the outcome with a prayer we composed. Let me share: Let us pray.

Dear Lord, Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray to you my soul you’ll keep
If I should die before I wake,
Bet a dime on 208.

Sammy Viscione
Michelangelo Jr. High
Class of 1958