Friday, May 15, 2009

Look Up In The Sky!: Danger On The KV Roofs

I mentioned in a previous blog that practical jokes were part of the everyday life in Knickerbocker Village in the 70's and 80's. Some of the jokes were harmful. Most were not. Some were atrocious and downright dangerous.
One of the worst practical jokes I ever witnessed, was on a Saturday afternoon when a groom and his male wedding party were heading from the East court to the marriage ceremony at St. Joseph's, some punk, or punks, threw a can of white paint off the KV roof. I was sitting in front of the parking lot I owned at 31 Monroe St. when this happened.
Luckily, the can did not hit anyone, but the paint splattered all over the wedding party's black tuxedos. What a horrible thing to do.
I ran home, and grabbed a black dinner jack and the coat of a black suit that I had, and gave it to two of the wedding party. Others did the same, and in minutes, the wedding party was presentable enough for the wedding. Although, the “tuxedos” didn't exactly match, the wedding went off without a hitch.
I don't remember if the guilt party, or parties, was ever discovered. But if they were, I'm sure they was dealt with accordingly.
During the mid 80's, there was also some nuts throwing pebbles off the KV roof, trying to hit people walking down Monroe Street. I was again siting in front of my parking lot with a friend, when I heard pebbles hitting the street, and saw people scattering. The pebbles were coming from the A building's roof, directly above Dave's Cleaners. I looked up and saw the heads of the morons responsible. They immediately ducked back. My friend and I ran across the street, and bounded down the steps into Dave's Cleaner's. The morons were hiding on the roof and didn't see us coming .
We went through Dave's back door to the A building elevator, and rode the elevator up to the penthouse. Then we ran up the stairs and bolted through the door to the roof. Sure enough, the two teenage moron pebble throwers were still on the roof. What we said and did next I cannot reveal. But I knew the fathers of the two jerks, and I told them if they ever did this again, there was going to be a big problem.
I don't recall any more pebble throwing on the KV roofs. And I never did speak to the fathers of the two jerks.
I also observed another neighborhood rule: “Don't be a rat.”
But if it had happened again, I definitely would have went to see the kid's fathers. I knew the fathers well enough to know they would never tolerate such nonsense from their sons.
In the later 80's, some creep got his rocks off by shooting a bee bee gun off the KV roof at passersby. One day I was walking through the west courtyard with my wife, when she got hit under the right eye. Another half inch and she could have lost an eye. She was not the first person to get hit by a bee bee in and around KV.
I made the usual inquiries to the right people, and a few days later, I was told the situation was taken care of. And I'm sure it was. I never heard of anyone else getting hurt by a bee bee afterwards.
The bottom line is, a lot of nuts lived in Knickerbocker Village, but the vast majority of the people were hard-working, God-fearing people. And if there were a problem, the police were never called. There were enough good people in the neighborhood to police themselves effectively. If you get my drift.
More on KV practical jokes later. The good kind, where no one gets hurt.
Well, at least not physically.