The Pastry Shop on the Corner

When I was a teen a fellow who would become a dear friend
and who was ten years older than I asked me if I wanted to work
in the pastry shop on the corner.All I could do was nod my head
yes and was more than happy he asked me.
I started the next day and met the owner a Mr. Montalbano.
The fellow who asked me was Frankie Messina and he was the
baker.Frank was a wonderful baker and although he disliked the
product he was making he did a great job of making cookies and
cakes,decorating birthday,holiday and wedding cakes.
My job was to clean the pan's,assist at the table where we made
the cookies and cakes,pour items as directed into
the mixing pot's and general cleaning which consisted
of cleaning pot's and
pan's,pastry bag's and tubes and sweeping the floor and washing
the long baking table. I also had to handle the oven.
Life at the bakery much fun when I remember back but not
too much at the time.
Frank was a self disciplined guy and he pointed this out to me
because he wanted me to do work without having to be told what
to do.
Frank was also a horse player and he taught me to play the
ponies.We were two dollar bettor's and he would drive to the
various racetrack's in the area.I can't say it was a bad experience because many times I would win.I haven't played in
years and as a matter of fact I'm not really a gambler.I don't
enjoy gambling.Back then it was different and more exciting.
It was more about friendship and interrelating with the world
around me.I guess you could say it's growing up.
Frank was an excellent baker and once he was offered a job
with Ferrara in Little Italy.Frank stayed at the Pastry shop
with Montalbano and when it was sold to Peter and Manny Serro,
Frank remained with them.After awhile Manny and Pete parted
ways and Frank and Pete became partner's.In the end Frank bought
Pete out and Frank was there until he passed.Frankie had raised
ten kids with his wife Marie while working there.Mixing
the dough,cutting it,shaping it,baking it.He was very fast with
his hands and was a real production baker.Each cake and cookie
were the same size and looked alike and they were made by hand.
The aroma of the bakery was indescribable and if I don't have
tha smell closeby at Christmas Time it just isn't Christmas.
The people,the bakery,the store are all good memories in my
memories.Good memories.


Frankie always in white with a friend Joe Rizzo.Joe was a real nice guy always helping someone in need.

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