Barbara, Joan and my mother, Pat

June 1959, on a lazy Saturday morning, Mom said, “time for a paint party.” She got on the phone, and an hour later, her mother and her two sisters, Joan and Barbara, showed up at our 517 East 83rd Street apartment with four gallons of Benjamin Moore, two six packs of Schaefer and three soft packs of Marlboro. They let me, the 5 year old; control the radio during the festivities. By the time Dad pulled in from Loftus Tavern around dinnertime, they had finished painting the bathroom, my brother, Rory’s and my room, and made one extra beer run. Dad took this photo here of Nan Ryan in her painting uniform, made another beer run to Murray Parker’s Grocery on York Avenue came back and they finished the kitchen together. Nan, Joan and Barbara returned the next day after Mass at St. Stephen’s and did the living room and my parents’ bedroom. Closets too. Even with all the windows open, the smell drove me crazy but our junior four apartment with two coats of new paint made all the adults smile.


Nan Ryan & her three daughters outside St. Stephen’s, 1964

 Thomas Pryor’s blog: Yorkville: Stoops to Nuts 




029. Skirt Steak. murray parker 66

Murray Parker on York Avenue, 1966

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