At this point you may be wondering what it was that steered us away from having another generation running the downtown hotdog stand. And though I wish it was better news, it all boils down to my dad getting robbed. Now, this isn’t the first time that it happened to him, or to his father during the course of running operations there, it was just sort of something that was accepted, a fate that came with having a prime location in the middle of the city. My mother though, didn’t seem to share that line of thought, and wouldn’t stand for us to be present any longer within the city. The fact that I was present and targeted during said robbery may also have played a part in the whole ordeal.
I can only imagine what was going through my fathers mind at the time, knowing that it was a decision that my mother would leave very little to actually decide upon, but also that it was essentially the only thing he knew. He grew up on the side of the cart much as I had, and was pretty much the only thing he knew. But, with the steady rise in rental rates, and the meager living that the family was making, perhaps he saw it as an opportunity to finally move on to other things as a means of survival. All I really know for sure is that he didn’t put up too much of a fight when my mother made the ultimatum.
So what began as a life in New York City eventually turned into a teen hood in Kentucky. To say that it was a change of scenery and pace would be putting it extremely lightly. But my mother had family there, and we needed the financial leg up when heading out and starting life all over again. I know that my dad briefly entertained the idea of operating another food card in Louisville, but sense may have overcame him when thinking of the difference between business on Broadway and that within the main thoroughfare of the south. He wound up working as a Supervisor at a food processing factory, which essentially put him on the other side of the hot dog creation and consumption path. But, he must have enjoyed it, and enjoyed making a lot more money, because he is still with that company today.
As for me, most of my formative years were put to trying to fit in with a completely different crowd that acted, looked, and spoke much different to the people I was used to. The aggressive rush of the city crossing paths with the meandering southern hospitality that we all thought to be myth in the city. It was quite the change, but kids are adaptable, and I moved into my new role quickly and passed my high school years with relative ease, beyond everyone around me wanting to know exactly what it was like to grow up in the big apple.