Playwright Arthur Miller

If there was a national pastime I suppose it was hanging out, simply standing there on the street corner or on the beach waiting for something to appear around the bend. Evenings, before I had begun to feel embarrassed about any self display, I'd be out there in front of Dozick's drugstore with half a dozen others singing the latest hits, sometimes in competition with anyone else who thought he sang better (for a couple of pennies you could buy pirated mimeoed lyrics of the newest songs). After I had turned fifteen these competitions seemed childish, but I continued as one of the star comics of the gang, improvising inanities, doing imitations of the Three Stooges, who even then were on the verge of our contempt as idiotic shadows of the Marx Brothers. We always had a sandlot football team going, and one of our halfbacks, a giant with a heavy lower lip named Izzy Lenowitz, whom nobody dared tackle for fear of his bowling ball knees, would clap me on my thin back and implore me, "Oh, come on, Artie, enjoy us." And with sufficient encouragement I would ad lib a monologue that with a little luck might stay airborne for five minutes or more.

Source: Arthur Miller, Timebends, 119

Copyright Digital History 2016