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My Youth on Miami Beach by Richard Auspitz (commentary - no photos) - click on image to read
1950's

My Youth on Miami Beach by Richard Auspitz (commentary - no photos) - click on image to read

Miami Beach, Florida


I received this great historical recollection in an e-mail that was forwarded to me. Fortunately Mr. Auspitz has written in with his comments below and doesn't object to his wit being displayed here. A late 1950's photo of Richard is at http://www.pbase.com/image/126752300 and a current photo is at http://www.pbase.com/donboyd/image/126752919

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MY YOUTH IN MIAMI BEACH BY RICHARD AUSPITZ

A Personal Run On Sentence of Local 1950’s History.....







Knocking your shoes
together upside down in case scorpions or some other vonce had
crawled in during the night…Schools of fish 1/4 mile wide filling
the entire top of the water & taking an hour to pass...Constant Pods
of Porpoises taking hours to pass at Indian Creek in front of the
Fountainbleau. Submarine Sams. 163 st (Sunny Isles Causeway) totally
covered by landcrabs in such abundance that you did not drive there
for fear of a flat tire. Walking to school in two or three feet of
water following a typical rainstorm with pants rolled up (no
drainage pipes at the time as they were not aware it was possible at
sea level)...Hurricane Parties (held at the home of whoever's
parents were out of town?). The Orange Bowl parade when it was a big
event...Working at the Miami News Selling "Starts"...Working then
being fired at Mary Jane Shoes Lincoln & Washington. Citations given
out for loitering in front of Liggetts Drugs Lincoln &
Washington..James Dean in Rebel then Giant after he died...A young /
beautiful Elizabeth Taylor..Mitzi Gaynor “hubba”..Jerry Lewis when
he was really funny...Silver Dollar Jake passing in his fire engine
red Caddy convertible, wolf whistle, ahooga horn, steer horns on the
hood and a Mannequin dressed up like a sailor on the back deck. Jake
throwing our handfuls of silver dollar shaped (foil) condoms as he
rode along...Piccolos on Ocean Drive....Pickin Chicken's Dipping
Southern Fried Chicken into Honey...Miniature Golf Courses on
Collins Ave....41st Street: Moderne Drugs, Mikes News, Rondo's
(before it became Omar's Tent) Rondo always running after a waitress
swinging some kitchen utensil at her for "Who Knows What?".... The
63rd Street overpass going North to South (always fun stopping and
raising you car's hood to end traffic flow).... Making out at
Pecker's Point... Riding A Motorcycle up the middle of the Pine
trees on Pine Tree Drive... Using the Greens and sand traps at
Bayshore Country Club as a motorcycle Jump (sometime car jump)....
Fun Fair, Colonel Jims, the Night Owl, the Grate (Candido)...
"Digging" Lenny Bruce at El Patio on Dade Blvd... The Jim Jam 75th
St...Valentis Italian Restaurant with the Reindeer in Front 7th ave
& NW 20 St... Wolfies 21 Strawberry Cheese Cake (Size of a small
city for 35c)... Speeding was a $10.00 fine paid to the cop on the
spot... Everyone Knew everyone (population 12,000 in MB including
3,000 that went to The Old Beach High *Not the New one on Dade Blvd
*now 50 yrs. old!)... Austin Burke and his fabulous commercials
wearing 20 articles of clothing... State Road 9, Where no “Beachite”
had gone before!. Hialeah was Farm land... Miami Beach had the worst
football squad in Dade County and the most beautiful / promiscuous
girls.... All the perverse teachers at Beach High. The Busting of MB
High School Principal Irving Katz for having an affair with his
Secretary and taking a few bucks out of the till... The 48th Street
Beach....Riding a motorcycle from School directly to the beach and
jumping in the lake like ocean wearing just jeans....Local Waters
looking like the Bahamas...Leaving School at lunch time and going to
Gulf Stream Park for the afternoon....No Route I-95, No Palmetto
Expressway. Miami Beach to Fort Lauderdale 1.5 hours via US1....
Proving your manhood in the middle of the night by driving Miami to
Naples via Tamiami Trail in one hour (the reward a Royal Castle
Honey Bun the size of first base)…The Overpowering delicious odor of
Honey Suckle and Jasmine. Sea grape trees everywhere in abundance.
Spanish moss hanging... The Surf, the Normandy, The Beach, The
Lincoln, The Variety, The Roosevelt (great dirty films) The Flamingo
Theaters. Movie Grand Openings Just like Hollywood, Ca.... Frank
Sinatra, Dean Martin, Don Rickles, Shelly Berman, Mort Sol, Johnny
Mathis...The Noshary at the Saxony Hotel on Collins... Royal Castle
29c breakfast (one pat of butter) & 15c hamburgers, Lums Dogs 20c &
5c for a Pepsi the Non Attorney Perlman Brother serving Lum Dogs on
41st St, Lums becoming a chain, Lums going Public, Lums buying
Ceasars Palace..... Port of Miami Description: 5th & Biscayne Cruise
Ship Parallel Parked, you walked on and off it went to the Bahamas /
Cuba, Etc....Miami International 36 St & Lejeune was about 2,000 sq
ft, pulled up in front walked in walked out the back up the steps
and off you went. Chalks on the Causeway, The Goodyear
Blimp...Fisher Island was a mosquito nest...The Japanese Gardens on
the Causeway...Havana was an hour via TWA four prop
constellation...79th St was the end of Miami Beach then you fell off
the flat earth...Drift Boats were $2.00 and catching fish was
guaranteed...Every Kid that fished the Drift Boats became a short
term mate.... Spear Fishing, Hunting in the glades, Motorcycling and
being hit in the face with Icy hail on MacArthur
Causeway...MacArthur causeway Draw Bridge very low, made from wood,
tar, metal and anything else They had at the time. The Coast Guard
Station... The all you can eat for $1.00 shrimp place (The Shrimp
Spot) near the train station 20th st. & 7th Ave... The Night Beat
(Sir John) /Flip Wilson-Cassis Clay... The Famous Restaurant,
Variety Meats on Washington Ave, Henry Steig Clothing, Driving
holding a beer, crinolines, the Four "F’'s", Fishing on the jetties
behind the Bombay Hotel 69th & Collins, Willie Restrum, Bell Barth,
Alan Burke on Radio, The glamour of the Morton Towers, The Hotel
National de Cuba in Havana, Dirty Dicks & the Junkanoo Nasssau...Endless
Poker games, Madras Shirts, Flocks of egrets as far as the eye could
see taking an hour to pass overhead. The building of the Motels in
Sunny Isles, The Dunes, The Thunderbird, The Aztec, Suez....
Desolate, Isolated Ocean Houses at Collins & 58th.....Golden Beach
Speed Trap. Chary's on Harbor Island...Governor Leroy
Collins..Biscayne Point...North Beach Elementary, Ida M. Fisher High
School....Nice girls and better yet slutty Ones....The Boom Boom
Room, The Elbow Room the Gristmill....Ben Grenolds serving breakfast
at Moderne Drugs on 41st Street (also home cures for jock itch,
hemorrhoids & under arm odor--Ben was a Fountain of Knowledge and
one of the really good ones!), Kasdin Drugs, Prarie poultry, Polo
Park, The 10th Street Dance, The reform school in Kendall, Teen
agers married in the keys, Cars Actually Driving on Lincoln Road (BM
Before Mall!)... Women Wearing Mink Coats in ninety Degrees...5th
Street / Potamkin Chevrolet, The Good Year Tire Company, The Drive
by Cleaner (Mark's) at Purdy Ave & Alton, Getting to the airport
after a rainstorm by zig zagging 20th st or 79th st to the Dead End
at Lejuene...Renting a Sailboat from Captain Dick at Dinner Key,
Scrambling at the gunnery range, The illegal midnight Drags on
Prospect Road in Ft. Lauderdale, Only hearing English spoken, Desi
Arnez a student at St Patricks High School off 41st Street... The
Great Political Battle to prevent Royal Castle from opening on 41st
Street...Sons & Daughters of various crime families that were our
school chums..Myer Lansky, local elder, The Forge....The changing of
41st St to Arthur Godfrey Road???.....The building of Julia Tuttle
Causeway….Night time High School Football games. Baton Twirling
pretty girls....The Everly Brothers, Charlie Brown He's a Clown,
Dance with me Henry, Still of the Night... Johnny Mathis assuring
success in the back of your Chevie.. Fan & Bills, Mitches Steak
Ranch, Curry's, Parhams (The all night joint 69th & Collins), Beach
Bowl 79th Street, Having A bottle of Booze Delivered from Happys
Stork Lounge on 79th St because they never carded when delivering,
Neils Deli Alton & 17th, Alfies News (Bookie Shop), Paul Bruin, The
Castaways / The Wreck Bar...Boundless Fruit trees everywhere,
mangos, papayas, key limes, coconuts, ponderosa lemons, grapefruits,
oranges, etc.....And the most amazing part, I ended up married to
the Beautiful girl that lived across the street from me on Sheridan
Avenue….Life is Sweet.....




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Kit 30-Aug-2014 15:47
Meant to say Hettie (Heddie) Green's house (The Witch of Wall St & richest woman in world) . Also the dog track on 1st street on the beach. Flamingo Park, Wolfies, the Coast Guard Station where Dominican Dictator's (Trujillo) yacht was docked for years. McArthur Causeway had only 2 lanes. LaGorse Country Club, the Bath Club, the Surf Club, Damon Runyon's house on N Hibiscus, rod & Reel Club (gone now) on Hibiscus . Saturday lunches at drug store on Lincoln Rd & then movies. The Cameo theater for 50 cents on Washington St. South Beach was very "iffy". Manicured lawns & no overgrowth. The old Mt Sainai Hospital, Sears on Biscayne Blvd, Jordan Marsh, radio station where now is Miami Herald. Squatter's Island before Dodge Island & cruise ships
Kit 30-Aug-2014 14:45
So much fun to read your article. I grew up on Hibiscus Island in the fifties & sixties. I recall playing in the former house of Al Capone on Palm Island with all its secret passage ways. Saw silver Dollar Jake several times & thought he was a curious person. I remember Barbara Walters father Lou Walters, who owned the Latin Quarter on Palm, which eventually burnt down. Also a scavenger hunt for Betty Grables autograph on Palm. He'd die Greens house on Star Island now gone. I went to St Pats. Great revisit. Kit
Guest 20-Jul-2014 23:28
If you attended the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, back in the late 1960's and eary 1970's, my name is JUAN CARLOS FERNÁNDEZ BOWLES, used to be a MVP of the University of Miami Soccer Team. Used to be top scorer a couple of years. In case U met me and want to chat about at times, contact me at: Juan Carlos Fernández Bowles
E-Mails: juancarlosfernandezbowles@
gmail.com; yahoo.com; and hotmail.com
Telephones: Fixed: 005913-3517937
Mobile Cellular Telephones:
VIVA: 70280706
ENTEL: 73178781
TIGO: 77623022
FAX: 005913-3373000
Santa Cruz de la Sierra, BOLIVIA.
Myron Lubell 16-Mar-2014 11:31
Loved it. You might enjoy my book. The Sixth Borough
Mary Anne C 26-Feb-2011 07:05
Wow, just wow...my life in precis. Born at St Francis, grew up on the 79th St causeway. Hialeah High later, playing in the Symphony, Dade Co. Auditorium, University of Miami...and on to adulthood. Thanks, Richard, for the memories!!
Don Boyd27-Dec-2009 15:58
Richard, I tried to contact you regarding this but my e-mail bounced back from the address that I was given. I really appreciate your contribution and I'm sure many other readers do too. Thank you for allowing me to display it on my site.

Don
Robbin 23-Nov-2009 20:41
Richard Auspitz and Don Boyd, Great Collection Of Memories Of Miami Beach, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, ect. I Enjoyed it Immencely !!!! Thanks, For Posting This. I Remember A Lot Of The Places , and Things, But Not All Of It . I Would Say That About 90 % Of This Posting, was Familiar to Me. Best Regards , to Both Of You !!!!!! Robbin.