Monday, June 4, 2007

Ed Galing: Tales of South Philly

Review of tales Of South Philly by Ed Galing

=======================================Tales of South PhillyBy Ed GalingNo ISBN28 page chapbook at $5Four-sep PublicationsP.O. Box 12434Milwaukee WI 53212

Tales of South Philly is, perhaps, Ed Galing’s best known work. The PoetLaureate of Hatboro PA grew up there in the years between W.W. I and W.W.II. These are priceless poetic memories of the people and places he knew in his youth -- Jake’s Candy Store, Porter Street, Snyder Avenue, Market Street, colorful immigrants who lived a hard knock life but proudly learned English and became citizens, and Mafia guys who took care of their own. This excerpt from “by definition” begins Galing’s odyssey back in time:

"you just don’t come to live in South Philly just because you like it here…….you come here the hardway…the way I got here…"

“Love on the Sly” tells of South Philly girls. "They had their dreams, and most of them did not include marrying poor:cause south philly girls came from poor houses and dreamed of movie stars like Gable or Stewart or maybe Fred Astaire…Poverty and crime took a huge toll on South Philly. State and Federal programs poured money into South Philly.

In “progress” Galing documents the results:
"…and pretty soon what was supposed to be the end of living in poverty and the beginning of a new era began to turn to ashes…those who lived there tried to hang onto their memories…but a few months ago they blew those hi rises down…dynamite rippled through slight murmur and the houses that jack built came down…."

Ed Galing was abandoned to poverty, unceremoniously dumped off in SouthPhilly by his father to be raised by a devoted mother. He grew up tough in hard streets, but loved the shops, sights, scents, and people who shared his existence. All that and more is in this paean to an era long gone. Tales ofSouth Philly is highly recommended because Galing tells history like it was, as only he can.

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