Just east of Webster Avenue in the North Bronx, 187th Street
is a predominantly Italian community and the commercial avenue
of the neighborhood. Fruit and vegetable stands, pizzerias,
butcher shops, bakeries, cleaners and dyers and bars flourish.
It is Saturday morning around eleven o'clock -- a market
WOMEN, dark, gesticulative, with bulging cloth shopping bags,
baby carriages. MERCHANTS at their improvised street stands,
hawking their wares, disputing with their CUSTOMERS, roaring
salutations to PASSERSBY.
In the midst of all this, CAMERA HOMES IN on a typical
Delicatessens hang on the walls, wreathed with garlands of
garlic. PATSY, the boss, a swarthy man of sixty, is flopping
a chunk of beef onto the scale for the benefit of a forty-
year-old MATRON. There are three or four other WOMEN in the
shop, all talking to one another. A four-year-old BOY lazily
chases a cat.
The white refrigerator room door opens, and a second butcher,
MARTY PILLETTI, comes out carrying a large leg of lamb. Marty
is a mildmannered, short, stout, balding man of thirty-four.
His charm lies in an almost indestructible good humor. He
drops the leg of lamb onto the chopping block, reaches up
for the cleaver hanging with the other utensils over the
block and makes quick incisive cuts into the leg of lamb. He
sets the cleaver aside, picks up the saw to finish the cuts
as he chats with his customer, MRS. FUSARI.
Your kid brother got married last
Sunday, eh, Marty?
That's right, Missus Fusari. It was
a very nice affair.
That's the big tall one, the fellow
with the moustache.
No, that's my other brother, Freddie.
My other brother Freddie, he's been
married four years already. He lives
down on Webb Avenue. The one who got
married Sunday, that was my little
I thought he was a big tall fat
fellow. Didn't I meet him here one
time? Big tall, fat fellow, he tried
to sell me life insurance?
Marty sets the five chops on the scale, watches its weight
No, that's my sister Margaret's
husband, Frank. My sister Margaret,
she's married to the insurance
salesman, and my sister Rose, she
married a contractor. They moved to
Detroit last year. And my other sister
Frances, she got married about two
and a half years ago in Saint John's
Church on Kingsbridge Avenue. Oh,
that was a big affair. Well, let's
see now, that'll be about a dollar-
seventy-nine. How's that with you?