One of my favorite people who lived on my street back in Brooklyn was Quick, he was quit a character. Quick was not his real name, he only got that moniker when he was around 15 or 16 years old. His real name was Jimmy Q (left blank was obvious reasons) Young.
Quick was around ten years old when his divorced mother remarried and Unfortunately Quick and his stepfather did not get along.
After a few month his stepfather threw him out of the house, sadly only being 10 years old, his family became the street.
He would sleep in doorways and unlocked cars. His diet was mostly candy and soda.
He found ways to make money to eat. He would steal hubcaps for street dealers, collect soda bottles for deposit refunds, shine shoes. Sometimes he would actually take the dimes that were left on the newsstands from the early morning and rush. There are a few others other ways Quick would find money, but that’s for another story.
My Mother was a kind soul and felt sorry for Quick. She always made more food than we could eat, so there was always leftover. Mother would prepare a plate, set it aside and ask me go find Quick.
Once I found him, we would come back to the house and sit on the front stoop gobbling up the food on the plate my mother had set aside.
My Dad did not share the same soft spot as my mother. Dad did not trust Quick, he was sure he was destined for trouble. He wouldn’t let him in the house, so that is why he ate on the front porch.
Anyway, Mom would feed Quick maybe three times per week for years. I have no doubt my mother’s kindness kept him alive.
I remember how Quick would look at my Mom as the Mother he never had and would do anything for her.
So that brings me to how Quicks nickname came to be. He loved to fight always eager to fight at the drop of a hat. Quick was fast, always able to pull his switchblade knife out of his pocket with lightning speed when he was challenged by an opponent.
I witnessed him fight a few guys twice his size. Size never mattered, Quick was so fast, wearing his opponent down, to claim victory.
Quick didn’t mind a few wounds from his opponent. I remember reading somewhere maybe in Greek Mythology, every time you are knocked to the ground, you come up stronger. That was Quick.
However instead of using this strength for good, his petty crimes became bigger. He starred breaking into homes, then finally arrested for armed robbery and sent off to juvenile detention.
Then, like many people from our street he vanished. He disappeared overnight and none heard a word from Quick. Some day he actually became a hitman for the mofia, but no one knows for sure and remains a mystery to us all. But I do remember what a character he was and still till this day, I wonder what happened to Quick.