LIFE ON THE EAST SIDE
WHEN I was old enough for my first job, I went to work as a lamplighter, rising at four in the morning to put out the lamps on my route before the noisy movement of the day had set in. Then I would have breakfast and get to school by nine o'clock.
All through my boyhood I worked at various odd jobs, paying my own way through school and at the same time contributing what little I could to the very limited family income. I was in turn lamplighter, messenger, and clerk in a telegraph office. The few hours that remained for play, and they were few indeed, I spent in the streets. I enjoyed the excitement, the crowds and the good fellowship of the East Side, and I enjoyed, too, the company of youngsters like myself, many of whom have risen above the handicaps of their surroundings to useful careers in the community.
Down the street on which I lived there was a little brownstone house, which to many in the neighborhood seemed shrouded in mystery. It was a settlement house, which some of our parents feared had been put there to draw Italian children to the Protestant faith. So deeply was this fear impressed upon us that we not only did not dare dream of entering it, but would not even so much as drink out of the W.C.T.U. fountain which adorned its simple entrance.
The day came, however, when we decided to investigate that house and find out for ourselves what it was there for. The gang of