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Effie Richards, Effie Richards, do you remember me,
And how I used to worship you at P.S. No 3?
In the good old days of Childhood, full of happiness and mirth
When I thought old-fashioned Brooklyn was the greatest town on earth.

What soft brown eyes you had, my dear, what shy and birdlike ways
My heart went pit-a-pat each day to hear the teacher praise;
You never were detained by her when lesson hours were done
And when the monthly average came your name was No. 1

I saw you every day at school, but in a golden grace,
Like halos which the artists paint around a saintly face—
Sure never such, or e’en an angel from the bright blue skies
Could seem a lovelier creature, Effie, to my childish eyes

Oh how I longed to touch your hand, but yet I did not dare
And when I stood beside you I could stand and stare;
I was friendly to your brother though, and showed him each mistake
And took his part against the boys, dear Effie, for your sake.

Ah, that was many years ago— I wonder where you are—
I trust your life has blossomed fair beneath a generous star;
I trust some noble fellow ’twas that you for a bride
And sweet young girls and honest boys are standing by your side.

But yet I wonder if you still remember me,
And how I used to love you dear, at P.S. No. 3;
Though I sough no acknowledgment, no notice and no grace
But just to worship from afar and gaze upon your face.
—George Macdonald Major, from Lays Of Chinatown (1899)

eff who?Caz Dolowicz politely asks: Who the fuck is George Macondald Major and what the hell is this drivel doing here? This is supposed to be a relaxing time for me too, goddamnit. I never heard of Effie Richards unless her real name was Gertie Richards, an ex-hot corn girl who worked with her father in a furniture store at Coney Island; we met and even flirted a bit (but that’s all) when I worked at Nathan’s in the summer of 1939. The old P.S. 3 was on Hancock Street near Bedford, of course, not to be confused with Brooklyn P.S. 3 today, which is an elementary school also known as Bedford Village on Jefferson Ave, a block away.

Caz Dolowicz was born on Sands Street in 1923, which makes him old but not that old. Was Effie short for Effluvia or what?

Additional research by Amber Tides

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