My Oxford Street Neighborhood by Jack Kelley with his daughter, Peggy Mott
Mr. Morris was a neighbor of ours on Oxford Street. His house was always dark, perhaps because he was away working at his wholesale candy store. Mr. Morris had a beat-up car and wore clothes that looked like he slept in them.
One Saturday morning when I was about 9 or 10 years old, I walked past Mr. Morris’s house when he appeared and motioned to me to come in the house. Mr. Morris was an Orthodox Jew, and he wanted me to turn his lights on or off, something he was forbidden to do on the Sabbath. This became a regular job for me. Mr. Morris would pay me in the form of eight glass bottles, which I could redeem for two cents apiece. This would give me just enough money to go to the Monroe Theater and watch a movie for $.16.
One Saturday the theater was offering 25 cartoons for $.25. I was very nervous about asking Mr. Morris for more bottles in order to go to the show. When I finally got up my courage, Mr. Morris hemmed and hawed and finally agreed.
Eventually, I moved on to other jobs, and when I did, I always walked a large circle around Monroe and Oxford in order to avoid walking by Mr. Morris’s house on Saturdays.