by Richie Mitterando (June, 2000)
I can remember it fairly clearly. I guess I was eleven or twelve years old at the time. We were invited to Dolly and Bill's house on Quimby Avenue in the Bronx. There was a party going on for some reason or another, never had to be a big reason for a get together with the Mitterando brothers, their wives, Aunt Molly, Uncle Nap and the whole crew.
This day there was to be a big barbecue, and my father, known to all as Uncle Joe, was bringing the meat for the shin-dig from across the river over in Jersey. Well I tell you.... this was sort of a different kind of cook out than you think of it now a days -- no hamburgers and/or hot dogs. This day it was going to be BBQ Billy goat. The big problem was, back then, you couldn't bring live stock interstate. Yes, this was live stock! We were transporting a live goat over to New York for LUNCH.
I sat in the back seat with "Ole Billy." Me, not knowing we were bringing "Ole Billy" as lunch. There was one obstacle that we had to overcome. We had to go across the George Washington Bridge and pay the toll. I received my orders from my Pop, Uncle Joe. "Richard, when we get to the toll gate, you keep the goat on the floor and covered up with the blanket. Make sure he keeps quiet". I was doing my best to keep him down. All went well, Pop paid the toll and as he was pulling away, "Ole Billy" jumps up and let the biggest "BAAAAAAAHHHHH" I ever heard. Well Pop put the petal to the metal and took off across the bridge. You have to remember there was no Cross Bronx Expressway back then. So it was down into the City and onto the Bronx. I must have thought the whole police department was going to be chasing us because it burned into my mind so clearly. It seems like it was only yesterday.
I know I cried my eyes out when I saw "Ole Billy " get roasted later on that day.