Troop 1, The Lower Farm, The Upper Lake, Dogtown Days, The Foreman, Felony Hill, Urijah, White Deer Black Bear

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$13.95 / Perfectbound
ISBN: 9781608445684
120 pages
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Excerpt from the Book

RISKO’S TAVERN

There are many rivers in the United States and along these rivers are towns that were built from small settlements from the settlers who had the insight and curiosity to come to the New World of America and build a new future for themselves. This was an area and an era of good people with strong character who lived life to the fullest with respect for the natural resources and each other.

World War II was over and the country was getting back to a productive mode with veterans now back in the work force. Small businesses were beginning to sprout in many areas which needed both male and female skills. One particular company that was around from the turn of the century was Fleishmann’s Distilling Company, better known as Standard Brands. This company was located on the east bank of the Hudson River, in Northern Westchester County, known as Charles Point at the end of Louisa Street in Peekskill, New York. This spot was located at the lower end of Peekskill, a little section of the city that danced to a different rhythm than the rest of city, was dubbed Dog Town. It was sometimes crude, rustic, and romantic and if you stayed there, easy to love.

Fleishmann’s had many products that were produced there, including gin, whiskey, vinegar, yeast, molasses and several other industry related products. Standard Brands employed approximately 1500 people locally. Most of the factory buildings were of the Federal architecture, red brick, wood and rusting iron. After decades of aging and wear and tear, the many structures on the west side of the New York Central train tracks were now dirty, dismal and gloomy with vines and ivy crawling up the red brick walls. For the local folks this was their work place and it paid the bills.

Normally there were three shifts within each department, the 8am to 4 pm, the 4pm to 12am and the 12am to 8am. At the corner of Louisa and Lower South Street sat the local watering hole, Risko’s Tavern, where the regulars from Fleishmann’s three shifts stopped in to unwind for a drink and conversation. Irene Risko and her husband were the proprietors, but Irene was the driving force based on her phenomenal talent as a cook.

The building was a two story structure with a bar, small dance floor and a few tables and chairs situated around the dining area. The bar was quite long with eight to ten bar stools. As a rule, upon entering the tavern it had a stale cigarette smoke and a blend of beer and yeast odor. On the north side of the room sat a juke box with all the latest tunes and many colored lights it was the focal point. On the right side of the juke box stood a long shuffle board whose hard wooden top shone with the reflected lights from the juke box. Shuffle board was big at Risko’s and the many players had formed local leagues with schedules that would rotate from tavern to tavern. At the west end of the building housed a small caboose diner with a sliding door that opened to a white tiled counter and tiled floor to match. This was where Irene created some of her best meals. The second floor had a small apartment where Irene and her husband lived and four small rooms that could be accessed from the stairs at the rear of the building. These rooms were rented to long term or short term guests.