When the boys started out together, some as early as second grade, it was an innocent time, Eisenberg said. "We were here when it was a small town," he explained. "And even though we were bad, we were angels compared with what they do today." When he was 9, he sold newspapers at the 1932 Olympic Games at the Coliseum and was "so happy to make $1.50 for the day."
Later, the boys used to stop at Carl's, a drive-in not far from Salvatore's, for hamburgers and Cokes. On New Year's Eve, the city would block off Broadway, and they would sell confetti to those making whoopee.
"Then," on New Year's Day, he said, "we'd go to the Rose Parade and sell chairs. Then we'd go to the Rose Bowl and sell programs, and sneak into the game."
On Friday and Saturday nights, they congregated in front of the Wabash drugstore, where Harmatz used to shine shoes. "We had a very good life." Eisenberg said.
But Boyle Heights is no longer home to this bunch. After the war, they moved out--to the Valley, to Long Beach, to other states. One, Max Markowitz, went to New York and started Marco Fabrics of California. "I go to New York, he picks me up in his Rolls-Royce," Resnikoff said while a "wish you were here" was being signed to be sent to Markowitz--a good man to keep in touch with.
As the party broke up, after almost three hours, everyone filed past the head table to shake hands with Harry Pregerson. That's Judge Pregerson, you know. And he remembered everyone's name. He even remembered the portrait of one man's mother that used to hang over the piano in the family living room.
"It's my life," he said. "I'm tied in with these guys."