On the Sidewalks of New York
By Richard Paul Poethig
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On the Sidewalks of New York is a memoir by Richard Paul Poethig, who was born in 1925 into a working-class, German-American family in the Yorkville neighborhood of Manhattan. It tells the story of Richard’s journey from an “old law” tenement on 80th Street, to Good Will Sunday School (Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church’s mission on the East Side), to the College of Wooster in Ohio in 1945 before the end of World War II, to Union Theological Seminary in New York where he met his wife and graduated with an Masters of Divinity.
||Chapter 26 – Leaving New York Behind||Richard introduces Eunice to the Poethig clan at a raucous feast at his aunt and uncle’s apartment in Yorkville. Eunice introduces Richard to her mother and brother at Christmastime in Dayton, Ohio. They begin plans for a June wedding.||11/10/2012||Free||View in iTunes|
||Chapter 25 – Starting A New Chapter||As seniors at Union, Richard and his roommate, Jim MacNaughton, are responsible for welcoming the incoming students through “round robins” hosted in the homes of faculty. Richard takes notice of an attractive newcomer in Jim’s group.||11/3/2012||Free||View in iTunes|
||Chapter 24 – An Adirondack Summer||Richard decides he needs a change of pace for his second summer field assignment and signs up to work amidst the lakes and falls and trees in Upstate New York. He and his roommate, Jim MacNaughton, team up for a project in the Adirondacks larger parish.||10/27/2012||Free||View in iTunes|
||Chapter 23 – On the Line||Beyond their jobs in the steel mills, Richard and the other the Ministers-in-Industry participants take part in evening discussions and study visits to deepen their understanding of the church’s responsibility with industrial workers. At work,||10/20/2012||Free||View in iTunes|
||Chapter 22 – The Summer of 1950||In the summer of 1950 Richard goes to work in the steel mills of Pittsburgh. The job was both necessary to help pay the tuition at Union Seminary, and also part of his theological education. Through Richard’s first “field work” experience with t||10/13/2012||Free||View in iTunes|
||Chapter 21 – Reinie||At Union Seminary Richard decides to study Christian social ethics under Reinhold Niebuhr. In his first semester, Richard immediately audits a seminar being co-taught by John Bennett and Reinhold Niebuhr on “Christianity and Communism.||10/6/2012||Free||View in iTunes|
||Chapter 20 – Beginning at the Beginning||As he enters Union Theological Seminary, Richard looks forward to his studies under Reinhold Niebuhr, one of the most challenging theological thinkers of his generation. In his last summer at the Dress Joint Board of the ILGWU,||9/30/2012||Free||View in iTunes|
||Chapter 19 – Saying Good-bye||Richard gets together with old New York friends Jerry Pospisil and Dick Frothingham at a rathskeller in the midst of the Christmas snowfall of ’48 that leaves New York at a total standstill. Before leaving for his final semester at Wooster,||9/23/2012||Free||View in iTunes|
||Chapter 18 – The Election of 1948||Richard’s Saskatchewan experience opens him to join the Young People’s Socialist League on his return to New York. He spends the 1948 Fall election season organizing student chapters of the League for Industrial Democracy on college campuses.||9/16/2012||Free||View in iTunes|
||Chapter 17 – Up on the Co-op Farm||After the CCF convention in Moosejaw, the students move on to the provincial government in Regina, where they visit offices responsible for universal health insurance, universal auto insurance, and new industrial ventures.||9/9/2012||Free||View in iTunes|
I am not from NY, I am not of this generation, and I am not religious, but I love this podcast. It is an engaging and beautifully told story that draws the listener in.