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The Boss
THE BOY IN THE HORSESHOE

By David Dayton McKean
This Web version, edited by GET NJ, COPYRIGHT 2003

Drink and politics offered the menfolk of the Horseshoe their means of escape from the grinding poverty and the tragedy to which all seemed doomed. The women sought their hope in religion. Death struck the Horseshoe inexorably. An undertaker, now in his eighties, tells how as a young man he got his start by peddling little white coffins on a wheelbarrow through the streets. When `summer complaint' raged he left them in the mornings and came back to get them in the evenings, full. The living buried the dead, promised to pay for the Mass, and retreated into the mild hysteria that is the norm of life in all slums. Perhaps the poverty of the Horseshoe made Frank Hague determined that, if he got his chance, he would not remain poor.

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