Public School 201
Public School 201-back

Public School 201

By Edgar Biamonte


P. S. 201 takes place in a jungle-like section of Brooklyn during the Thirties. Son of dysfunctional parents, Sal D’Angelo suffers from attention deficit disorder (unknown then). Though petrified when Mom starts putting him in the dark basement at age four for not drinking his milk which he hates, he is happy about starting school. Intelligent, creative, and loving, he assumes others are similar, and is shocked. Bullies abound, kicking small boys including him, even girls during recess and after school. Though he reciprocates, they beat him up regularly. Blaming Sal for inciting them, Mom constantly slaps him across the face for arriving home late, disheveled, or both.

Lacking parental love and attention, Sal soon becomes the class clown. Receiving D’s in conduct throughout the grades, he infuriates Dad, especially when Sal blames his teachers for being mean and unfair.

Dad finally appears unexpectedly at the class door, embarrassing Sal as an eighth grader. Miss O’ Malley, his teacher, is prejudiced against Italians. Refusing to discuss Sal, she practically slams the door in Dad’s face. Humiliated, Dad blames Sal and explodes unmercifully at him that night.

Moved to the last seat in the last row days later, Sal manages not to utter one word during the last six school weeks. Happy about graduating, and expecting an ‘A’ in conduct, he receives another ‘D’. Stunned, he breaks down and retreats from reality. School and houses appear to fade away before his eyes while he pauses on the school corner to look back. Amazed, frightened, and almost fainting, he waits until they seem to start edge back before heading for Grandma’s house. Barely discerning someone playing The Rustle of Spring emanating through a nearby opened window, he breaks into tears.

About the Author:

Edgar L. Biamonte is an accomplished musician, educator and writer. As a pianist, he has been professionally performing in restaurants and various occasions since he was 18 years old. He joined the 686th Air Force Band as a beginning pianist in 1950. Before being honorably discharged, he and the band toured Europe with Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh, Rhonda Fleming and Ava Gardner during the Christmas season of 1952.

He received his B.A. in English from Queens College, Flushing, New York in 1961 and his M.S. in Education from Elmira College Graduate School, Elmira, New York in 1968. He taught English, including poetry and creative writing at Southside High School in Elmira from 1962 until he retired in 1985. Over 100 of his 325 poems were published in literary magazines and many won or placed in various contests.
Among his works are Window of Eternity, a life/death book published by Ashley Books in 1984 and Window of Eternity, a sequel published by Balboa Press in May 2012. He also wrote four novels and a collection of short stories.

He eventually became an accomplished jazz pianist and composer and soloed on several Carnival Cruise ships and “Mariner of the Seas”, Royal Caribbean Line. He still plays piano professionally and appears on the Internet under edgarbiamote.com.

Currently, he is a resident of Hemlock Farms since he moved from Miami in 2002. He has three sons, one daughter, two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

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