I Hate the Dallas Cowboys: Tales of a Scrappy New York Boyhood

I Hate the Dallas Cowboys: Tales of a Scrappy New York Boyhood

by Thomas R. Pryor


Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, September 25


In the author's 1960s working class neighborhood on New York's Upper East Side, Devil Dogs were a nickel, hydrants were often open, and the street game called Ringalario let boys put their arms around girls for the first time. Nuns slugged you for humming baseball beer jingles in class. Junkies scrambled up fire escapes with stolen TVs. And, like other fathers, Tommy's took him to saloons all day, and no one thought it strange.

 In this funny and bittersweet portrait of his first 18 years, Tommy relives his adventures and misadventures-the day Yogi Berra stepped on his toe, the mystery behind Dad's vanished pants, and the airborne manhole cover that crushed Pete Palermo's cherished Patrician Green Thunderbird.

 With ample photographs, the author revisits a world that echoes TV's "The Wonder Years"-just add taverns, subways and Checker cabs.

Thomas R. Pryor is a writer, storyteller,
and photographer living in New York City.
His work can be found on his blog:
"Yorkville: Stoops to Nuts."

"Thomas R. Pryor has written a sweet, funny, loving memoir of growing up old-school in a colorful New York neighborhood. A story of sports, family, and boyhood, you'll be able to all but taste, smell, and feel this vanished world."

Kevin Baker, author of the novels "Dreamland,"
"Paradise Alley," and "Strivers Row,"
as well as other works of fiction and nonfiction

"Tommy Pryor's New York City boyhood was nothing like mine, a few miles and a borough away, and yet in its heart,
tenderness, and tough teachable moments around Dad and ball,
it was the mid-century coming of age of all of us.
A rousing read."

Robert Lipsyte, former city and sports columnist, The New York Times

"Pryor could take a felt hat and make it funny."

Barbara Turner-Vesselago, author of
"Writing Without A Parachute: The Art of Freefall"

"Pryor burrows into the terrain of his childhood with a longing and obsessiveness so powerful it feels like you are reading a memoir about his first great love."

Thomas Beller, author of
"J.D. Salinger: The Escape Artist"

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781936411351
Publisher: YBK Publishers
Publication date: 10/14/2014
Pages: 306
Sales rank: 837,876
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.69(d)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

I Hate the Dallas Cowboys: tales of a scrappy New York boyhood 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The writing is beautiful. It is crisp, sharp and moving. I laughed out loud and cried. This author has really found his voice as a wonderful storyteller. It is incredibly hard to pour out stories and emotions in a thoughtful and consistent way but this book achieves it. I highly recommend it.
Jeff1060 More than 1 year ago
A great story by a great storyteller ! Worth every dime ! I'm sure everyone will find some passage that they will feel as if it was written about them !
RJZ42 More than 1 year ago
Being a Philadelphia Eagles fan, I was naturally drawn to the title. As someone who grew up in a small town in PA at the same time these stories were created, I can relate. This book is very well written and entertaining. There are stories that everyone can relate to at some point in their childhood. We have all experienced the challenges that Tom and his co-horts encountered growing up in NYC Being a baseball and football fan, I loved his Yankee and Giant stories. I highly recommend this book, especially if you are a baby boomer growing up in the 60s..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is fabulous I know the author Thomas Pryor we went to same school St Stephens grew up in same neighborhood 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great craft and great heart! You will love this book. It's funny, sad, and true. Thomas Pryor paints a vivid picture of growing up in a New York City that some of us baby boomers still remember. Even if you're a young pup, you will love the great storytelling and universal truths of growing up.
AliBarbara More than 1 year ago
Everyone has a story to tell one way, or another. Not everyone can write and publish a contemporary memoir as engaging and entertaining as Thomas Pryor’s “I Hate the Dallas Cowboys.” Tommy’s “tales of a scrappy New York boyhood” is chockfull of heartwarming stories that are relatable on so many levels. Yes, they are funny – often whacky and make the reader laugh - sometimes out loud - but they always touch the heart!  His stories about growing up in the working class Yorkville neighborhood in Manhattan range from wildly unconventional to relatively normal, and the beauty of this memoir is that each chapter "stands alone."  I especially love the table of contents because the titles and one line description reads like a story and pulls you right in. Tommy's writing style engages all of the reader's senses - the key to good storytelling. His attention to sensory detail is brilliant and his metaphors: profound! After reading "tales of a scrappy New York boyhood," I have adopted Tommy's family as my own. Let me put it this way, he had me at the first line of chapter one, “Fort Sumter”: "During the first year of my parents’ marriage, 1952, my mother was shot dead…" Read on read on dear reader, you will love this memoir. Bravo Tommy Pryor. You done good! Barbara Aliprantis, Storyteller/Arts Educator/Mentor
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No matter your age, background, home town or city or upbringing you will be touched by Thomas Pryor's stories. He is a master storyteller with a comedic mind and a memory that will  stir yours.  He brings to mind the works of Jonathan Lethem in "Motherless Brooklyn" and A. J. Verdelle  in "The Good Negress " with a touch of Kurt Vonnegut , Woody Allen and Ray Bradbury thrown in. This is a man who can capture a reader's attention and hold it tightly in his hands.  I loved this book dearly and I look forward to a second helping very soon. This is a book that will stay with me for a long time through many readings and fond memories and on that I will reccomend to anyone who is looking for something very special to read--Dennis John Ferado
JanieGB More than 1 year ago
This book is an absolute joy to read, so very funny & heartwarming. TP is a true storyteller, you are there with him, engrossed in each adventure & misadventure.  Highly recommended & I look forward to his next edition of stories! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys funny, bittersweet stories about growing up. It makes no difference where and when you grew up or type of background you had. The characters are hilarious and the descriptions of the neighborhood are vivid and rich with just the right amount of detail. I think I enjoyed the book more because my growing up experiences were so different. Definitely buy this book and be prepared to laugh.
Jonathan_Calvert More than 1 year ago
This is simply a wonderful and entertaining telling of a city boy's early years, bouncing us along for the ride as we view the world from a Yorkville, Manhattan tenement and its surrounding stoops and nuts. These stories are imbued with the influences of music and games and junk food and barkeeps and store-owners that define our lives. Where I grew up, two degrees of separation and a few subway stops to the north, a song of the neighborhood at the time described a bright red rose that was, against the odds, ".. growing in the street, right up through the concrete, but soft and sweet and dreamin'." In the vivid memories of "I Hate the Dallas Cowboys" we learn how Tommy similarly roots and grows. And we are the richer because along the way he found his voice and has shared this journey with us. It is an effortless read, written from the perspective of a child with a strong eye for detail and time and place . My one quibble is with the title, because this is not a story about hate but about love: love of family, love of life, the unconditional love of each new day and adventure as an effervescent merry prankster of a boy careens his way through adolescence.
nannamariag More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed reading these vignettes about growing up at the same time I did. I remembered the people and places, things that we did, and similar experiences we had. I enjoyed each yarn and wanted to read more. Anyone can relate to Tommy’s experiences by just changing the names and places. Can’t wait for your next book.
milospapa More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book.  It was very well-written, funny, and sad at times. It doesn't rely on gimmicks or flash. It just tells great, honest stories of a real kid growing up. This book really shows how good writing can make simple stories extraordinary. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Heart-warming, hilarious, and wonderfully quirky, "I Hate the Dallas Cowboys" has something for everyone. Thomas Pryor does a fantastic job of transporting you to 1960's New York where you feel like one of the characters in his Yorkville neighborhood. Stylistically reminiscent of Jean Shepherd's "A Christmas Story," this book, too, becomes an instant classic!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That old familiar saying: “It takes a village to raise a child” couldn’t ring more true than in Thomas Pryor’s hilarious and touching coming-of-age memoir set in working-class New York City in the 1960s. Before the invasion of high-rise apartments, play dates and nannies, most kids back then grew up in real “neighborhoods” where everyone knew each other and watched out for one another with a pat on the back, or a smack upside the head.  Family extended beyond his parents and  grandparents, helping keep young Tommy and his brother in line - the butcher, the miserly candy-store owner, the bartenders at Loftus Tavern, the French stewardesses, and sexy Sister Beatrice, his first grade teacher. An avid baseball fan, I’m sure his proudest memory is sitting next to and  chatting with his favorite Baseball player at Yankee Stadium as a teenager.  Who gets to do that in this day and age? Pryor is such a great storyteller that I actually laughed out loud a few times on the Subway while reading this book.  "I Hate the Dallas Cowboys –  Tales of a Scrappy New York Boyhood" is an honest-to-goodness feel-good book about the good old days, and I highly recommend it.  -Karina Yanku, LMT, Host “The Healing Artist” Internet Radio Show
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
John Gindele. New York City’s renowned storyteller, Tommy Pryor, pens an American tale full of nostalgia and recollection.   Tommy Pryor grew up Catholic with a brother and Irish/Italian parents on the Upper East Side of Manhattan over fifty years ago. His memoir recounts his first eighteen years living in a walk-up railroad tenement flat in the ethnic neighborhood of Yorkville. He loved Yorkville and still does, and he loved baseball, too! In fact, Pryor still resides there, about a block from where he and I and my twin brother Joe grew up. His fifty-three stories and photographs will take you back to your formative years and fond childhood memories; it doesn’t matter if you grew up in a small town or large city. If you “laughed out loud” reading the award-winning memoir, “Yorkville Twins: Hilarious Adventures Growing up in New York City, 1944-1962”—about growing up in Yorkville with immigrant parents during the 1950s—you’ll absolutely love Pryor’s 1960s Yorkville adventures, misadventures and all the laughs and surprises that come with it. The stories surrounding a young boy’s age of naivety, innocence, and self-discovery resumes, and recollections of that grand old neighborhood we fondly call Yorkville are now sealed forever. It was a time gone by, never to be repeated or relived, except now through accounts like this. Thank you for the memories and for preserving and sharing our heritage and beloved neighborhood, Tommy.
trpryor More than 1 year ago
Thank you, Mr. Lofaso, for your wonderful and interesting book. This terrific read gave me joy and satisfaction as a lifelong Yorkville native. The author filled in many blanks on unanswered questions I developed over the years talking with my parents and grandparents about how our working class neighborhood where my family planted their roots came to be. Bravo, on the meticulous and clear research that reads like a classic story rather than a stuffy history. I highly recommend this book not only to folks interested in Yorkville or NYC but to any reader interested in how a hamlet becomes a modern neighborhood thriving with street life. My Yorkville memoir, "I Hate the Dallas Cowboys - tales of a scrappy New York boyhood," is a richer memoir thanks to insights I derived from "Origins and History of the Village of Yorkville in the City of New York," that triggered my own personal Yorkville memories. Comment | 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"I hate the Dallas Cowboys," was such a great book. The Story was alive with Humor, I actually laughed out loud a few times. I loved the pictures and felt a connection to this Yorkville community that he made me want to visit. I would share this story with my kids as well as my mom that is how much I feel it reaches the young person and the young at heart.
Mia23 More than 1 year ago
Whether or not you grew up in Yorkville; and whether or not you're a football fan, you'll be lifted to a higher planetary zone while reading Thomas Pryor's I Hate the Dallas Cowboys: Tales of a Scrappy New York Boyhood.   It's like hearing your favorite song from junior high school days.  Or seeing your best college roommate show up unexpectedly at a local diner.  Or finding your favorite classic movie at a local revival theater.  It's an exhilarating ride on a carousel in short, vibrant chapters, around Tom's Yorkville childhood days of the 60's, stuffed with memories that stick to Pryor's brain like gooey oatmeal to the spoon.  From his charming black and white photos -- reminiscent of old photo albums and photo corner days -- to his vibrant anecdotes about life on the street, the book spills forth a boyhood of simple, exquisite experiences.  Specific references burst from the page with the sound and pulse of a big band: from Artie Shaw's Begin the Beguine and bumper cars to the 83rd St. Gang, Our Lady of Good Counsel Rams, and Ben's Meat-o-Mat.  From Lamston's and Papaya King to Buster Brown's Salamander Shoes; from a lesson in cutting rye bread with a big knife, to discovering Playtex bras on the shower curtain, from the RKO to midwife Saverio Palermo, the book is a summer breeze, a nostalgic, charming, memorable joy. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A Truly rewarding reading experience My fascination for his stories are two-fold.  I read them with the perspective of a youngster exploring and navigating the world he was born into with the filter of a mature person choosing which memories he holds dear.  Tommy's characters span three generations and are indeed three dimensional.  You can feel their  hopes and fears and their laughter and tears.  My parents are Tommy's parents.  They never missed an opportunity to spar with each other.  His descriptions of past places and things will evoke dormant sweet memories.  My favorite story is "Spotless Cleaners."  In the least words possible Tommy engaged all my senses with a tale of a father and son that should be passed down through the generations.
ClaudiaC26 More than 1 year ago
A beautiful collection of funny and touching stories of growing up in New York city. I loved "meeting" Tommy's family and being in his world for a little while.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Exceptional is the most appropriate rating for this wonderful book. I assure you that you will not be able to put it down once you pick it up. I have recommended this book to friends and family and all agree it is a must read.
manalM More than 1 year ago
Very good book and great Author . i loved the book ans the Author is so funny.
egw279 More than 1 year ago
This is a terrific read with anecdotes anyone can enjoy!! I highly recommend it.  (It's a plus that he hates the Cowboys)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pryor's penned a funny, charming book about growing up in New York City in the 1960s'. His stories whisk you back to the days of ten cent sodas, half moon street rides and spins on Woolworth's swivel counter stools. Catholic school soap opera followed each year by summer days that went on forever. Best of all is the peek inside the mind of a Yankee-Giant-girl crazed 12-year-old boy.  If you grew up in NYC, check it out. You'll be amazed at the memories that will come flooding back.
JohnHarveyT2P More than 1 year ago
Yorkville was clearly an incredible place to grow up in the 60's and 70's.  The author's ability to keep my attention through every story was amazing.  When you blend his storytelling ability with amazing photo's of everyday life for a kid in Yorkville, NYC you have a wonderful combination that brings you back to York Avenue, 86th Street, and Carl Schurz Park…... Regardless of whether you hate or love the Dallas Cowboys this is a must read.  Thanks to Mr. Pryor!  - John Harvey