Sounds from the Beach Vendor's Coins Mixed with the Seagulls' Huah Huah Huah

Sounds from the Beach Vendor's Coins Mixed with the Seagulls' Huah Huah Huah

Growing up Brooklyn

Dian Cunningham Parrotta


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Growing up as a child in a working-class family, Dian Cunningham always liked magic, flying on the Brooklyn's sea breezes and the seagulls' huah-ings to meet the adventures that each day living in Flatbush had to offer. Dian lived in Brooklyn from her birth in 1955 to 1982, the height of the baby boomers. She grew up in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, within walking distance of Midwood High--which boasts alums such as Woody Allen, Wentworth Miller, Erich Segal, and Emmanuel Lewis--and not too far from Erasmus Hall High--where alums such as Neil Diamond, Barbara Streisand, and chess-whiz Bobby Fischer attended. How could the writer not feel that growing up in Brooklyn playing stickball, punch ball, and running wild in the streets, feet slapping down the cement slabs on hot sidewalks, where moms, grandmothers, elderly neighbors watched you grow up from their duplex windows and sometimes shared jubilant sunny Coney Island Beach days or painful life events, such as experiencing the wasp stings of learning about racism or being introduced to drug use on the streets, was everything she needed to meet her adulthood face on?


Dian Cunningham Parrotta:
Since her Brooklyn days, Dian Cunningham Parrotta has lived in various parts of the world, including a trip to revolutionary Iran to visit a college sweetheart, the very handsome Iranian naval officer Shapoor Giahi. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Yemen Arab Republic, taught English in the Sudan, and has been teaching for the past thirty years at Fairfax County Public Schools in northern Virginia. Dian’s newest excitement is teaching in the Family Learning Program at a local elementary school’s English for the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia. She dreams of teaching and working with children of military parents who live internationally so she can join up with her two sons, Emile and Emir Parrotta, who live and work in Prague and Madrid, respectively.