his book is about a young poor boy growing up during the Great Depression when organized crime was rampant, welfare didn't exist, food lines were commonplace, and hot tamales were available from a vendor on a modified bicycle, if you had the price. His mom, a widow since he was four years old, didn't have the price. Once a week, they had meat; it was sausage and what tasted like sawdust mixed in. He didn't like it, but he ate it because he was hungry. Sometimes, on Sundays, White Castle had hamburgers on sale, ten for a dollar. When his mom and his older half sister had a dollar, they ate like royalty. He could've eaten all ten by himself. When he was fifteen, he lied about his age and joined the US Navy and was never hungry again.