A few notes:
The "Heintz factory": this huge steel-works plant (now a shopping mall), which operated round-the-clock across Nedro Avenue from the Schnabel semi-detached, continued to play an important part in the poet's psychic life.
"Catholic War Vets": the Catholic veterans' club on Chew Avenue, which commonly kept its doors open on fair days. Arnold Schnabel was a member in good standing, but, as he was abstaining from alcohol on doctor's orders, he would no doubt have resisted its companionly charms.
"Krass": Krass Brothers on South Street, clothiers to generations of Philadelphia's working class.
The "47": Arnold would perhaps have taken this trolley to go downtown or to catch a ballgame at Connie Mack Stadium.
“It’s Not So Bad”
It’s not so bad, all this, this life, it’s really not:
The stertorous breathing of the Heintz factory,
The women hauling sacks of who knows what,
I nod to them and usually they nod back to me;
The boys outside the playground with cupped cigarettes;
The gaggles of girls whose giggling stops as I pass;
The pock of billiard balls in the Catholic War Vets’ --
I walk through it all in my blue suit from Krass.
My friend Jesus has not again appeared to me;
The doctor told me that was all inside my head.
I shall head home now, to Mother and TV,
Some cake, a soothing rosary, and then to bed:
But hark! The noble trolley that men call 47:
Would it could take me directly to heaven.
(For links to other inspiring poems from Arnold Schnabel, and to the serialization of his mammoth memoir Railroad Train to Heaven, check the right hand column of this page.)