Sam Singer Faces Down the Mob


Pop & Sam at the Store on Broadway

Pop & Sam at the Store on Broadway

Sam and his brother Al operated a luncheonette (the Store) first on Broadway in Elmhurst, Queens, New York and later moved to one on 82nd Street in Jackson Heights. The one on Broadway was across the street on the next block from where the Singers lived at 80-20 Broadway. This building was also known as “Robinwood”. They had a 2-bedroom apartment on the first floor with one small bathroom and a tiny kitchen as described in “Sam Singer and the Thanksgiving Gravy Fiasco” story.

At one time, before Sam’s kids came along, Mom and Pop had that apartment and their son Al and daughters Ruth and Adele lived there too. Mom and Pop also used to have a store in the Bronx before moving to Elmhurst.

The family often ate their dinner meals at the Store and just hung out at times. Many kids don’t get to see what their fathers do for a living, but all we had to do was cross the street and sit down on one of the stools and watch! Sam got up early every day to go in to cook the meats and make the salads like tuna and egg salad. They only used the best ingredients and everything was fresh. Marcia and her brother Jeffrey would hang out and Sam would give them each a quarter to “dry the utensils” which didn’t really need it, but it kept them busy and they liked getting paid for it.

Before Marcia could even read, she loved to take the comic books that were sale (along with newspapers and other magazines) and look at the pictures and try to understand what the story was about. She was always careful not to mess them up at all so someone could buy them later.

One day, the suppliers of the newspapers and magazine told Sam they wanted him to also start selling certain “naughty” magazines. These suppliers were a large, powerful company with “connections”, if you get the drift.

However, Sam didn’t like that idea at all! This was a family restaurant and not only did his kids came here, but other kids from the neighborhood as well. No way!

No stranger to cussing, Sam boldly and blisteringly told them, “You can shove your papers up your  a..!” and he refused from then on to sell any of them.  So that was why papers, magazines and comics disappeared from the Store.

Sam at Store in his "whites"

Sam at Store in his “whites”

At the time, Marcia just missed being able to read the comics and only learned the truth much later on. Still, she was proud of Sam for standing up for what he believed was right and didn’t let anyone bully him! Fortunately, there were no consequences. Actually, many people thought Sam was in the Mob himself as he looked a little Italian, but wasn’t. However, he did instill fear in those who tried to cross him!


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