bathing season, City Hall Park, fountain, Ginny Murphy, Limpy O'Brien, Mickey the Angel, Spotty Puckerino, Spuds Carrano, swimming
From the April 27, 1902, edition of the New York Tribune:
Youngsters Shiver in Park Fountain.
City Hall Bathing Season Formally Opened By Mickey the Angel.
Mickey the Angel, “Limpy” O’Brien, Spotty Puckerino, “Ginny” Murphy and “Spuds” Carrano, Park Row newsboys from nine to thirteen years old, formally opened the bathing season yesterday afternoon in the Tweed fountain in City Hall Park. There was a large and watchful gathering, but no “cops.” All the boys were barefooted, and most of them were burdened only with trousers and shirt.
“Youse ain’t going’ ter welch, be youse?” asked Mickey the Angel in a tone of supreme disgust as he led his Spartan-like band to the fountain and noticed that Carrano and Murphy held back.
“Aw, gwan,” said Murphy, peeling off his shirt and divesting himself of his trousers. This was a movement that all understood. There was a twisting of arms and legs, kinking of backs, and suppressed exclamations as the boys went through their lightning change act. Then five somewhat soiled and skinny young heroes clambered up the side of the fountain.
“O-o-o-o-ch, golly, it’s cold,” chattered Mickey the Angel.
“Souse down, y’ lobster,” said O’Brien with a great show of courage, as he ducked into the water and then shivered.
Puckerino, Murphy and Carrano, encouraged by the cheers and laughter of the crowd soon went under the water, only to look scared and pained as they realized how cold it was.
“Stay in! Stay in!” yelled the unsympathetic crowd, as the lads clambered out of the fountain.
There was no response. The boys knew when they had enough. Just as they darted for their clothes, some one yelled:
“Here comes a cop!”
It was a false alarm from a boy so dastardly mean that probably he will never be mentioned for the Presidency. It startled the shivering quintet, however. Carrano corkscrewed into his trousers and pulled his shirt on over his suspenders. Murphy carried his shirt across Park Row before putting it on, and all the boys showed a celerity equaling Sheridan’s cavelry at the battle of Winchester.
Five pairs of dripping, shiny legs twinkled across Park Row to a grating over a warm pressroom, the great homebound crowd soon swallowed them up and they were lost to view—but the bathing season was formally opened in City Hall Park.