Richard Fried

Profile Updated: April 24, 2024
Residing In Washington, DC USA
Spouse/Partner Susan Yanero Fried
Occupation Struggling to Finish My 1st Novel

Richard's Latest Interactions

Hide Comments
Richard Fried posted a message. New comment added.
Apr 29, 2024 at 1:23 PM

Posted on: Apr 24, 2024 at 9:03 AM

A visit to Mineo’s was the inspiration for this two page crazy comedy sketch about me working there. To paraphrase “Law and Order” Any resemblance to real persons or conceivable events boggles the mind - Except for great pizza. Nevertheless, for me, echos of the precious long ago world of parents and childhood are present throughout.

             Prevalence of Memories       

   One cold snowy night, I was working behind the counter at Mineo’s. Wearing a white T shirt, I felt warm as toast thanks to those big beautiful pizza ovens. Around 7:30pm the entrance door swung open. A blast of frigid air swept through the room as a tall heavy set fellow hurried inside. Shutting the door, he brushed the snow off his coat and strode up to the counter.
   “One large pizza to go,” he barked. “I’m in a hurry.”
   “Sure. Anything on it?”
   “Nah, ‘plain is good.”
   “That’s one large plain. Anything else?”
   He scratched his head, “Like what?”
   It was freezing outside. “How about a cup of hot soup?”
   “Hey, now you’re talking. What kind do you recommend?”
   “Chicken soup.”
   “You carry Chicken Soup?”
   “Yep and you’ll love it. My Aunt Betty made a fresh batch yesterday. She puts half a chicken in the pot and let’s it simmer all day long. The soup’s to die for, plus you have cooked chicken for dinner. You don’t need to bother carving it, either. Put the chicken on a plate and it falls apart all by itself. Doesn’t have much taste left either, so it goes with any side dish.”
   “The soup sounds good.” He made a face, “Can you lose the chicken?”
   I gave him a knowing look. I had big problems with overcooked tasteless chicken myself. Whenever, we were at Aunt Betty’s for dinner, when she wasn’t looking, I fed my chicken to her dog Snoozy under the table. I’d never have gotten away with it except my Mother was sympathetic.
   “Do you want Matzoh balls with your soup instead? Aunt Rose made them Monday. Hers are nice and hard (I sighed and dreamed of eating one). We also carry Mrs. Cohen’s soft ones, which in my opinion are almost as good. Mrs Cohen is proud of hers and swears she’s the one who taught Aunt Rose how to make them after she got off the boat in New York; but Aunt Rose says it’s a boldface lie, just like everything that comes out of Mrs. Cohen’s mouth. You should hear the two of them go at it whenever their paths cross. Last week at my friend’s BarMitzvah luncheon, a time for rejoicing, they nearly came to blows. Even the Rabbi was afraid to come between them. Anyway,” I shrugged my shoulders. “Hard or soft, you can’t go wrong.”
   “Uh, maybe I’ll pass on the chicken soup.”
   “Oh, would you rather have Borsht?”
   “Beet soup. My Cousin Frieda, makes it. Her great Grandmother brought the recipe along with the silver candle sticks on her back when she came over from the old country. To be honest, I never acquired a taste for Borsht, but that’s just me. Around our house, the older generation laps it up like it’s going out of style; but if it turns out not to be your favorite and there’s old Borsht lying around the back of the refrigerator, don’t throw it away. It’s great for tinting paint.”
   The customer’s eyebrows shot up. Probably he didn’t do much repair work around the house.
   Puzzled what to suggest, I thought for a moment and brightened. “What about a corned beef sandwich? They’re already made.” I pointed at the stainless steel refrigerated unit against a wall. “Help yourself.”
   “A Corned beef sandwich with pizza? Forget it.”
   “It’s lean corned beef, what’s not to like?”
   He snapped his fingers, “I know. Do you have New York style cheese cake?”
   “Sorry, we’re sold out. If you want dessert, we have a fresh batch of Rugelach filled with cherries or poppy seeds. My Nanna baked them this morning. Hers are the best in the city. Well, Mrs Kornfleisher’s run a close second. They both sell out fast at charity events.”
    “Uh, that’s all right, I’ll stick to just the pizza. By the way, kid, shouldn’t mine be done about now?”
    I was incredulous. “It hasn’t hit the oven yet.”
    “What! You’ve got to be kidding me.”
   I shook my head. “According to Mr. Mineo’s rules, you finish ordering first, then I ring it up and you pay. After that, we roll out the dough and pop it in the oven. It’ll be ready in a jiff.”
   “You’ve gotta be kidding me,” he said again even louder, “I’ve been listening to you go on and on about your relatives for 20 minutes. All I came in for was a simple pizza.”
   I shrugged my shoulders, “Well, sure, if that’s all you want…” Dutifully, I tore the order sheet from the pad and turned to the cash register.
   Glancing up towards heaven, the customer sighed, “At last.” Rather smug, he took out his wallet to pay for his pizza. Idly, looking around the room as I rang up the order, he glanced at his watch and did a double-take. “Oh, no! ‘Gunsmoke’ starts in just 12 minutes. Tonight’s the second of a 2 part episode. Last week, Matt Dillon was shot near the end of the show. Doc’s worried he might have to amputate a leg.” He gnawed on a fingernail. “No way I’m gonna miss Part 2.”
   I was sympathetic. All week, my friends had been talking about Part 1. I was annoyed that I missed it because of work. I begged Paolo to trade shifts with me tonight so I could watch Part 2, but he had a hot date with a girl named Gina.
   The customer waved his arms about like he wanted to take off like a bird and fly home to his tv. He muttered, “I’m in a tough spot. That nitwit kid wouldn’t keep his trap shut long enough for me to finish my order. I’m starvin’ and there’s nothing to eat at home.” Then it was like a light bulb turned on in his head. “Still, I might just make it before the action starts. There’s the theme song and opening credits, then those dumb commercials that go on forever.” He snapped his fingers, “Kiddo, you ready to take my order?”
   Pencil to pad, I waited tensely.
   “Give me a Corned beef sandwich, 2 bags of potato chips – wait! you got Russian dressing?”
   I nodded.
   “It’s on Rye?”
   Again, I nodded. What a silly question. He accused me of wasting time?
   “…a side of Cole slaw and a quart of Aunt Betty’s Chicken soup with those Matzoh balls. I don’t give a damn whether they’re hard or soft. Just hurry. Oh, and deep six the pizza, I’ll stop by tomorrow to order one.”

Richard Fried added a comment on his Profile.
Mar 13, 2024 at 1:54 PM
Richard Fried posted a message. New comment added.
Feb 26, 2024 at 5:20 PM

Posted on: Aug 29, 2023 at 7:03 PM

I was at Mineo's last night. There are 2 other locations now and a "Mineo's building" in Oakland. The Squirrel Hill one has a sign that says "since 1958." I told the employees milling about the counter that I was there on opening day, stopping on the way home after school. The pizza cost 15 cents a slice (?). They looked at me like I was a lunatic. I considered telling them that the original Mineo made the pizza, from which they served me a slice, but I was afraid they'd throw me out before I got the pizza I ordered. Pizza and truth can be dangerous..

Richard Fried posted a message. New comment added.
Aug 16, 2023 at 10:11 AM

Posted on: Aug 15, 2023 at 9:11 AM

Philip, thanks for moving along the idea of a reunion. I have a question; WithIn the context, what is meant by a guest? I suppose the idea has arisen from recent conversations about bringing them. Can you give a little more information?

Richard Fried added a comment on his Profile.
Jun 16, 2023 at 6:40 AM
Richard Fried posted a message. New comment added.
Mar 23, 2021 at 9:38 AM

Posted on: Mar 08, 2021 at 2:48 PM

The only thing I wanted to write was my appreciation to all those who by what they share continue to refresh my childhood memories. What a treasure.

Richard Fried has left an In Memory comment for his Profile.
Jul 19, 2019 at 12:33 PM

Yes, beautifully said and straight from the heart.

RIP John

Richard Fried posted a message. New comment added.
Oct 28, 2018 at 10:26 PM

Posted on: Oct 28, 2018 at 12:18 PM

I was Barmitvah-ed at Tree of Life. I remember after the ceremony, going downstairs where a luncheon was served. I was laughing and joking with my friends in innocence like we did any other day (I mean, the bar mitzvah was my parent's idea). As I thought about the shooting last night, I reconnected with that innocence and wondered why on earth anyone would want to do violence or hurt anyone in a place like that (or anywhere, of course). Peace to all.

Richard Fried has left an In Memory comment for his Profile.
May 19, 2018 at 8:33 PM


Thank you for saying it the way you did. I wouldn't want to add even one word.


Richard Fried has left an In Memory comment for his Profile.
Mar 01, 2015 at 8:33 AM

" Adam and Gusky family,

Ray's passing was a great shock to me.  I, too, knew Ray well since Kindergarden and the house on Hobart St.  He was a vigorous and vital person who influenced everyone and every situation he touched.  I'm so sorry for your loss.  I know so many of us feel it is our great loss, as well.  Ray will be sorely missed.

Bless You,

Richard Fried"


Reading the outpouring of heartfelt feelings from fellow classmates of Ray, has been an inspiration to me. The collective grieving and sense of loss, has been a comfort to me. This is one more instance of Ray's beneficial impact on everyone he knew.

Richard Fried updated his profile. View.
Feb 25, 2015 at 5:59 AM
Richard Fried posted a message.
Sep 04, 2014 at 6:11 PM

As the only classmate from D.C. who had a lot of fun at the reunion (the other 2 didn't come) I'd like permission to secede from DC, temporarily, and join Maryland in a possible post reunion get together. Since they won't allow us to become a state, we're forbidden from holding post reunion activities, too.

Richard Fried added a photo to his profile gallery.
Aug 28, 2014 at 1:36 PM
Richard Fried posted a message. New comment added.
Aug 21, 2014 at 8:59 AM

Posted on: Aug 20, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Hi Howard,

It has been a long time. You are one of the people I remember being around in school from the very first years. I'm pleased you've done well writing a number of books. I've been trying to finish my first and only novel for quite a few years. Knowing it can be done offers me encouragement.

Hide Comments
Posted: Aug 28, 2014 at 1:35 PM