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Gloria Nicholson was born in Coney Island in 1940 and grew up in a rooming house that her mother Josephine Boyce managed on Jones Walk and the Bowery. It overlooked the Virginia Reel and Wonder Wheel, which she often rode. During the summer her father Sakazo "Tish" Tashiro managed a scooter ride owned by the Handwerkers and located next to Nathan's. She reminisces about unusual attractions and the cast of characters who populated her childhood including Ned Tilyou, Tirza's Wine Baths, Shatzkins Knishes, the Shark Lady, and fortune-telling myna birds.