Newsboy worked 18 hours a day, seven days a week on his business. He spent his time parking old cars in front of places, going inside and then going out the back doors and getting into another old car on the next block and going away. He had no other life. A big night for him was to take his girl friend, Ann Petrick, on the bus to 42nd Street in Manhattan to see a movie. But he was strong on giving to his church.
A couple of years ago he donated a shrine to Our Lady of Fatima to St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church in his neighborhood. The statue alone cost $8,000. On the day it was dedicated Newsboy was standing in front of the church with a friend of his named Eddie and he looked at the statue.
"What do you think of it?" Newsboy said.
"Fine," Eddie said. "Now let's go inside for the dedication service."
"Oh, I can't do that," Newsboy said. "I got work to do."
"Joe, this is something you're supposed to be here for yourself," Eddie said.
"I'm too busy," Newsboy said. He got into his car and drove away. Everybody else went into church.
When his brother Albert died Newsboy put him into a $7,500 casket, and after he watched it lowered into the ground he said he was going to work.
"Listen," a guy said to him, "why don't you learn something from your brother? You live lousy. You've got all that money. Come on down to Key West and sit on the beach and see how people live. You might like it. You might not wind up in one of those boxes so soon."
"After all these years I took building this business, do you expect me to walk away and let somebody grab it?" Newsboy said. "I'm going to work."