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A Trip to Soupy Island They called us river rats, living near the river in narrow streets, teeming with real rats at night crawling bold from warehouses, storm drains and slaughterhouses to roam our homes and bite us. Hungry little rats flocked to the river to Penn Treaty's Pier on Delaware's shore on summer afternoons to climb aboard the "Johnnie" or the "Lizzie" boat waiting for our daily trip to Soupy Island. On the Island we were served free of charge a tasty meal of soup, crackers and milk. They had swings and a merry-go-round too. Sponsored by the Children's Cruise and Playground Society of Philadelphia, Soupy Island was a most pleasant place where you could escape for a few hours the hot muggy streets and eat wholesome food. You never owned up being fed there at Soupy Island's charity kitchen. That was a place for poor children to go, and when you met with fellow travelers sitting on the stoop the taunt was always "got your lunch at Soupy Island didn't you?" I never got meals at Soupy Island, oh no not me, that was for the poor kids.
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