Twenty one years ago---1978---Affirmed won racing’s Triple Crown. Although several have come close, no horse since has been able to win that sport’s greatest glory. Charismatic goes this weekend hoping to end the 21 year drought.
The long lapse prompted a couple of columnists to wonder what else happened that year---although they didn’t have Rockaway in mind.
What was happening here?
Well, 21 years ago there was less sports in The Wave than there is in a Boyle-ing Points column devoted entirely to Al Stabile.
A four bedroom house in Belle Harbor, with a private drive, had an asking price of $70,000. A Neponsit ranch was trying to fetch something in the $60s and a 2 family in Far Rockaway was listed at $38,000. A one bedroom apartment in Belle Harbor? $285 per month.
The May 17 edition reported the boardwalk was "undergoing renovation." the cost for 10 blocks? A million dollars. Today, that million might get a couple of planks done.
Keith "Bugsy" Goldberg had better than a 90 average as a senior at Beach Channel High School.
Seymour Sperber, Clarence Davis, Harvey Brody a Neal Rairden, Grace Costello Jeanise Cole, and Leroy Dean were among those trying to launch a "junior Olympics." The idea was to use gyms and parks from one end of the peninsula to the other involving all kids.
The Beach Channel Girls Tennis Team finished with a perfect 8-0 record. Bernice Goldtstein was the coach and Tammy Dunn, Liz Schiff, and Lynda Schrier were some of the top players.
Far Rock had Richie Connors and Irv Brown leading the hoop team.
Miracle Movers advertised in the classifieds; so did Kimball Construction. You could get better than 8 percent at Columbia Savings.
Rockaway Rugby dominated Xavier in two games played at Fort Tilden. Captain Tim Tubridy was a force in the game and so were Pat Kane, John Bradsfield, Joe Moore, and Jimmy Tolan.
Bob O’Grady, Pat Savage, Kevin Callaghan, Mark Roberts, Peter Brady, Pat Waters, Dennis Brady, John Byrnes, Rick Sternberg, Brian Smith, Tom Greaney, and Tim Griffith were mentioned in later articles.
Mario Russo was with Community Board 14 and he was chairman of the "demolition" committee (if only they had done more demolishing).
Dan Hess fanned 11 batters as FRHS topped Martin VanBuren.
Georges Florist beat Beach Drugs 5-2 in Little League play.
Tyrone Forte, Tom Mulqueen, Stephen Baratto, Rob Cropsy were Little League stars.
Marc Gutman, John Carlin, Ira Gutt, Danny Fertig, Tom Maher, Frank Walker, Ricky Schnall, earned ink with their play, too.
The running McVeighs got a lot of ink with Jimmy, Vinny, Kevin, Michael, and Terence all being mentioned for various achievements. (There was no mention of the best of all: Kathleen).
Casino gambling was the 1978 version of Technodome. And maybe casino gambling was the ’78 version of ferry service. There was a ceremony because a "feasibility study" was being launched.
Mark Greene, Peter Thomas, and Jeff Rogoff made The Wave as young fishermen.
Robert Goldman of Arverne was setting world records. He did 80 handstand pushups in 43 seconds and 100 one arm pushups in 49 seconds.
Wave readers spent 15 cents to read Culture Vulture, Celia Speaks For Seniors, Jack Smith, and Along the Boardwalk with Julie Rapport.
There was a lack of lifeguards.
But there was not a lack of surfers at something called the "Turkey" contest. It was a surfing competition in the chilly waters of Riis Park on the day after Thanksgiving. Wally Blum proved to be the best that day. Shaun Reen was a runner-up. Michael Geraty, Joey Sullivan, Ed Flynn, and Paul Viti were others who got wet that day.
You could’ve called The Wave at the same number but you would’ve dialed NEptune 4-4000.
You could’ve gone to the OTB on Beach 20 street and bet on a great horse named Alydar---but you would’ve lost. It was the Year of Affirmed.
Before the Summer Classic gets underway at St. Francis DeSales, an ace bandage and velcro rehearsal takes place featuring a bunch of players long in the tooth and short on game. See "Graybeard" coverage in The Wave. Phil D. Baskett has taken a leave but he’ll be ably replaced by Buster Chopps.
**Skipper Edwards, vying for his own triple crown---three straight dogs---says Charismatic will stumble on the last leg of the Big Three. He looks for Lemon Drop Kid to be the sweet choice on Saturday at Belmont. Menifee will follow and then Silverbullet. Charismatic, the Skipper believes, will lose its charm and finish fourth. (Bettors: a Triple Crown winner looks good).
**What’s it say about Patrick Ewing when you prefer to see Chris Dudley on the floor?