2000-02-05 / Columnists

Simon Says….

by Lew M. Simon, Democratic District Leader, 23rd A.D. Part B

On Tuesday during our major storm that brought everything to a halt in our community, the Neponsit Property Owners Association had a scheduled millennium party for the residents of Neponsit. President Mike O'Connor, being the trooper that he is, decided the party must go on. No cancellation.

After spending one hour chipping ice off my window, we were greatly pleased to see a large number of Neponsit residents braving the storm like we did. There was music by one of Rockaway's own. Congressman Anthony Weiner deserves a medal of honor for tracking in from Brooklyn to attend this event. A great time was had by all.

While still on the major storm, the Department of Sanitation should be ashamed of themselves for the condition of the Rockaway roads. God help anyone who lives on a beach block because you're iced in. Although main roads may be clear, major work is needed up and down local streets. Why is Rockaway the stepchild of the city?

We're very surprised that this condition occurs in our community since Sanitation Commissioner Kevin Farrell lives in Rockaway Point. We would love to escort Commissioner Farrell and his staff to see the job done to Rockaway. At the same time the Department of Sanitation has not made any pick ups of garbage this week. We would like to see the city bring out their trucks with dumpsters so they can dump the snow in the bay.

We urge everyone to pick up the phone and call the commissioner's office at (212) 788-9846 or the chief of staff/executive assistant to the commissioner, Marsha D. Kaunitz, at (212) 788-4125. Tell them you are outraged and District Leader Lew M. Simon gave you this number to voice your outrage.

It is now the fourth anniversary of the death of my mom, Jennie Simon. My mom was a great unselfish person, always giving of herself. My mom served as a Junior Girl Scout leader, president of the AARP, Rockaway chapter, active member of the Hammels Senior Center and always worked for the Philip Port Unit of the American Cancer Society.

My mom was a great champion of all the causes I got involved with-- always there in support of her son. I remember back to 1987 when we were fighting to stop a homeless shelter on Beach 44 street for 400 homeless men. We believed warehousing people was not a great way to live. Mom and I happened to be at one of the civic meetings when all of the elected officials and some of the civic leaders were - recognized with plaques for what they had done. My mom was quite annoyed with the fact that although I had been a chairman of a committee of the All Rockaway Planning Council and had organized petitions and meetings opposing the shelter and bringing unity for the first time in Rockaway, my name was not mentioned. My mother said it was a disgrace. My mom screamed out, "What about my son?" She was told to shut up or be escorted out. The windup was we were thrown out of this meeting. But, my mother taught me to hold your head high and be proud of what you do.

Mom and I always spent quality time together. We ate dinner together for one hour and argued about what to watch on TV. I wanted to watch Road to City Hall on NY 1 and my mother wanted to watch the country western channel.

My mother was very proud of my sister Fran and her beautiful grandchildren. Her favorite was my oldest niece, Bambi. Mom babysat for Bambi in the first years of her life.

Mom loved to go out to all the community meetings and have her voice heard. When she won prizes or money at an event, she always donated it back. She believed that was the right thing to do and God would bless you for it.

Mom loved to cook and spoil us kids rotten. During the holidays, we especially miss all the great cooking. We remember the homemade chopped liver, matzoh ball soup, noodle pudding, spaghetti and meatballs or best of all her wonderful smile. I just want to close by saying we know mom's in heaven as a supervising angel smiling down on us. We love her. We miss her and she will never be forgotten.

During mom's illness in 1995, when mom was slipping through our fingers, I thank God for the friendship of a man I call my father, Terry Flynn, sr., and his family who gave me the strength to go on at the same time he was a candidate for Civil Court. One night my mom took a turn for the worse and they had to operate to put a shunt in her neck because her veins had collapsed. Terry stopped everything to be by my side and give me the strength to go on.

Mary Flynn sr. and jr. visited mom in Peninsula Hospital and made sure she had a TV. Many times both mother and daughter Geraldine Chapey and Eugene Pasternack visited her in the hospital. Geraldine has a strong bond with her mother and we understand the importance of a loving mother and family.

Our next trip to Atlantic City will be on Saturday, February 12. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 a.m. The cost is $23 with $17 returned. Call my office now for reservations now. I am listed in the Rockaway phone book.

If you need any help with community problems or have any comments on this column just leave a message on my phone and I will got back to you.


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