2001-07-14 / Columnists

LOOKING BACKWARD What The Wave Said 20 Years Ago This Week

What The Wave Said 20 Years Ago This Week

A roaring fire at 1600 Mott Avenue in Far Rockaway blazed uncontrollably Monday night, bringing fire companies from all over Queens to the peninsula. The raging fire destroyed a number of stores along the shopping strip.

Plans for an Irish concert to rally for human rights in Ireland have been finalized and the concert will be held on July 12 at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Beach 90 Street.

After three years of discussion and debate, the plan for Casino gambling in Rockaway seems to be a dead issue, at least for this legislative session.

Larry Trachtenberg of Belle Harbor was graduated recently from Harvard Law School. The Far Rockaway High School graduate will begin work next month for a prestigious Manhattan law firm.

The Five Towns – Far Rockaway Rotary Club held its annual awards luncheon at the Wilshire Restaurant and presented a community servie award to Dorene Tucker of Far Rockaway High School. Club president Aaron Feingold presented the award.

Four-year-old Diane Sampol recently highlighted a dance recital held at Beach Channel High School. More than 1,000 people attended the presentation.

Many Rockaway residents have become despondent due to the lack of professional baseball on their daily schedule. Despite their wishes, the baseball strike drags on.

Local bus and subway fares have risen to seventy-five cents, with a chance that they will move up to one dollar by the end of the summer. There is no mention, however, of improving the service.

Jung Yang delivered the valedictory address at the graduation exercises of IS 53 in Far Rockaway. Principal Vito Martino presented the award . Jesse Silverman delivered the salutatory address.

Democratic district leader Sy Sheldon is now a guest lecturer at Queens Borough Community College and other institutions of higher learning.

Isn’t it time for the "no left turn" sign to be removed from Beach Channel Drive and Beach 116 Street? The sign was put up originally to facilitate sewer construction in the area. Many area residents would like to see it removed.

The annual fireworks display this year is considered to be better than last year’s fireworks. It seems as if the locals are trying to outdo themselves each year with a bigger and better display.

What The Wave Said 30 Years Ago This Week

One of the greatest ambassadors the Rockaways have ever had is Belle Harbor resident Tom Hetzel, noted swimmer and three-time conqueror of the English Channel. Although he lives locally and trains in local waters, Tom has hung up a number of records in waters all over the world, from torrid Mexico to frigid Canada, where he is headed now for competition against some of the world’s best swimmers.

One of the landmarks destroyed in a fired last week was the former home of William M. Gilmore on Beach 80 Street. The home was on the site of the former Crabbe Lumber Yard, which flourished at the turn of the century on what was then Pleasant Avenue.

Although fireworks within the city limits have been banned for many years, bootleggers must have done well in Rockaway over the Fourth. There were numerous complaints of noise from fireworks, particularly in the Arverne and Sommerville sections of the peninsula.

As the official fireworks display began at 9 p.m., the traffic coming off the Cross Bay Bridge was backed up to Shore Front Parkway into the bridge ramp.

Construction on IS 53 in Far Rockaway is nearing completion of the first story. It occupies the site of the former PS 39, which, forty years ago, housed Far Rockaway High School.

On Off Track Betting office is slated to open on Central Avenue, next to the Columbia Theater.

It has be reported that the sale of the St. Joseph’s Hospital to the Community Hospital Committee is in the final stages of preparation.

What The Wave Said 40 Years Ago This Week

So much filling and grading has gone on in O’Donohue Park that motorists can no longer get a look at the surf as they drive by on Seagirt Boulevard.

It is still possible to locate some of the sites of former landmarks in the Hammel section where the Hammel Houses have knocked out everything north of the boulevard. South of the boulevard, however, you can still tell where places such as Maskin’s Hall, Dashby’s or Brunner’s Bakery once stood.

Perhaps the peaceful run to Rockaway now looks better to the Wilson Line steamers, after the disorder it has experienced on it’s Hudson Belle on excursions up the Hudson River to Albany.

Believe it or not, Richie Groger is still repairing damage done by Hurricane Donna, which struck almost a year ago. It has taken that long for the dampness to seep through the insulation, making it necessary to replace wiring. Insurance claims have yet to be settled by many residents.

What The Wave Said 50 Years Ago This Week

William F. Brenner is chairing a Rotary committee to find a new home for the Beach 116 Street honor roll.

Jack Weisgal has been elected to succeed Jules Michaelis as president of the Edgemere Civic Association. He will be installed on July 26 by Assemblyman J. Lewis Fox.

David Caligiuri leads with a margin of 10,000 votesfor mayor and Harry and Mary Doughtry lead the race for King and Queen of the Rockaway Beach Mardi Gras.

The death of Captain Harry Groth has removed another of the pioneer residents of the Rockaways.

Samuel Ortner, newly elected commander of the Far Rockaway Post, American Legion, has announced with Postmaster Abe Finkle that American Korean POW’s will now be able to communicate with their families stateside.

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