2002-03-30 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits by Elizabeth Guarino

Broad Channel Bits by Elizabeth Guarino

Broad Channel has its own column in the Wave again. Many people read Kathy Louis's column and enjoyed it tremendously. And when it disappeared from these pages, they sorely missed it. Folks wondered if it would ever return. Well, I'm not Kathy-but here is the column!

This space again belongs to Broad Channel, and it will offer a look at the comings and goings of Channel residents at work and play-in the Legion Hall, at the VFW, with the Vollies, in the library and on the ball field, to name a few.  The tone will be positive and upbeat: there are so many activities here and many terrific Channel residents making them happen.

Events will be publicized, performances reviewed, scores displayed and photographs of happenings shown in this space. So, please help me bring the news from our wonderful community to the readers of this column. Send me an E-mail or fax, leave a message on my answering machine, put your news in my mailbox (if it's raining, don't forget to put it in a plastic bag). Let me hear from you. I may be writing this, but it's OUR space!

I find living in the Channel to be a unique experience. Where else can a person turn the corner and see two big white swans sitting on the sidewalk in front of the neighbor's house? The geography of the area does make it different, but the people are what make it special. It's the only place I've lived where people smile back. It's great to go to the Library, the Legion
and attend church-and know the other people there.

I've seen people here haul in each other's garbage cans. Still others shovel sidewalks (not this winter though) that belong to their neighbors.

I've seen people prune roses, clear yards, cut grass for their neighbors, who-for one reason or another-just can't do it. And all of this without being asked. And of course, there are the children. Children who automatically move aside on the sidewalks to let adults pass. Children who are polite and respectful-children who can-- and do--still play in the streets. Ah, what a great place this is! I wasn't born here, but I fully intend to live the rest of my life in this place and die here too.

So, who am I? I have been living in the Channel for 13 years-I arrived here with my husband Dan, two children and various pets on Tax Day in 1989 (I guess that makes me a newcomer!) Many of you know me; since my surgery last summer, I've trundled a walker around town. (Many have probably seen Dan too-he's the guy in the burgundy shirt in the Time Warner commercial.) He also delivers the newsletter for me and will deliver your photographs for
this column to the Wave as well.

I was born in New York in Queens (in a place that no longer exists) and have lived in this county most of my life.  I did live in Hawaii (some silly people actually think it's paradise) and the Midwest (no comparison) for a few years. I lived in the Los Angeles area (no comment) as well. But, as they say in the Wizard of Oz: "There's no place like home."

I graduated from Far Rockaway High School at a time when the valedictory speech was on the meaning of the word 'Shalom.' I remember waiting for the warm weather, so I could cut school to go to the beach. I always sat under the boardwalk so I wouldn't get sunburned and get my hide tanned by my folks for being AWOL from school.

For those interested in my ancestry, my toehold in the area goes back pretty far. My ancestors on my mother's side hailed from Westmeath, Ireland; it was Hanover, Germany on my father's. The Irish side of the family moved to the Rockaway area in the early 1900s. Dr. Aloysius Kelly (the gynecologist/obstetrician) married my mother's first cousin, Margaret.

My grandfather and great-uncle have their names--James Treacy and Hubert Treacy, respectively-- on firehouses built in NYC in the '30s and '40s. At least two firehouses in the Rockaways have my ancestors' names on the bronze plate attached to the front of the building.  
Personally, I've had sand in my shoes since the '70s. I raised my children in the Rockaways-my daughter graduated from Stella Maris High School.

Many people know my name through my work on The Channel News-the civic association newsletter, which I have been editing for a little over a year.

(Don't worry, Tim. I'll keep editing it.) My work also appears in the Queens Chronicle from time to time and I have been writing for Able News (available monthly and free in the library) for nearly four years. But, the truth is, I can't write this column without input and information from my neighbors.

So, please contact me. Let me know what's happening in each corner of our island. My E-mail is TWCgxwgj@aol.com.

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