2003-08-29 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

By Liz Guarino
Broad Channel Bits By Liz Guarino

If it is August, there should be some "dog days" so we recognize it. Well,
unmistakably, it has been August. And unbelievably, it is the end of August. The unofficial end of summer-Labor Day-is this weekend. Wow, where did our summer go? It is a summer that will not be forgotten easily-at least not until a bigger blackout comes along to stamp its year into our memories!

The first day of school for St. Virgilius students is Wednesday, September 3.

BCAC Family Day is Saturday, August 30 starting at 11 a.m. at the Memorial Field.  There will be fun for everyone! Shawn Bowman, Brooklyn Cyclones 3rd baseman, will be on hand to sign autographs. And the Jamaica Bay Little League Awards will be presented at 1 p.m. 

There will be a cash prize for winners in the HeMan/SheMan Contest. There will be Pony Rides, Hit the Coach Game, running races and a Peanut Hunt. Food and drinks will be sold in the Shack.

The following message came from a member of the UCO Board: "Check your mailboxes in the beginning of September for a form concerning your sewer maintenance refund, along with instructions for obtaining your $250 refund. Copies will also be available at the Thursday, September 25 meeting of the Civic Association."

The Fifth Annual Steven James Memorial Golf Outing will take place on Saturday, September 27 at Reis Park Pitch & Putt at 7:30 a.m. There will be coffee and tea at sign-in. There will be a Shotgun Start. Refreshments will be available on course. Food and awards will follow at North Channel Yacht Club. Donation is $35 per person; event will be limited to 144 golfers. Proceeds will be donated to Sloan-Kettering Memorial Hospital. Applications are available at NCYC or call Max at 718 945-2117.

American Legion Post 1404 will host their 20th Annual Broad Channel Senior Citizens Get Together on Sunday, September 28 at 12:30 p.m. in the Legion Hall.

For the dancing and listening pleasure of the seniors, the DJ will play music from the 40’s and 50’s. The sign-up book will be in Coogan’s or call John at 718 474-4343.

Young folks, aged 6 to 12, are invited to Sensational Sharks at the Library on Friday, August 29 at 1:30 p.m. Attendees will learn about sharks; samples of their skin and bones will be available for looking at (or touching, if you like!). There will be a video showing a number of species of the most misunderstood and feared creatures in the ocean—sharks.

Sunday, August 31 is the last day for Local Motion: A Sports Show. Channel artists’ work is on display as are photographs of children in the AC. The exhibit is in sTudio 7 Gallery at Fort Tilden.

There was an error in the title of the book to be discussed at the next Books and Bagels book discussion. Discussed will be "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" by Alexander McCall Smith, not "Tears of a Giraffe," as originally reported. (Both books were written by McCall.) They have Botswana as their setting. The next book discussion will take place on Thursday, October 2.

There are two opportunities to see local theater productions before August bows and makes its exit. Barefoot in the Park will be presented Friday, August 29 and Saturday, August 30 at 8 p.m. in the Post Theatre at Fort Tilden.

Tickets to the Rockaway Theatre Company production of the Neil Simon comedy are $12 for adults and $7 for seniors and children. The next show will be Rockaway Café on Thursday, September 11.

One of Broad Channel’s sons, Father Peter Gillen, will be honored at Russo’s On The Bay on Thursday, October 9 by the parish of St. Rose of Lima at their Twelfth Annual Dinner Dance. This is a big year for Father Peter-he is at St. Rose’s for 10 years and is also celebrating the 25 anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.

The Jamaica Bay salt marshes are important to us as they keep the wave action in the bay low and therefore keep the Channel from flooding. But they have been disappearing at a rapid rate. Congressman Weiner has gotten a federal allocation of $400,000 to experiment with ways to bring them back.

Residential Claims for Food Spoilage during a power outage are available to be filled in and mailed to Con Ed for reimbursement. Claims must be filed within 30 days of the outage. If the amount is under $150, you have to provide only an itemized list. If the amount for food claimed is over $150, you have to provide proof of purchase and spoilage-such as UPC’s, cash register receipts, credit card receipts or cancelled checks and photographs of spoiled food. If you file one of the forms, don’t forget to keep a copy and allow at least 30 days for processing.

When I first moved to this island, blackouts were not too uncommon. Some blackouts were long—lasting for hours, some lasted only a few minutes. In this house we used to joke about someone tripping over the cord and pulling the plug out of the socket somewhere. Candles (big ones in glass to guard against burns), wooden matches to light them, flashlights and fresh batteries were kept within easy reach with a transistor radio with fresh batteries right near it.

Everything was where it could be found easily, even in total darkness!

One year at about 8 or 9 p.m. the lights dimmed, brightened momentarily, then dimmed again and finally went out. And they stayed out. We waited a few minutes for them to come back on. They didn’t. And since people went to bed early before they had artificial light to fill their homes at night, my household did too. With no TV or stereo, it seemed like a really good idea! The next morning, the electric meter was spinning around again. Nowadays, everyone has at least one blackout story to tell. I wonder what kind of stories future generations will relate.

What is your organization up to these days? Send an email to: Lizbc bits@aol.com.

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