2005-12-23 / Columnists

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said

20 Years Ago...

Mourners packed St. Virgilius R.C. Church as the Rev. Kieran Martin, pastor, graciously celebrated Mass for 26-year-old Ruthie Phillips, who was a flight attendant on an Arrow Air DC-8 charter jet that crashed December 12 in Newfoundland. Two hundred and fifty-six people on board were killed, including 248 soldiers from Fort Campbell, Kentucky and members of the flight crew. For the last three years, Ruthie, a native of Ohio, lived in the Broad Channel home of Frances Magoolaghan and became an “adopted” member of Mrs. Magoolaghan’s family. Ruthie’s mother, Ruth Bardo, came from Ohio to attend the Mass, which also drew Arrow Air employees from John F. Kennedy International Airport as well as Ruthie’s fiancée. Arrow Air is sponsoring a celebration of a Mass in the Lady of the Skies Chapel in Kennedy Airport for Phillips and her fellow crewmembers on the ill-fated flight.

One person left with the wrong coat is all some people can remember of a Cabaret Party that drew a full house to the Gustave Hartman YM-YWHA at the end of Chanukah. His coat was almost identical to the one left behind, and he would like to reverse the switch and set things right, says a spokesman for the Y.

Police checkpoints to catch drunk drivers are in operation throughout New York City, and will remain in operation through New Year’s Day. Remember to designate a driver.

30 Years Ago...

Volunteers serving the Peninsula Volunteer Ambulance Corps did double duty this week in doubly hard weather. Hardest for the volunteers on the ready, especially when the snow was falling thickly and the icy road around them was making many passing cars skid, was the partially disconnected telephone service. There was fear that someone would die because of the limited phone service.

Bands and musicians of the American-Irish Society of the Rockaways won 18 gold medals, six silver medals, a second-place trophy and a stereo set, in competition on Sunday at St. Helena’s Auditorium in the Bronx.

Hectic Rockaway calmed into a Heaven-like lull this week, as Christmas spirit took hold. A white blanket of snow helped, even though most people found it uncomfortable – to put it mildly – when they were doing their last-minute shopping or winding up workday business.

40 Years Ago...

A holiday celebration at the Edgemere-Arverne-Nordeck Community Center, 57-10 Beach Channel Drive, ended abruptly when a key speaker, Irving N. Klein, president of the Congregation Cnesses Israel for 20 years, succumbed.

A mid-afternoon fire burned out a grocery store that many Neponsit residents depended on for their shopping. According to police records, heavy damage was done to the contents of the grocery, Gross & Sons, 145-02 Neponsit Avenue, but damage to the building was “medium.”

The subject of jet noise was brought up at a Board of Estimate hearing regarding the renegotiation of a lease between the city and the Port of New York Authority which operates the Kennedy International Airport.

50 Years Ago...

Two accused extortionists were held in $15,000 bail each for the grand jury after a hunt in Brooklyn for the men who threatened Dr. Eugene Raicus, 39, of 146-03 Newport Avenue. The men were caught after detectives laid a trap for them using Dr. Raicus as bait.

From information now available, it appears that definite action will be taken on the Hammel Title 1 Slum Clearence project this summer according to Jack G. Braunstein, chairman of the board of directors of the Rockaway Beach Property Owners Association, Inc. Braunstein said that he had been checking with various officials and sources and as a result of these conferences reached the following conclusions:

1. Summer properties will be able to rent this summer with no conclusive action taken before September or October, 1956.

2. That the Title 1 projects in Seaside and Hammels will be constructed and operated by the same persons. By having the same sponsors for both projects each project will compliment the other.

3. It is believed that several years will be devoted to the relocation of tenants now living on the site so that their needs may be met with the least inconvenience to them.

Plans for the Edgemere Housing Project are slated to be ready early in 1956, but the project boundaries may be shifted further eastward to eliminate the necessity for bulkheading along Jamaica Bay, it was learned this week.

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