2006-05-12 / Columnists

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said

Years Ago...

20 The National Park Service is requesting proposals to rehabilitate and re-use "historic Jacob Riis Park." A spokesman points out that the park is "within the third most-visited unit of the national park system." In 400 acres, it includes one mile of oceanfront beach and boardwalk, a 113,000-square-foot bathhouse, extensive sports facilities, and a 9,700-vehicle parking lot.

He was handcuffed and chained to a bicycle when Harbor Police pulled his body out of Jamaica Bay near the North Channel Bridge between Howard Beach and Broad Channel on May 1 at about 9 a.m. He was a man about 35-40 years old, possibly Hispanic, 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing about 170 pounds, with black receding hair and a moustache.

Last Saturday evening ABC television ran a special called "It's Great to Be A Long Islander." The show really made Long Island look great. We were awed. Some of the places and things shown were really of interest and probably did much to build a tourist trade for Long Island. Then we thought about a similar idea for Rockaway. We shuddered when we thought of what the cameras would pan on. On this empty lot stood the cable building where the first trans-Atlantic cable was laid. Here on this spacious lot was the home of Mayor Jimmy Walker, the lot on the left was where the home of Sarah Bernhardt once stood. Farther west is the lot on which the first trans-Atlantic flight took off and this lot over here is where Rockaway Airport once was. This lot was the site of... and that lot was the site of... There certainly is "lots" of history on this peninsula. That's the problem, just "lots" of history. No historic homes, buildings, sites of interest, just lots and lots of lots.

30 Years Ago...

Construction Aggregate of Chicago was awarded the contract for the

second phase of Rockaway beach-

front restoration. The contract, for $2,585,000, one-half federal and one-half state funds, will cover work from Beach 17 Street to Beach 46 Street. Work will be in progress from June through October.

"A park for the people" was the motto upon the inception of Gateway. Now it seems that "No Fishing" signs are going up all over the bay.

Beach Channel High School's girls softball team is off and batting for the team's second official year, under the coaching of Mrs. Sally Hipscher. Because of the city's budget squeeze, Mrs. Hipscher was laid off from teaching at Beach Channel High School, but she still is making the time available to coach the girl's softball team.

Bel-Harbor Cinema on Beach 116 Street has closed once again due to a lack of customers. When it was recently reopened, management tried to keep it going, but to no avail.

Many organizations and residents of the Rockaways are protesting the city's plan to put the Rockaway Beach Courthouse, on Beach Channel Drive, up for auction. This message was relayed to Mayor Beame by City Councilman Walter Ward.

Restoration of the Memorial Circle

at Beach 120 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard has been requested by the Lieutenant Bernard H. Weiner Post No. 258, Jewish War Veterans.

40 Years Ago...

Seymour Sheldon of Belle Harbor and Mrs. George S. Casey of Rockaway Point were endorsed as candidates for district leaders by the Rockaway Independent Democrats. The club previously endorsed Herb Posner for Assemblyman.

Contracts for the construction of the new Bayswater Park at Beach 32 Street and Beach Channel Drive will be let within two weeks, says Jules Michelais of Far Rockaway.

Mario Russo, president of the Arverne Civic Council, announced that the Department of Traffic will once again survey the intersection of Beach 62 Street and Beach Channel Drive to determine whether a traffic light is needed.

E.E. Cauthorne, teacher, cowboy, writer and eldest resident of the Neponsit Home for the Aged died on the eve of his 104 birthday. He had been scheduled to appear on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

50 Years Ago...

Mrs. Edward B. Richard of Beach 114 Street was installed as first president of the Triboro Hospital at their annual report meeting/installation.

The present real estate and building boom in the Rockaways will total more than $100 million in the next two years, according to the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce President, Judge Abraham Margulies. Five million of this estimated amount has already been filed in new building applications during the first four months of 1956, Judge Margulies revealed.

Dean Georges of Georges Florist Shop was the speaker at the recent meeting of the Rockaway Arms.

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