2007-02-02 / Columnists

Simon says...

Commentary From the Desk of Lew M. Simon, Democratic District Leader, 23rd A.D. Part B

Lew M. Simon Lew M. Simon As we sit and write this column it will be the 11th anniversary of my mom Jennie's death on January 31. Wow, it feels like just yesterday. There's an old saying, "You're only blessed with one mother." My mother was the best.

For anyone who has lost a mother you know how many times you would like to pick up the phone for advice, discuss a situation, reminisce, etc. Often I find myself wanting to call my mom and talk about one of her old friends who we haven't seen in a while, or my sister and her four beautiful children. Many nights I spend hours on the phone with my aunt Yetta, who is my mom's sister, reminiscing and crying.

I also talk with one of my mom's favorite friends, Flo Altschuler. We bring back so many memories of the good days when we all worked bingo at HILI on Beach 17 Street. My dad Joe and her husband Al played bingo. Flo, my mom and I worked the floor selling and calling back bingos as well as calling and picking the numbers. Flo is always there for me.

God bless her.

Mama loved giving charity. Her favorite organization was the Philip Port Memorial Unit of the American Cancer Society. Mom loved to attend meetings, sell the daffodils and be very charitable to this great organization.

It gets harder and harder each year as so many of mom's friends are no longer here with us. One of her other special friends was another Florence, Florence Weiss, who always helped her to take a reading of her blood sugar level and how to calibrate her glucometer. Florence Weiss is one of the sweetest, kindest people you will ever meet.

I often say to my sister Fran that I wish I had one hour with my mom. I said I would take her out for a prime rib dinner which she loved the most. My sister said she would ask my mom to make a roast beef and potato latkes, which she made the best.

Although it's 11 years, it feels like yesterday. My mom was what every mom should be. She was my biggest supporter and advocate through thick and thin; we made a great team. Don't get me wrong, we had our fights like everyone else. The four letter words flew and the bathroom door could tell the story of when she got real mad at me.

Oh God I would give anything for a little more time with her. Nothing makes me madder than when I see young people of this generation physically or verbally abusing their mother. God's best gift to all of us is a mother. To my dear sweet mom, I love you. I'll always remember you. I think of you all the time, but I'll never forget you.

On Tuesday, January 16 we attended a meeting with School Chancellor Joel Klein sponsored by Community District Educational Council 27. I made my voice loud and clear that we are in desperate need of more schools in District 27, which includes Rockaway, Broad Channel, Howard Beach and Ozone Park. I reminded the Chancellor that we are busting at the seams. Enough is enough. We need more schools. I told him that P.S. 47 in Broad Channel is like an old fashioned little red schoolhouse with limited room. In light of the closing of St. Virgilius, so many more children attend P.S. 47 that it's time for a state of the art school.

With Rockaway's evergrowing population and development, there is a desperate need for new schools. Chancellor Klein shook my hand at the beginning of the meeting and thanked me for the public service I perform.

On Saturday, January 20 we attended the installation of State Senator Shirley Huntley of the 10th Senate District, at York College on Guy Brewer Boulevard.

We are very thankful for American Legion Post 1404 from Broad Channel and the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department and Ambulance Corps for coming out and showing their support for their great new senator. Shirley Huntley has been called the Education Senator because her number one priority has always been education.

The opening music was performed by P.S. 30. We were welcomed by Dr. Marcia V. Keizs, York College President. A great number of elected officials were on hand and spoke. They included U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, Congressman and Democratic County Leader Joe Crowley, Congressmen Greg Meeks and Anthony Weiner, Borough President Helen Marshall, Assembly Members Vivian Cook and William Scarborough, State Senate Democratic Leader Malcolm Smith and Democratic District Leaders Henry McCoy and Yvonne Reddick. Monica Lewis Pringle introduced Senator Huntley. The Rev. Charles L. Norris Sr. of the Bethesda Missionary Baptist church swore the Senator in. Members of the Ministerial Coalition came up to put their hands on and pray for Huntley's continued good health and leadership. It was quite moving and it brought tears to your eyes.

Huntley spoke from the heart mentioning that each and every part of the district would be treated equally and not forgotten. She pledged to fight for education and to obtain the CFE education funds due to the children of NYC. One of the best remarks of the day came from Congressman Anthony Weiner who said that Huntley wears a silk glove over her hand. Watch out when her glove comes off and reveals her iron fist. She is a tough, loving, outstanding individual who will fight for her district.

The benediction was by the Rev. Edward Davis of the Presbyterian Church of St. Albans.

Our next trip to Atlantic City will be on Saturday February 10. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 a.m.

The cost is $35 with $25 returned.

Call 718-945-1216 for reservations.

We are saddened by the death of Buddy J. Miccio, the nicest, kindest, sweetest individual you could ever meet. He was super active in the Broad Channel community especially with the Golden Age club. We definitely know he has earned his wings as an angel in God's Heaven.

Our heart and sympathy goes out to the family.

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