2008-02-29 / Columnists

Notes from the High C's

Rockaway Music and Arts Council
By: Sharon Gabriel

The weather is dreary and overcast, but just think, only one more month until spring when everything starts to happen. Especially with the RMAC and our first event of the new season.

On the drawing board is a Museum Trip back to yesteryear on Saturday, May 17.

On that date we will board our bus for a trip to Essex, Connecticut, where turnof the-century vintage rail cars, pulled by an authentic steam locomotive, will take us on a ride down to the Connecticut River where we will board "Mississippi" Riverboat and enjoy a cruise along the river and view some historic landmarks. On our return from the cruise we will again board the steam train back to the depot. After this approximately two and a half hour adventure, we will go on to a four-course dinner at Olivers Tavern in Essex.

We are all very excited about this new trip and so I wanted you to know about it as soon as possible. Mark your calendars and watch this paper, or your mail if you are an RMAC member, or were on our trip last fall. We have arranged, once again, for a lovely coach bus to take us on our trip to Connecticut and back, and we hope you can join us.

When I was planning this special trip, it brought me back to my childhood and the fact that my grandfather Gabriel was an engineer on the New York Central Railroad, and the time he took me up on the engine to show me what it was all about. As a child of about five years of age, I was overwhelmed with the size of the train and seeing the inside of a real engine. I dont imagine too many kids ever saw one up that close. From the engine, he took me to the dining car where the tables were set with white linens, and crystal, and silver service, and then into the kitchen where men in white aprons and chefs hats were standing over the biggest pots I had ever seen, preparing the food for the guests who were going on a trip. The one thing I remember from that kitchen was the size of those pots. I had never seen anything so big in my young life and I can still picture that kitchen as I type this column. Not only were the pots big but, you could see your face on them. They were shined to just glisten. After my adventure on the train, we went into Grand Central Station proper, and what a sight that was for a small kid.

Even today, its something to see. I guess from there my parents probably took me to a Horn & Hardhart Restaurant and their picture window food. How much was a cup of coffee then, probably five cents, and it was always a treat to go there. Boy, have times changed.

More about this Connecticut trip in future columns, but you can always call me now if you are interested at 718-474-8353. Or just wait a week or so for the flyer.

Another project about which I am enthused about is the "Bungalows of Rockaway documentary film.

This is a film with which the RMAC has been involved over the past several years. While the film is not totally complete, a rough cut will be shown on Sunday, March 15, at 3 p.m. at the Rockaway Theatre Company theater at Fort Tilden.

I expect a large group to be present and would suggest you call the theater and make a reservation.

According to the producer and director, Jennifer Callahan and Elizabeth Harris, several dignitaries have been invited to attend and there will be a question and answer period after the film is shown.

If this is anything like the showing for the film at The Museum of The City of New York last November, there will be standing room only. Certainly, if you have lived in Rockaway a long time, this film will bring back many memories. I am in the process of speaking to both Jennifer and Elizabeth and will be writing more about them in the next column.

To my friend Beverly, we hope to see you soon.

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