Calabro's Fishing Column
I'd like to express my congratulations to your paper for carrying Vinnie Calabro's column "Tales From the Wheelhouse." Besides his writing skills, Vinnie provides the only information on fishing in the Rockaways. For a community that's surrounded by the bay and the ocean to not have a decent fishing column was a crime, that is, until Vinnie started writing.
His March 7 column was just wonderful. Because fishing is in the doldrums this time of year, he wrote about growing up, his home life, schooling, and his love of fishing. He writes about an outing taken on foot to his "Mecca," Hermans Sporting Goods Store, on Sunrise Highway in Valley Stream. The journey taking him past the "snares" along the four miles (bakeries, candy stores and other places to lose his hard earned money destined for fishing lures). And then his getting to use the lure he bought to catch a beautiful Striped Bass.
I grew up in the Rockaways, as did my father. We both fished by boat and in the surf at the time when Mike Stuart's fishing tackle shop was the only place where fishing news could be found.
My grandfather owned Curtis' Restaurant and Bar on 103 Street, when the Rockaways were in their heyday. As they say now, "Those were the days." He lived on the corner of 104 Street and St. Marks Avenue.
My father, being a NY fireman and owning a home and its mortgage on 136 Street, would rent 136 Street. We'd rent rooms in Seaside for the summer. McCarthy's St. Anthony house on 113 Street, upstairs over my grandfather's on 104 Street, and a bungalow court on St. Marks (Fingerlens?)
Please encourage Vinnie Calabro to continue his great column. Fishing is part of Rockaway and he covers it beautifully. I've been a reader for 60
years. BILL CURTIS
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