I would like to apologize to the community and to the family of our dear community mother and elder, Mary "Miss Flip" Kelly, for not being able to attend her going away services due to my being out of town.
She was an institution, a storehouse of many memories, and told many stories, of a Rockaway long gone but fondly remembered by the various generations. Additionally, Ms. Flip was a fount of wisdom always willing to impart encouraging words and give advice.
Not only am I regretful for not being here to participate in her going back home celebration, but equally so because I never got the opportunity to sit down with her, tape recorder in hand, as we had said we would do so many times.
Please, forgive me Ms. Flip and my brothers and sisters in the community. Letters Yet another lost opportunity to document and preserve the stories and insights of a beautiful, wise and loving elder who had seen things and heard things that some of us might never see or can only imagine.
Rockaway is not the same without Ms. Flip. We love you always …