Rockaway is full of related people. Which makes trashing people behind their backs a minefield. There’s a fiftyfifty chance if you whisper that so-andso is an SOB or worse, you’re gonna get a response: Hey, that’s my brother-inlaw. I once made a snide remark about a poodle with a red sweater and an opera monocle and immediately got slapped down — hey, watch it, that’s my aunt’s cousin’s dog.
And, around here, neighborhood associations are like relatives. You got to be careful how you mention them or the people who belong to them. I mean, you could be making small talk with someone and suddenly a dark cloud descends as if you said “Niagara Falls” to The Three Stooges. Slowly they turn. On you.
And, it’s always impossible to track who’s who and who hates whom. So many associations and groups, you need a scorecard. Rockaway civics remind me of Tribbles from the old Star Trek series. They’re both cute and lovable at first. But like Tribbles, Rockaway neighborhood groups are born pregnant. Before you know it, they sprout offspring and offshoots.
And, to make things even more confusing there are now umbrella uber groups, those trying to represent a cross section of neighborhoods and interests. Newbies include the Rockaway Task Force, the Waterfront Alliance and the Belle Harbor Cove Project. Lord knows, I’ve just insulted a half dozen others because I didn’t mention them.
Which reminds me. Groups like to get ink, but individuals? Not always. As I said, a lot of people are related. Around here, there’s a bunch of people named Anonymous. I get all sorts of information and funny comments but every time I want to quote somebody they say, no, they’re Anonymous. So keep that in mind, please. If you don’t like what I write, keep in mind that I’m really just relaying somebody else’s idea. I’m more like an idea plagiarist or a ventriloquist’s dummy. Nothing original comes from me. Except maybe that Eric Ulrich should get rid of the riot gates on his office. ***Boyle-ing Points: Seems my stuff on 99 cents stores hit a nerve. People continue to grumble about the proliferation of the schlock shops. But at least the store owners are paying rent. What about people who have weekly garage sales? They’re not emptying out the basement or garage. They buy junk and then resell it every week. That’s baloney. 99 cents stores on Beach 116 Street is one thing. They shouldn’t spring up every week at the same house in the middle of a residential area. ***One of the underrated aspects of the Rockaway Little League is how it’s a springboard for future stars. Off the top of my head, I can name several who’ve gone on to play at a top level. James McCool, a do-it-all star at Xavier High School just signed with Lafayette College to continue his baseball career at the Division One school. The kid’s put in a load of hard work and Lafayette will be lucky to have him. Mike McCann has been a big star at Manhattan College. He hit 10 home runs and batted .340 last season. Danny Munday pitched at Xavier and then at Fordham. Kevin Roberts will be playing his fourth season at Columbia after a standout career at Molloy. Tom Boggiano plays centerfield at Princeton. John Duggan and a couple of Esposito boys play at the collegiate level, too. Not bad, huh? Rockaway Little League is a farm system! ***Shout out to long time Boyle-ing Points reader Wild William Edwards. He doesn’t need to be anonymous when he tells me my stuff stinks. He also gives me all the info I need on the local Fedex man. Helloooooo William! ***Idea of the week. It’s not exactly building a new promenade along the bay but how about a diner or something at the place next to Waldbaum’s? Where Ark Drugs and Rock Bottom used to be. Good space, parking. I’m just saying. ***With my spotty appearances in The Wave, it’s too bad there’s a column already called the Rockaway Irregular. Though I do my best to eat bran.