2011-05-27 / Columnists

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said 20 Years Ago...

With four Memorial Day Parades set for Rockaway this weekend, many locals are getting their flags ready to fly proudly. The major parade is once again sponsored by the Daniel M. O’Connell Post of the American Legion, which will step off from Beach 129 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard on Memorial Day.

Responding firefighters from Ladder Company 137 and Engine Company 268 had a hard time clearing the diners from Nathan’s restaurant on Beach 113 Street and Beach Channel Drive on Monday night even though there was a small fire in the restaurant’s kitchen. Some diners went grudgingly, taking their food trays and hot dogs with them to finish in their automobiles.

Despite efforts by volunteer firefighters and emergency service workers, a 30- year-old man from Jordan who had just finished a soccer game at Fort Tilden drowned when a wave pulled him from the shore as he was washing sand from his body. The water was so choppy, eyewitnesses say, that many feared that more people would be lost had they gone into the surf to rescue the man.

The Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation has published its first “Trade Directory” listing more than 30 local contractors and trades people who are available to homeowners looking to remodel or expand their homes.

Roxbury Mills, a nationally-known knitting company, will soon be relocating from Brooklyn to a site at Beach 101 Street in Rockaway Park. The company is well known for its “Birth Bear’ Teddy Bear.

If you couldn’t find a car service to transport you to your destination last week, blame it on the fact that all of the drivers went to Albany to protest increases on the fees paid to run a car service company.

30 Years Ago...

Queens Borough President Donald Manes will speak at a meeting of the Regular Democratic Club of the Rockaways next week, according to the club’s president, Geraldine Chapey.

The NYPD’s Highway 3 Unit is setting up a special post to patrol Cross Bay Boulevard, particularly between the North Channel Bridge and Broad Channel.

The Far Rockaway post of the American Legion, assisted by teachers and students of Far Rockaway High School, will conduct Memorial Day ceremonies at the flagpole at Oceancrest Boulevard and Beach Channel Drive.

Residents of Beach 149 Street between Newport and Cronston Avenues are facing flooding situations because the city has raised their sidewalks by 24 inches, according to Congressman James Scheuer, who lives in the area.

James Conway Sullivan, a local businessman, has set up a new organization – The Queens H Block Committee, to ally all of the Irish organizations looking into the British internment of Irish patriots.

40 Years Ago...

Jack Blue, the president of the Community Council, and Captain Charles McNulty, the commanding officer of the 100 Precinct in Rockaway Beach, were very happy with the turnout for the precinct’s open house last weekend.

All of us overlooked a real opportunity last week when members of the City Planning Commission were in Rockaway for a meeting. We should have taken them on a tour of the peninsula so that they could have seen first hand what we are complaining about.

Real progress has been made on the construction of the new Far Rockaway school designated as IS 53. The school, on the site of the old PS 39, is scheduled to open in September of 1972. That should relieve some of the overcrowding at Far Rockaway High School.

50 Years Ago...

Watch for the opening in a few days of a brand new food shop on Beach 116 Street next to the subway station. The new owners say it will be like Weiss’ Restaurant in Broad Channel come to Rockaway.

Former Congressman Bill Brunner says that one of the reasons he was elected to public office more than 13 times was because he never spoke longer than five minutes. His first speech to the old Atlantic Democratic Club, he says, ran less than a minute.

Some people are taking offense to a new rule that says a police officer can’t work in the precinct in which he lives. They believe that a police officer will work harder to protect his home community.

Right now, everybody should be wearing a poppy and planning to display the American Flag for Memorial Day.

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