2011-06-10 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

By Dan Guarino

A fast “Wummmp!” and a slower “Crunch.” No, not the script from an old Batman episode, but rather two sounds you do not want to hear, especially in summer. I heard them two weeks ago just below my window at the corner of Noel and Walton while writing this column. Two cars had collided. Thankfully it was reported no one was hurt. But the vehicles were a wreck. And now there’s large crosswalk lines and a big “STOP” on Walton, painted at two o’clock in the morning by a large city crew with flashing lights. And there is the old stop sign.

But we do have a lot of BC blind spots that require extra, extra caution. Summer’s here. School’s almost out. Everyone is on the road. Drive safely. Take care out there.

Had a great “St. Patrick’s Day Dinner in June” on Thursday last week as Timmy Hanning and Holly Monahan kicked off their campaign for Mardi Gras King and Queen here in the Channel. Corned beef, cabbage, potato, carrots and rye. Rye bread, I mean. $7 a dinner, cooked up great at Grassy’s and available from 5-7 p.m. to eat in or out on the patio or with free delivery at home. All proceeds go to the BCAC.

Look out for more great Thursday night dinners and call Grassy’s at 718- 474-1688. Good luck for a good cause to Molly and Timmy. Don’t you wish every U.S. candidate campaigned this way?

Got a Mardi Gras event or events coming up? Send me the details at workingstories@aol.com!

News from the Grill: Don’t forget the VFW old-fashioned barbecue from 2-6 p.m. on Saturday, June 18. $20 for adults; kids half price. All proceeds go to the Post. Enjoy the sizzle, the smell and the taste of summer. (Thanks, Kathie Lawless.)

“It’s A Fluke!” the Shad Creek Association’s 17th Annual Fishing Tournament will be held July 9. Located at 529 Cross Bay Boulevard right on Jamaica Bay, the Captain’s meeting/sign-up is on July 7 from 5 p.m. on. The contest runs from 7a.m.-3 p.m. sharp. Weigh in will be at the clubhouse with a BBQ and beverages at the weigh-in party! Says Shad Creek Association VP Jim Ferchland “Its $25 per angler, $15 for weigh-in party only. There’ll be a $5 calcutta for the largest Sea Robin. Cash prizes for the top 5 Fluke. Door prizes, 50/50’s and more. Come out and enjoy a great day!”

April’s doo-wop at the Legion was such a success, says Carol Corbett, President of the American Legion Auxiliary that “we are having another Doo Wop Night on Saturday, October 1. So keep the date open. If (you’d) like to be put on a list for tickets, please call 718-634-7235. Thank you!”

The Battalion Chief John Moran Memorial Golf Outing is Friday, June 18, with 8 a.m. check-in at Riis Park Pitch & Putt. “Shot-gun” start at 9 a.m.. A barbecue will follow from noon onward. Golfers, $85 admission includes green fees, giveaways, barbecue and beverages. Beverages and barbecue for non-golfers: $40. Proceeds benefit the St. Camillus School, part of the St. Camillus-St. Virgilius Parish.

Back Then: Along Cross Bay Boulevard in Broad Channel there once stood a Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company Food Market (later A&P), Charley’s Barber Shop, M.A. Peysson Real Estate and Insurance and a store front with a tailor shop and shoe repair.

Writing our book Images of America: Broad Channel my wife Liz and I learned, from his son Jack Goetke, the tailor was John Goetke. The shoemaker was a Mr. Minei, whose first name eluded us.

One Sunday after church, around Thanksgiving, we asked a few longtime BC residents if they knew Mr. Minei’s first name. “Mr. Minei, yes, we used to call him Minnie!” “Sure, Mr. Minnie. I remember going to his shop.” “His first name? Hmmmm.”

Then in typical Broad Channel fashion one person called over another with the question. Not sure of the answer, they called over someone else who might know. Before long upwards of a dozen people were conversing on the sidewalk, sharing memories and puzzling over Mr. “Minnie’s” first name.

We did get an address of a relative in Florida and the answer came laterfrom his family. It was Lorenzo. As Liz wrote to another relative “your entire family should know how many people remembered Minnie fondly—usually, to find one person who remembers a person who has been gone (from the community, at least) 40 or so years is difficult or impossible. One woman I spoke with, for example, bought shoes from him. (We) found half a dozen men who remembered him well. It was nice to hear people remember him so fondly and readily.”

That relative, his granddaughter Joanne Tibbitts, recently wrote saying, “For almost four years our family has been gathering the stories, memories and photos for a Family History Book tracing Lorenzo from his village in Italy to Rockaway and the life of his family for the past 100 years.

Rockaway (and Broad Channel are) a very big part of our history. Can you direct me, or suggest how I can locate…vintage photos (not postcards) of specific places? For example, Dashby Court on Beach 79, or Beach 80 Street anytime between 1912–1930; the courts on Beach 86 Street around 1940; (or) a photo of the Boulevard in the Hammels, anytime between 1910 –1940.

My Grandfather had a shoe shop on Beach 90 or Beach 92 Street off the Boulevard. My Great Grandmother had a restaurant on that same street around 1925. I am hoping to have access to digital files to see if I can find images like these. (Also can I get)… access to old Wave stories and obituaries dating to 1910?”

In typical Broad Channel fashion no doubt we will be gathering together, remembering ”Mr. Minnie” and, via email, helping his family recall someone who is so much a part of their history and ours.

Got info that can help? Or BC news? E-mail workingstories@aol.com. Please send all items by 5 p.m. on Friday so they can appear in the following Friday’s paper.

Thanks for reading.

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