2011-09-02 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

By Dan Guarino

“Temporary refugee.” That’s what came to mind leaving behind a dark skied Broad Channel last Saturday morning ahead of the hurricane. The next three solid days of working, eating and sleeping elsewhere were an adventure, yes, but something big was missing. I cannot tell you what quiet joy there was in coming back late Monday afternoon and what relief that our Broad Channel was OK. Many people in the neighborhood worked hard to prepare before the storm, check on or move out others, clear the way for higher ground at the wildlife refuge, and then mop up afterward.

I know that, all through, Peter Mahon of the West 12 Road Block Association forwarded important information e-mails and links. As one later reply e-mail expressed it, “Thank you Pete for being our eyes in BC – Robin”

Come earthquakes or high water, and we have had both, Labor Day Weekend is here and Broad Channel’s own Mardi Gras. When our little town was a workingman’s summer place to get away, a Mardi Gras party ended the season as summer-only neighbors celebrated friendships and said their goodbyes with the coming of September.

Not too long later it was someone’s idea to ‘extend the party’ by holding dances, picnics, field days, band concerts and community events to raise funds to build a firehouse and equip and maintain our company of volunteers.

As you check other parts of this paper for Mardi Gras festivities and step off times for the Parade, know that in BC we truly march in the footsteps of those who have gone before.

Also, it is in times like we have all just gone through, especially passing as they do through the shadow of 9/11, that we really appreciate the extraordinary contribution the Broad Channel Volunteers make to our community. They have been true to the island’s tradition of neighbor helping neighbor for over one hundred years.

Well, so far as I could see, before the storm a lot of people in Broad Channel were going about their business as usual last Friday night. Hopefully you made it out for The Spoiled Court’s Bingo at the VFW Hall. There were snacks and drinks available, great prizes, raffles and a grand $150 Jackpot. All proceeds go to the BCAC.

Interesting story behind this ‘little’ group of fundraisers. Mom Jessica Guttieri writes, “My son [is running] in the seasonal Mardi Gras. He is running under the title ‘The Spoiled Court’along with 4 other four-year-old children(!) This year we are raising money for the Broad Channel Athletic Club, celebrating its 50th anniversary.”

It just goes to show, you are never too young to help out here. In a few years this merry band might be running Mardi Gras. Best of luck to the Spoiled Court.

You know, Marty Feeney of the BCAC recently wrote of my wife Liz, “She was a wonderful woman who always assisted me with getting any news out to the community, I know she will be missed by many including me …”

Keeping that going forward, Marty writes to let everyone know that “Labor Day weekend Friday, September 2, 6:30 start, we will be holding the Jamaica Bay Old Timers Softball Game at BCAC Memorial Field. Lots of fun, see old teammates and/or foes. All are invited. If you played for any team in the league come out and enjoy an evening with old friends. Refreshments will be on hand!”

Truly celebrating Mardi Gras our dedicated BC Historical Society is setting out part of its collection for an open house on Sunday, September 4 from noon to 3 p.m. at the St. Virgilius School Building. (use the Church Road entrance).

There’ll be banners, pictures, trophies and all kinds of artifacts, plus new acquisitions. Having friends in for Mardi Gras? Bringing the kids to the parade? Bring them to the open house. They might even learn that the BC Mardi Gras festivities and parade are a tradition that goes back almost 100 years.

2012 BC Calendars will be on sale for $5 each. This year’s calendar is dedicated to Broad Channelers Joe Carey and Liz Guarino.

Note: The Broad Channel Library will be closed Saturday, Sunday and Monday September 3, 4 and 5 for the Labor Day weekend.

Don’t forget the Tuesday, September 13 special elections. Look to The Wave as well as other news sources to get to know the candidates. Once they’re in, the decisions they make and the directions they take, for good or bad, directly affect us all.

By the way, some interesting proposals for next summer’s revamp of W 12 Road have come out of meetings with residents, DOT officials and RBA design group representatives, including a ‘shared space’ concept. Look out for more details.

Broad Channel’s American Legion Auxiliary presents their second super Doo-Wop Dinner and Show. Saturday, October 1 will see the Angeltones harmonizing on such hits as “Please Mr. Postman,” Dancing in the Street,” and “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” Back by most popular demand, too, will be The Tribunes doing it all acappella. From 7 to midnight the Legion Hall will feature these two great groups, a pasta dinner, one drink and the show, all for $30 per person. Tickets are on a “1st come, best seats” basis and they’ll be going fast. For tickets and information call 718-634-7235 or 718-634-4147.

It’s also never too early to save money on your auto insurance or drop points from your license, and save some money doing it. Sign up now for the St. Camillus-St. Virgilius sponsored 6-hour defensive driving course for the recession reduced rate for $45 and earn a 10 percent insurance discount or 4 points off your license. The class will be held Wednesday, October 5 and Thursday, October 6 from 7-10 at the St. Virgilius school lunchroom. No test will be given and refreshments will be served. But class size is limited and only payment in full guarantees a seat. Sign up now. To register call Helen at 718-945-4648 or Cindy at 718-634-5449.

Got BC news? E-mail workinstories@aol.com.

Thanks for reading.

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