2011-09-09 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

By Dan Guarino

Those of us who live (in the Channel) know that the nice part about living in a small town is that when you are not quite sure what is going on, someone else always does!” – Peter J. Mahon, West 12th Road, Broad Channel

Happy Labor Day! Well that greeting, like everything else, was delayed due to Hurricane Irene. Still this is the first year I can remember people saying “Happy Labor Day” to each other. Might be a trend! Many, many thanks to all those who worked so hard all summer raising fun and raising funds for the BCAC. It was a long, hot summer and an awful lot went into those bingo nights, Thursday night dinners and all the other events that we all enjoyed.

And congratulations to all the candidates who graciously threw their Mardi Gras hats in the ring and put their shoulders to the task at hand. You’ve kept alive the spirit and honored a tradition that’s nearly as old as Broad Channel itself.

Hope everyone enjoyed the scheduled BCAC Old-Timers game last Friday night. I know the BC Historical Day was a big hit on Sunday. Those 2012 calendars are going fast. It seemed like Broad Channel was everywhere last weekend. A three day exhibition at Fort Tilden, “Guardians of the Sea, Riders of the Waves,” curated by Sophia Skeans, featured many Broad Channel artists and musicians.

Broad Channel singer and Internet sensation Gary Russo wowed the crowds along Brooklyn’s Emmons Avenue, which runs right along the docks at Sheepshead Bay. Gary performed from the bow of the Elena, which found safe harbor there just ahead of Hurricane Irene. As a parting gift, the Elena’s Broad Channel owners, Jan and Apryl Nebozenko, who currently live aboard her, mounted this free musical ‘pier party’ at the Brooklyn waterfront. A gifted singer/musician herself, Ms. Apryl also took to the lights and microphone, wrapping the warm night around the crowd with her voice.

And, of course, amid all the other end of summer celebrations here in the Channel, the parade was a blast! Turnout was tremendous as neighbors and visitors lined the East Side in numbers to rival and even nudge ahead of previous years. And as is our custom as soon as the whole of the parade passed by, viewers trundled coolers, chairs and babes in arms across the Boulevard to catch it as it looped around and came back the other way.

The marchers were enthusiastic. And the floats this year were great. There were too many to do justice here, though some standouts were the “What’s In Your Wallet?” Viking float, the “The Jersey Shore” and “The Redneck Yacht Club.” Drawing a lot of humorous comment afterward was the “Happy ‘Labor’ Day” float, sporting a rolling maternity ward with doctors, nurses and dramatic patients celebrating ‘labor’ with a whole new meaning.

Their banner proclaimed “Welcome Peninsula Hospital!”

A big thanks to Grand Marshal John Wagner.

Another sign summed up the theme of the parade and this Mardi Gras. It said, “Congrats B.C.A.C. on Your 50th Anniversary.” Of course the pride and joy of any Mardi Gras parade is the kids. They’re what always makes the parade special and they were there in abundance. Among many standouts was The Spoiled Court float. You’d probably seen them mentioned in previous columns. The platform featured the five fouryear olds and their attendants in full royal splendor. The Court raised a regal $9,426.68 for the BCAC this year.

Of course the excitement of a parade was a little too much for some, and a few kids were fast asleep in their mommy powered pull wagons as they came around for the ‘part two’ of the parade as it proceeded down the West Side.

It was exceptionally nice to stop along the way to chat with neighbors and marvel at how big their own kids had grown since last year’s Mardi Gras. And if you saw a guy in a blue shirt running up and down the parade line taking pictures, it was I. I know many neighbors afterward wound down with a breezy afternoon of back deck cookouts, front porch socials and sidewalk sipping gatherings.

Personally I got to enjoy a beautifully endless view of the Bay, great food, music and the good company of many, many interesting and fun people from all over Broad Channel, the Rockaways and points East and West. Many thanks to good neighbors, great friends and my gracious hosts Denis and Christie Macrae.

Hey, if you haven’t already, click on http://w12thrd.blogspot.com for BC news and information we can all use, with frequent updates by Pete Mahon.

There’s some great Labor Day parade pictures, too. In other BC news, Al McCarthy lets us know that Christ Presbyterian Church By The Sea will be presenting big Fridays of Bingo in the church hall at Church and Noel Roads. On September 17 and 20 the doors will open at 6 p.m. Early Bird at 6:45 and Bingo starts at 7 p.m. Coffee, cake and tea will be served. All for a donation of $5. All are welcome!

Story Time returns to the BC Library every Wednesday through September. Pull up a seat as our librarian Carol weaves words together to bring a new children’s book to life every week at 12 noon. As they used to say, “Vote early and vote often.” This Tuesday, September 13. New to the neighborhood? Our polling place is PS 47 at 9 Power Road. Running for the 9th Congressional District are David I. Weprin, Bob Turner and Christopher P. Hoeppner. Running in the New York State 23rd Assembly District are Phillip Goldfeder and Jane Deacy. However you vote, make sure you vote. It’s that important.

And don’t forget you are part of the BC story. Got Broad Channel news to share? Have a non-profit, not-for-profit or benefit event coming up? Belong to an organization you’d like others to know about? Great! Send info to workingstories@aol.com. Deadline is Friday 5 p.m. for the following Friday’s paper.

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