2011-12-02 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

By Dan Guarino

The tune may have been “Danny Boy.” Or even older – “The Minstrel Boy,” perhaps. Or “Amazing Grace.” The notes are now carried forever on the wind over Broad Channel, cast adrift almost from the moment they sounded on Noel Road on that gray morning just before Thanksgiving.

The piper stood tall in his green tartan kilt, taller still in his towering fur hat, drawing those sad and soulful yet beautiful notes from his bagpipes just in front of St. Virgilius. As will happen in Broad Channel, neighbors came out of their houses. Some stood together talking, glancing towards the church and the line of black funeral cars in front. One woman said her dogs drew quiet at the sound, looking expectantly toward the source.

In its own particular way Broad Channel was saying farewell. That day it was to Daniel O’Sullivan Sr., retired NYPD detective, Korean War veteran, past American Legion Post 1404 Commander. Godspeed, ‘Danny’ O’Sullivan, to you and to all the departed we will hold in our hearts this season.

Well, one holiday leaves us and another enters just behind. And with that the American Littoral Society announces its 22nd Annual Holiday Party. Better hurry – it’s this Saturday, December 3. Where? The VFW Hall is at 705 Shad Creek Road. There’ll be nature walks from 3 to 4:30 p.m. and the party from 5 to 10 p.m.

According to Northeast Chapter Director Don Riepe this event is “our annual fundraiser to support our New York State Coastal Cleanup and ongoing efforts in education, advocacy and restoration of …[the] Bay. Please join us for a fun evening celebration.”

Food, drink, great door prizes, a Silent Auction and an Ugly Auction are included in the $55 admission, as well as world class entertainment by the Don Diego Flamenco Dance Company and exotic dancer Gina.

Meanwhile over at the American Legion, Ellen Cuomo reminds us that the 23rd Annual Craft and Christmas Gift Sale has now arrived. On Friday, December 2 from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, December 3 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. “many homemade crafts, jewelry, seasonal decorations and more [will be on sale]. And the Kitchen will be Open.” “All proceeds benefit the Rockaway Graybeards for the Wounded Warriors Fund,” says Ellen. “Come on down and help support this great cause.” The Legion Hall is located at 209 Cross Bay Boulevard.

The Marines are looking for a few good Santas. One of them could be you.

In the spirit of giving, the Shad Creek Association’s Jim Ferchland, Bobby Steiner and Mike Kelly remind us that, “The mission of the US Marine Corps Reserve Toys 4 Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys each year. Their objective is to help less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas.”

“The Shad Creek Association is hosting a Toys for Tots Holiday Cocktail Party on December 10, unfortunately all tickets are sold out to this worthy event. [However] you can still assist in this endeavor and [we] are asking anyone wishing to help to donate a New Unwrapped Toy. Please email us at ShadCreekAssoc@aol.com. We can arrange gift pick-up or drop-offs at the club [at 529 Crossbay Boulevard] any time before December 10, as US Marines will be on hand to collect the donated toys. Thank You!”

On Friday, December 2 at 6:30 p.m. St. Virgilius Church will hold a prayer service in remembrance of “four American women martyred [in El Salvador on] December 2, 1980.” They invite all to join together at the Church.

Open little eyes and ears to the joy of storytelling. Story Time will be starting at noon every Wednesday at the Broad Channel Library through December 14. Each week librarian Carol will bring to life another well-loved children’s book. PS: you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy the art of storytelling. Come and enjoy.

There was a great turnout at PS/MS 47 as the Fourth Grade presented ‘The First Thanksgiving’ on Wednesday, November 23. Their classroom was packed with eager early arriving parents and grandparents and they did two later shows for other grades. The young actors, playing sailors, Pilgrims and American Indians all presented themselves exceptionally well. And they managed to convey the real hardships and dangers our ancestors endured and the courage they found. It is a lesson we often skip over or forget in our own time.

“I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to our National Young Reader’s Day,” read the e-mail from Parent Teacher Coordinator Rachel Colleran. “Local celebrities” were invited to bring “a favorite book and …read from it to one of our classes” on November 22 and discuss the importance of reading. Among those honored to be guests were Firefighter

Mike Beehler, Graybeards President Steve Stathis, Amanda of Congressman Turner’s office, Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder and Angelica, Superintendent Michelle Lloyd-Bey, Megan Anderson of Rockaway Wish, Police Officer (and chef!) Brendan Sheehan, the Littoral Society’s Don Reipe, and me.

It was a great day with terrific students and great discussions. My gracious thanks to seventh grade teacher Mrs. Boyland and her class and the fourth grade’s Mrs. Ryan and her class, and, of course, School Principal Janet Donohue and Ms. Colleran. Thanks for letting me be your guest.

By the way, Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder stated he was appreciative of our community’s support in fighting the Cross Bay Bridge Toll. Of course, “some people have said, ‘But we’ve tried this before,’ Mr. Goldfeder mentioned, “but that’s no reason to not try it again.” Broad Channel knows something about fighting a good fight.

You can sign the petition online at http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/Phillip -Goldfeder/story/44683/. Or sign and send the notice you probably got in the mail. It’s that important.

There’ll be an opening reception for The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge’s new Rockaway Artists Alliance exhibition Sunday, December 11 from 11 to 4 p.m. There’ll be many Broad Channel members, great artwork, refreshments and performances by RAA’s musicians and the RAA Writers Group.

Send BC news or info to workingstor ies@aol.com or drop off in the right hand mailbox at 126 Noel Road.

Thanks for reading.

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