2013-05-24 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

By Dan Guarino

Well, the A train is once again set to roll. And so another piece of our world, post-Sandy, slots into place.

“The train passing through Broad Channel frequently was operated by Joe Carey,” wrote his son, Joe Carey Jr., just a few years ago. I had the pleasure of reading Joe Jr.’s “Who Was Joe Carey?”

Joe, who was known as Sonny way back when, was born in Broad Channel and lived a long and interesting life that was always seemingly bound up with that of the island. Joe once told me he drove the first train through Broad Channel when it re-opened as part of the subway system in 1956.

A neighbor of my late wife, Liz, and I on Noel Road, Joe would often stop up at our apartment and share Broad Channel stories for hours. Just as often, Joe’s wife Mildred would come by and call up our stairs, “Joe, are you up there?”

Joe would abruptly stand up and say, “Well, I gotta go!”

This Sunday, May 26th, the VFW is hosting the Memorial Day parade right here in Broad Channel. The parade will step off at 1:30 p.m.

The VFW gladly welcomes individuals or groups who would like to march. Call the Post at 718-634-5106 and leave a message. Lineup will be at Rock N Roll Bagel at 12:30 p.m.

This year’s honorees are the Veterans from St. Albans Hospital, the VFW and the American Legion.

Afterwards the VFW invites all marchers to the Post “for some hot dogs and beverages with our veterans.”

Rain or shine, they have been there for us. Sunshine or shadow, let’s be there for them.

Make it a full day and make it over to the Mardi Gras Kick Off Party hosted by the Broad Channel Athletic Association. That starts at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 26th, at the BCAC Memorial Field off Cross Bay Boulevard.

There’ll be hamburgers, hot dogs and beverages for sale and the BCAC will also be accepting contestants for all Mardi Gras committees. Mayor, Babyface, Best Block? Go for it for a good cause!

There’s still time to reserve a table ($10 each) for Saturday, June 1st, and Sunday, June 2nd, as the VFW opens its backyard to all yard salers for a grand Yard Sale event. Got stuff to sell? Reserve a table now. Call 646-344-2640.

There’ll also be raffles, 50/50’s, cotton candy, hot dogs, and refreshments and a VFW table.

And clear Saturday, June 8th, from 4 - 8 p.m. and be there for the “Fundraiser For VFW Post 260” at Patty G’s at 86-24 Broadway in Elmhurst. All proceeds from these events will go to rebuilding the VFW hall.

The Vollies need volunteers. With many Broad Channelers still not home, the company is only at half its needed roster.

If you’re a former member, if you can help in anyway, if you can even spare time to answers phones, if you live off the island, but would like to help this community, now is the time. Don’t wait. Call 718-474-6888 or stop by the firehouse on Noel Road.

BCAC’s Shamrock Summer Camp registration will be on Saturday, June 1st, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the BCAC Clubhouse, 125 Cross Bay Boulevard. Check www.bcacny.com for info.

I recently finished reading “Before You Were Born,” Marguerite Rocholl’s terrific recollection of growing up in Broad Channel. Available through amazon.com and other outlets, no doubt many will recognize not only the places, but the people in it, too!

How true. “There’s no place like HOME,” writes Dorothy, who just recently moved back into town. “I got to meet Christine Munson and her son a few weeks back- she is moving back to BC - on my block —after living in Texas and Georgia. Her mom is Theresa Minor–Munson, who was lost to us all on 9/11. Perhaps you could welcome her back —I believe she bought the first house in BC after Sandy.

“…And you really do look good on the radio!” she added.

Welcome back, Christine! Welcome home.

There was a lovely Mother’s Day service held by Christ Presbyterian Church by the Sea….at St. Virgilius Church. Reverend Megan Manus’ well-presented homily was themed “Their Mothers Taught Them Well.”

Afterwards the congregation and guests went over to the Presbyterian Church to view the repair progress. It is truly a wonder what has been done there to turn back the damage that Sandy wrought.

By the way, I ran into Reverend Andrea Zarou’s husband, Don Zarou, recently. He let me know that she may be retired, but her thoughts, her prayers and her heart are all with Broad Channel in this most difficult of times.

Many thanks to my friend and neighbor, Al McCarthy, for the Long Island Railroad schedule, “Effective Sept. 15, 1947,” published by the Broad Channel Chamber of Commerce. Wow!

Also many, many thanks to the Bradford family who visited me at The Wave with a beautiful hand carved, wooden covered photo album of “Mardi Gras 1953.” Beautiful!

Judy Zack of the BC Civic Beautification Committee notes, “So many folks asked about sponsoring a green box for next year. If you are interested, you can contact me at judy.zack@yahoo.com. Thanks and keep watering!”

We would like to welcome Designer Gardens and Nurseries, the garden center which opened up in the Channel at 125 Cross Bay Boulevard. It’s right next the American Legion and the BCAC field.

Spring is here. Traffic slowed considerably last week at the sight of a jogger in shorts and a tank top on Cross Bay Boulevard. For that, I sincerely apologize to all the other drivers behind me.

Got BC event news, organization announcements or vital community info? Send me an e-mail at workingstories@aol.com.

Finally, maybe more than most our hearts go out to the ravaged communities of Oklahoma and Texas. Let’s hope it’s not three months before they see aid. No American should ever have to wait for help from all of America. Period. Thanks for reading!

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