2013-05-31 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

Be there for the great VFW Yard Sale event. When: Saturday/ Sunday, June 1st/ 2nd. Go browse! And…

The Fundraiser For VFW Post 260. Where: Patty G’s, 86-24 Broadway, Elmhurst.

When: Saturday, June 8th, 4- 8 p.m.

Welcome back, Francine Hamill and Channel Team Realty! Now at 910 Cross Bay Boulevard, the grand reopening will be on Saturday, June 8th, from 12-4 p.m.

On May 13th, 2011, I took up writing this column. A lot has changed for myself and for all of us since then, but I wouldn’t trade those two years for anything.

To celebrate this marker, I’d like to share a column that many people loved, but many more never got to see.

It was February 1st, 2013, just brief months after the hurricane. Few people had access to The Wave then.

After recounting a week of Boulevard traffic accidents, road work, water main breaks, sewage backups, too high tides and temps rocketing between the teens to the mid-50’s (oh my), it started by saying with everything we have been through from Sandy on after….

“… it’s enough to make you reach for that old ‘times of trouble’ standby. Yes, a sense of humor.

And you can’t say people in Broad Channel and the Rockaways don’t have a sense of humor.

It has not been a barrel of laughs, but the following is gathered from conversations with friends and neighbors and observations made in our post-Sandy world.

Let’s just call it “You’re probably from Broad Channel if…. ”

 …the power suddenly goes out where
you are, and you are the only one not
at all excited by this.
 …you are still on hold for FEMA.
 … you always pack a flashlight in
your bag.

 …you and everyone you know have
had the “Broad Channel cough.”
… your Broad Channel cough knows
its cousin, the “Rockaway Cough.”
 …you are still walking around with
assorted screws, shelf parts and
brackets in your pants pockets.
 …after the storm you were wondering if the Legion and VFW would still
be doing brunch.
 …you’re driving a new car, but can’t
remember buying it.
 …you’ve already put as much
mileage on your new car as you had
on your old car.
 …you actually haven’t stopped driving since you rolled off the dealer’s lot.
 … all the guys in front of Home Depot
know you by name.
 …you consider coffee a beverage, a
meal and a heat source.
 …you have a t-shirt that says “The
Red Cross came to town…and all I got
was this blanket!”

 …you refuse to reset the “Home” destination on your GPS.
 …you find yourself saying “Hello” and
“Good Morning” to people in your new
temporary neighborhood.
 …you’re the last one to notice that the
heat’s gone out, and frankly it doesn’t
bother you that much.
 …you look at the antics on “Survivor”
and say, “Geez, what a bunch of
wusses. They should come to BC!”
 …waking up in a different house in a
strange bed in a strange room doesn’t
feel all that strange to you.
 …you can now navigate any shower
system in the world.
 …your mail comes with a dozen forwarding stickers on it.
 …you’re still wondering if the BC ‘oneway streets are optional’ rules apply
in the rest of the city.
 …you find you’re getting along famously with neighbors the people
you’re staying with don’t even know.

 …you find yourself offering to help
people, pull in a next door trash can,
close and latch an open gate, and look
out for neighbors wherever you are,
all without thinking about it.
 …you’ve had more meals at the American legion than at McDonalds.
 …you’ve done more shopping at the
VFW than at Waldbaum’s.
 …as bad off as you might be, you’re always thinking of somebody else and
thinking “Gee, I hope they’re okay.”
 …you are ready to haul off and give a
piece of your mind to anybody who’s
got a bad thing to say about the Mormons, the Buddhists, the Sikhs, Texans and a whole list of people.
 …you’ve put Raymor and Flannigan
on your Christmas card list.
 …you’ve become good phone buddies
with any number of insurance people,
FEMA reps, cable reps and phone

people from all over the country.
 … all these people now want to come
and visit the Channel.
 …you’ve got your salvaged barbecue
and new charcoal ready in case you
need to cook everything in your fridge.
 …you couldn’t find your street because they finally moved the boat that
landed there.
 …you’re not too crazy about seeing a
whole lot of water, even bottled water,
in one place at one time.
 …you are now an expert in communicating by cellphone, text message,
Facebook, Twitter, smoke signals and
semaphore if you have to.
 …you were always an expert in
spreading and receiving information
by word of mouth.
 …you’re still wondering how you
ended up at a laundromat.
 …you still can’t believe we all went
through that.
 …over the past two months you and
the family have discussed whether to
have dinner at the Legion, the firehouse or any number of food vans or
street corners in the Channel.

 …all of your friends still have the
dealer tags on their car keys.
 …your first question to neighbors is
“So, how’d you make out in the
 …the people at the flat-fix place know
you very well.
 …a smile, a hug and a “thank God,
you’re okay!” are the best gifts you
ever got.
 …the “Brooklyn Lantern” and wind
up radios don’t look all that silly to
 …“No” is not an answer you’re ready
to accept…from anybody.
 …when your parents refer to ‘the Year
of the Flood’, they’re talking about
 …whatever faith you are, or not, you
prayed for all.
 …wherever you went in town after
the storm, you were welcomed.
 …wherever you are in the world right
now, whenever people ask, you will always proudly say “Me? I’m from
Broad Channel.”
From me to you, for these great past
two years, thanks for reading.

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Wonderful! Thanks for

Wonderful! Thanks for reprinting, Dan!

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