2013-06-07 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

By Dan Guarino

In the weeks before the A train was fully ready to roll back through Broad Channel, I kept thinking about what Joe Young said to me back in March.

Knowing how much damage the whole system had sustained, not just the tracks, but the trestles, embankments and electrical systems, he said he would know the train was really ready when he saw the lights go back on along the rail bridges and tracks. Lights meant power. Power restored meant the train could operate again.

I watched day by day, night by night for months, looking for those lights on the tracks.

I was on that first A train when it finally crossed over from Howard Beach to Broad Channel to Rockaway. And I thought about Joe as it glided along the tracks for the first time since the hurricane.

Then I thought of a song that was popular when the dark days of World War II were finally ending. It was called “When The Lights Go On Again All Over The World.”

Almost every day I’ve been privileged, we have all been privileged, to be there when yet another light goes on again in our world.

Didn’t have plans for this weekend? You do now. Get some friends and get to the Fundraiser To Rebuild VFW Post 260 at Patty G’s at 86-24 Broadway in Elmhurst, Saturday June 8th, 4-8 p.m.

This weekend, too, we celebrate the re-opening of Francine Hamill’s Channel Team Realty, now at 910 Cross Bay Boulevard. That’s Saturday from 12-4 p.m.

You’ll love what they’ve done with the office. Janice Sorgenti Wilson, one of the realtors there, personally laid down the white stone out front and arranged the flagstones and brought in the chairs.

I had the pleasure of meeting Francine, as well as other great Broad Channel people like Rick Sorrentino, and also Janice, at the re-dedication of the Assembly of God Church in Old Howard Beach. Quite a number of BC people attend services and are involved (naturally) there.

Right near Our Lady of Grace, they, too, were pummeled hard by Hurricane Sandy. And yet here they were, with a newly restored building and a renewed spirit, counting themselves stronger for all they had been through.

I thank Pastor Stephen Roser and his wife for making me feel welcome, my friend George Pizzo for inviting me, and the congregation for letting me share this most special moment with them.

There’s something about renewal that all of us who have come through these past months understand better than anybody, no matter which direction it takes us.

Swim time! The St. Camillus-St. Virgilius BCAC CYO Boys Swim Team and Swim Clinic registration is this Saturday and Sunday, June 8th/9th, 2- 4 p.m. at the Broad Channel Athletic Club Field. The registration fee is $175 and includes a swim suit, cap and goggles. Thanks, Cindi Ciappetta, for the info!

Sign up for BCAC Shamrock Football and Cheerleading. Registration will be on Saturday June 15th, 22nd and 29th and July 13th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the BCAC field, 125 Cross Bay Boulevard.

The age groups break down into Peanuts 5-6 years old, Pee Wee 7-8, Midget from 9 to 10 years old, Pony from 11-12 and Seniors at 13 years old.

Registration for Peanut division will be $150 per child. Pee Wee’s through Seniors is $175.

Sponsors are also needed! Contact Gene at 347-403-2591 or Sean at 347- 306-0323 or e-mail Chanalana@ aol.com.

Sandy took away many memories, and gave us a few new ones, but Cathy Louis is working on a way for all of us to share, preserve and carry on what we do have. Check out BroadChannel. past.present.future@groups on Facebook. Post your old (and newer) BC photos, comment and even help add names to faces.

Hey, Jeanie J from Breezy, thanks for enjoying last week’s column. Hope everyone else enjoyed it, too.

The BC Volunteer Fire Department could use at least a few hours of your time. Right now there are many people who are still displaced off the island, including many BCVFD regular volunteers.

Says Chief Dan McIntyre, “We are in desperate need since many of our members are still displaced and living off island. We are currently operating with 12 on island members; we need 20-25 members to meet our obligations.”

“Former members are especially welcome, NOW is the time to step up. Anyone who can answer the phone is welcome.”

Don’t wait. Call 718-474-6888 or stop by the firehouse on Noel Road.

Mark Saturday, August 10th, and save the date. The American Legion, due to the losses from Sandy, is having a much needed fundraiser. And back for a one time only performance will be the Broad Channel Theatre Group with a variety of acts. There will be lots of laughs, fun and talent.

Ticket info will be available soon.

The Legion was there when we all needed them. Let’s turn out for them now and pack the house!

Many special people make Broad Channel a special place.

One of them is Kathy Reardon Savino, our steadfast mail carrier, who retired as of May 31st.

Kathy’s even a part of our history. When the book “Images of America: Broad Channel” came out, she happily ran down to Liz and I, saying “I’m in your book. I’m in your book!”

Sure, enough, there she was, pictured in a group of Broad Channel Girl Scouts! (See page 124!)

Dedicated? Kathy, noting that where I lived was all boarded up after the storm, was concerned my mail would reach me. She contacted me online. Was there a temporary forwarding address? Could she help square away the necessary paperwork?

Then there was the time she jumped into the mail truck to help find a child, who had taken off out of the front door. An impromptu squad of neighborhood volunteers was on the case, but Kathy found the properly chastened child.

She brought great care to what she did, even when delivering bills.

So long, Kathy, and a happy retirement to you. We won’t miss the bills, but we will sure miss you on the route.

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

Thanks for reading.

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