What A Visit!
I just returned to Houston after a week-long visit to Rockaway. This was the place of my childhood. I awoke each day last week with the sound of the ocean which I have sorely missed. I walked the beach every morning and collected beach glass. I talked to the people fishing and walking their dogs and even got to see one of the new beach bikes with the balloon tires.
Being the adult that I am (age-wise) I stopped at many of the adult beverage places. One in the basement that just opened, Healy’s (an old stand-by), Blackwater, The Wharf, Irish Circle (what were those bucket drinks) and several others. I tried to get into the fundraiser at the Knights but they were sold out.
A good friend brought me along to play golf with the Rockaway Sandtraps. Thank you guys, next time my GHIN handicap should have been used (I had a skin). I got to pick out my own shirts (six and flip flops and a sweatshirt) at the surf shop instead of my mom sending me some for my birthday. I ate at the Belle Harbor Diner, Ciro’s (both), The bagel place by the Wharf, the place by the subway (three breakfasts) the old Ann Wards Deli (primo stuff, guys) and Pies and more for all of your instant needs.
I saw Dano, Mikey, Ellen and talked to Tara and Brian’s answering machine (dig). I saw Bobby and Jimmy Walsh and many more in the ‘Hood. I saw the mini pockets of boardwalk that were built. I saw the little ladies dancing at the Irish Festival (good job to all). I took the train to the plane. I really wanted to discuss with Wave readers in this letter that I think Rockaway should do more with the rebuilding to make it newer but realized that the things I liked about it were the older ones.
The one thing that will never leave me is that when I went to the 911 memorial and looked up I saw John Heffernan’s name in the stained glass. I was never more proud of Rockaway as that moment. John grew up right across the street from me. Rest well, John.
Good luck with the comeback Rockaway and thank you to all. Thanks Mom.
ROBERT ‘BING’ STRASSBURG