2013-10-18 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

By Dan Guarino

Seems like we are getting the best of’ fall collection right now.

Beautiful, cool mornings and long colorful sunrises (delivered right to my front window every day!)

The days have been warming up in the middle, and that jacket or sweatshirt you really needed in the morning gets tossed into the car. Over the day the sun is staying with us a little longer.

Then on the west side, the sunset has been painting the sky in colors you never even knew existed or could possibly imagine.

In the night sky even the stars, and the twinkling approaching airplanes, have been a celestial standout.

When you’re out and about sometime today or tonight, look up!

First things first. And first things first. Talk about a do-over! Sharp eyed readers noted that the annual Broad Channel Ladies Softball Game was indeed mentioned in last week’s column, even though it had already taken place.

I could say, “Well, it went into extra innings!”, but that would be home stretching it. Or I could say, “No, no—I was promoting next year’s game…early…… reaallly earlier.” Nope, that was strictly my goof.

I do feel bad about the gentleman who went to the game twice. Honestly.

I am told he really enjoyed himself, both times though!

The mail is in: The post office contract station has reopened at the Bay Gull Store at 1632 Cross Bay Boulevard. Their hours are Monday to Saturday from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday’s from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Look out for the the Wave’s one year anniversary special Sandy edition, due out on Friday, October 25th. The staff has been working exceptionally hard on it, well into the night and through the weekends.

The stories and pictures in it will make you remember, make you laugh, cry or just shake your head. More than that, this is our story.

It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of our good friend Al McCarthy on October 1st.

My late wife, Liz, and I were very lucky to be Al’s neighbors on Noel Road. He and Liz especially got on famously. A more outgoing, friendly and upbeat man, you would be hard put to find. And he was so super supportive of his church, Christ Presbyterian by the Sea.

Even after the hurricane, I remember Al being incredibly chipper. As we stood talking in the middle of the storm soaked street, with half the town strewn around us, he was not down. No, he was moving forward.

Before having to move out, I gave Al a television, because he had lost almost everything, including his floors. But that is nothing compared to what he gave me over the years.

I will miss my friend.

Here’s a question somebody called me with. Maybe you’ve got the answer. Does anybody know what’s happening with the Bayview Restaurant?

As you know, it was hit hard by the hurricane. The back looks to have been just sheared off.

There are some beautiful pictures of the Bayview, pre-Sandy, on their Facebook page. And even an advertisement for their Halloween costume party on Friday, October 26th, 2012. It’s like looking into a misty time machine.

From that FB page Stephanie Wagner, who worked there until it was destroyed, launched Broad Channel Hurricane Sandy Relief after the storm and made great things happen.

So, anybody know what plans there might be for the restaurant? Let me know. E-mail workingstories@aol.com.

The American Legion is throwing a Halloween Party! Be there from 8 to midnight on Saturday, October 26th, at the Legion Hall, 209 Cross Bay Boulevard. The $25 admission covers food, music and two complimentary drinks. Cash prizes for drop-dead best and most imaginative costumes. Call Karen at 347-306-4851 or Carol at 917- 930-0546 to reserve your table. Cash bar- no coolers please. All proceeds go to the Legion.

The VFW Penny Social is set for Saturday, November 16th, at the Legion Hall. Doors open at 6, calling starts at 7. $10 admission covers raffle tickets, coffee and cake. The prizes are great!

Proceeds will go to providing Thanksgiving dinner for the disabled veterans of the St. Albans home and future events to support them. Call 646-344- 2640 now to reserve your table.

For that night the American Legion will graciously open for their BC VFW neighbors

Sunday, October 27th, there’s a VIRTUS Child Safety Workshop at 1 p.m. in St. Camillus School. All CYO coaches and managers must attend a VIRTUS workshop. The workshop is free. St. Camillus is over the bridge at 185 Beach 99th Street. Questions? Call 718-634-8229.

With a glimpse of BC’s past, frequent correspondent Dorothy Fraher writes “I was chatting with Muriel Berry Stennmann, who told me that the two houses on the corner of 14th were originally barged from Rockaway Point around 1917.” Muriel has a great collection, and even greater memories, of Broad Channel as it was.

By the way, there is a great tale about the first school house on Broad Channel. As the story goes, there was a big hurricane in the early part of the last century. A dance hall in Howard Beach broke loose in the midst of the storm and was tossed onto the shores of our island.

Finding it on the beach, some enterprising neighborhood men banded together to haul it into town and fix it up as schoolhouse for the town’s children.

Of course, the real story is that a hotel and dance hall went out of business in Howard Beach. Both buildings were brought to the Channel by barge. The dance hall did become the first school here, the original PS 47. And the hotel became the offices of the Broad Channel Corporation, which still stands at the corner of Noel Road and West Road.

Even if the more colorful ‘hurricane’ story isn’t true, I’ll bet you can still perfectly believe that a bunch of Broad Channelers would get together and do something like that. Even today!

Got BC news? Share it! E-mail me at workingstories@aol.com

Thanks for reading!

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