2014-03-28 / Columnists

Looking Back

The Wave’s archives were largely lost to Hurricane Sandy. But through piecing together online sources, we are once again able to present this feature. There may be some gaps in the record, some years may be missing, but here’s…

What The Wave Said...

10 Years Ago…

A Rockaway landmark is up for sale. The dwindling membership of the Daniel M. O’Connell Post 272 American Legion has decided to sell its hall and is in search of a smaller, more economical meeting place, according to Mike Honan, the post’s commander. "The cost of maintaining the post has become prohibitive," Honan said. "What’s killing us are the insurance and the utilities."

Sylvia Ben-Shemer turned 100 on February 18th. She celebrated with family and friends at the JASA Rockaway Park senior center, Beach 121 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard, last week.

When the students at St. Francis de Sales heard that their principal, Sr. Patricia Chelius, was chosen to be one of the Grand Marshals of the Rockaway St. Patrick’s Day parade, they were thrilled. It was suggested then that each class make a congratulatory poster, card or banner in honor of Sr. Patricia. When Sr. Patricia arrived on Friday morning, she was met by the entire faculty playing Irish music with a table set for a breakfast of crumb cake.

30 Years Ago...

Fire broke out Wednesday afternoon in the Western Auto supply and repair shop building at 99-20 Rockaway Beach Boulevard. Maureen and Bernard Keenan, the owners of the store, who lived in the apartment above, got out safely.

Members of the Police Department Public Morals Division, assisted by officers of the 100 Precinct, conducted another gambling raid in the Rockaways. Carried out at 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, the raid encompassed the store at 86-10 Rockaway Beach Boulevard. Items confiscated included a loaded 25-caliber P25 revolver, slot machines and cash.

Julian Milkis, noted recitalist and chamber musician, will perform at the Annual Artists in Concert at Lawrence High School, Cedarhurst, on March 31. Milkis, a native of the Soviet Union, has made appearances at Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall.

Is there an Amityville house of horrors in Rockaway? Research into the old burned out house at 92-15 Rockaway Beach Boulevard revealed some interesting information. The house was built in 1899 by Dr. Hilbert T. Tingley, who was killed when he was struck by a train. The house was then sold to Dr. Garret V.W. Schenck in 1905. Schenck committed suicide a few years later. Then about four years ago, an invalid woman living there was killed in the fire that left the house the burned out wreck that it remains today.

Daniel M. O’Connell Post 272 will host the 1984 County Convention, it was announced at a recent meeting. Anthony Nardi, past commander of the post was named the general chairman of their convention with Bob Ott as co-chairman.

Rockaway and Broad Channel, coastal resorts as they are, were caught in the brunt of the storm that belted the New York area Wednesday and Thursday. From the east end to the west end the beaches were eroded. Tides were running three to four feet above normal with heavy flooding.

40 Years Ago...

The ownership of the abandoned hulk of the former freight and passenger steamer "Catskill" is being determined. It is expected the progress will be made in removing the deteriorating hulk from its present resting place on the bottom of Jamaica Bay alongside the bulkhead near Beach 109 Street.

Development of Gateway National Park is going to be a long-range program, probably 20 years or so. The objective for this year is a general cleanup and maintenance of the existing recreational facilities throughout the park area.

Construction workers on the new deluxe diner at Beach 116 Street and Beach Channel Drive have hit a snag in their excavation work. They encountered some solid concrete that did not appear in the plot survey and now have a problem to solve.

Joe Gerstel, president of the Rockaway Park Businessmen’s Association, says the outlook for an enlarged parking field on Beach 116 Street is gloomy. Officials have told the association they don’t plan to spend any more money on the field because it is not a paying proposition.

50 Years Ago...

Assemblyman J. Lewis Fox credits Robert Moses with being the first to think of the extension of Shore Front Parkway. The extension will be possible when Governor Rockefeller signs the bill which Fox sponsored in the assembly.

Bill Brunner went to The Wave files for the years 1911 and 1912 to check the records in preparation for a talk he will give at a dinner to be tendered to the members of the New York Nationals, the basketball team that brought fame to Rockaway. Brunner once played for the team.

Public response to the Rockaway Park Merchants Association’s "giveaway" campaign has been so brisk that an additional supply of entry blanks had to be ordered.

60Years Ago...

What goes on behind your telephone? This and many other timely questions will be answered at the New York Telephone Company’s open house to be held on Thursday and Friday in the Belle Harbor central office building at 216 Beach 81 Street.

More than 250 residents jammed the main ballroom of the Hotel Washington on Monday evening to register their protests against the proposed G-1 zone for the area between Beach 130 and 142 Streets, and to discuss ways and means to defeat the change.

First-year students at Far Rockaway High School will attend classes from 1 to 5:23 p.m., starting in September. "End to end" sessions are made necessary by the increased enrollment in the school.

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