2014-06-20 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

By Dan Guarino

Last week, on Monday, there was some road work being done on Cross Bay Boulevard, just after the bridge. To block out the hot sun, an umbrella had been put up over the driver of the street-cutting saw.

From the vantage point of those waiting on the bridge, with the big red umbrella visible, it really looked like somebody had set up a hot dog stand just past the toll plaza.

Hear the sizzle, smell the charcoal? Then get ready for the VFW barbecue on Saturday, June 21. From 2 to 6 p.m. there will be hot food, drink and a great time in the Prince-Wynn Post’s backyard. You cannot beat the beautiful, relaxing view. Without really turning your head, you can take in Jamaica Bay, Brooklyn and the distant but clear Manhattan skyline.

It’s $20 per person and $10 for kids. Admission is free for little ones four and under. Everyone is welcome! Coming from out of town? The VFW is located at 705 Shad Creek Road. All proceeds go toward the many things the Post does for our vets.

Speaking of which, America has more veterans coming home now than ever before. Many could use some support, a little help and the company of those who know what their experiences have been like.

We are blessed with two very strong veterans organizations in Broad Channel; the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. If you know a vet, young or old, who could use a connection to that supportive community, don’t hesitate. Contact either one of these hardworking groups.

Welcome back to the Channel, Kathleen Harrison. Good to have you back from your ‘temporary’ post- Sandy move to Rockaway.

My invitation: As president of the Rockaway Artists Alliance, I would like to extend my invitation to each and every one in BC to come and enjoy the new exhibition that kicks off on Sunday, June 29. “Rockaway!,” which runs for the entire summer, will have an opening reception from 12 to 8 p.m. at Fort Tilden. There will be major artworks in four different buildings, all around the Fort and also at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club. There will also be kids’ activities at RAA’s T-149 building, pick up ball games courtesy of the Rockaway Little League and great performances from the Rockaway Theatre Company.

At around 6-7 p.m. there’ll be a free outdoor concert by artist, and Rockaway resident, Patti Smith. After 8 p.m. the after party moves to the RB Surf Club on Beach 87th Street. Brandon D’Leo, co-owner, and company will be hosting the Honolulu Biennial exhibition as part of “Rockaway!” there.

This is one of the biggest things to come to our area. Please be my guest, come and enjoy.

Speaking of the Rockaway Beach Surf Club, mark your calendars for the Two Bridges Music Festival on Saturday, August 2, there.

The annual Two Bridges event was founded, and organized by Broad Channel musicians Mason and Frank Poretto, who are also very community-minded.

Sixty years ago this month, this Broad Channel item ran in The Wave. “The Nine Cuckoos held their card party and luncheon at the home of Mrs. Arthur Iverson, 49 West 14 Road, with members attending.”

Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department Chief Ed Wilmarth III was kind enough to contact me with a few words about BC’s Mardi Gras 2014.

“Mardi Gras is in full swing. Please come out and support the “Bubba for Mayor” committee running out of Grassy Point. They will be cooking dinners every Thursday night and there will be live bands playing, Grim Pickins and the High Five, on Saturday, June 21. Solshyne is playing on Friday, June 27. Flyers are being distributed throughout the town with a complete menu listing. “

You can call Grassy’s for more info and each week’s dinner menu. It’s not too late to form a committee to run out of Ruffle Bar either. If you’re interested, please contact President Thomas Larkin. There will be many more events and activities planned throughout the summer.”

“We want to restore Mardi Gras back to what it once was, but cannot do so unless the town comes out to support it.”

“Our first round of BCVFD fundraising went well. We will be back out again after Labor Day. We look forward to seeing a pink ribbon fund drive sticker on every house this year, as we will be donating a portion of this year’s fund drive to Susan G. Komen Fund for Breast Cancer Awareness.”

Lastly, on Saturday, June 14, we marked the 97th anniversary of the Line of Duty Death of Chief Christian Hoobs. Chief Hoobs was a proud BC resident, whose relatives still reside here today. He was chief of the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Association (the original name of the BCVFD) from 1913 until his death in 1917. Chief Hoobs collapsed from a heart attack while responding from his home to a confirmed structural fire. Chief Hoobs passing is the only Line of Duty Death in the BCVFD’s 109 years of fire service.”

“Please allow his unfortunate passing to remind us all that it doesn’t matter if you get paid to be a firefighter or you are a volunteer, the risks and dangers are the same. All firefighters in Broad Channel and Rockaway, FDNY and volunteers, risk their lives every day to protect yours, and some get very seriously injured or develop illnesses from doing so. And unfortunately like many other firefighters in NYC history, sometimes the ultimate sacrifice is made to ensure that others might live.

“I don’t believe Chief Hoobs thought that he would respond to his last alarm that day, but rest assured he, like all firefighters, was prepared to give his life that day if it meant saving another’s. Please take a moment to remember Chief Christian Hoobs and please always support YOUR Broad Channel VFD and all of NYC’s Bravest.”

Got BC news? Info on events? Send it to workingstories@aol.com or drop it in my box at 1430 Cross Bay Boulevard.

Thanks for reading!

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