Clowning Around

Between The Bridges

Spotted any scary clowns lately?  With Halloween fast approaching, the soon to be released remake of Stephen King's 1986 horror novel, "IT," and the ever popular 1988 film "Killer Clowns from Outer Space," the recent spate of (mostly unsubstantiated) clown sightings across the country appears to perfectly capture the zeitgeist of our 2016 circus-like Presidential race.

Truth be told I did not afford the recent and growing number of alleged clown sightings too much significance as, during my lifetime, I have only been familiar with two actual clowns, neither of whom could be described as "scary." As a child my parents would take me to Barnum and Bailey's Three-Ring Circus where I first met "Weary Willie," a sad, depression era, clown portrayed by Emmet Kelly. I last saw "Weary Willie" at Ebbets Field back in 1957 where Kelly, who had retired from the circus, was the Brooklyn Dodgers team mascot during the last year (1957) they played in New York prior to moving to Los Angeles.  More recently, back in 2010, I became familiar with "Grandma" the star clown of the Big Apple Circus, played by Barry Lubin, now retired.

All that changed recently as a result of a conversation with a member of New York's finest who told me that I should start taking these sightings more seriously. He told me about a call that was made to the 19th Police Precinct recently complaining about a group of scary looking clowns who had been sighted on multiple occasions going in and out of a residence at East 88th Street and East End Avenue. Before the young officer who had received the call could dispatch a patrol unit, the older and wiser Desk Sergeant pulled him aside and inquired, "Does that address appear familiar to you?"  The younger officer replied that it did not.  "That's Gracie Mansion up at Carl Schurz Park and the scary clowns they are talking about is the Mayor and his Build it Back team!"  The young officer was somewhat embarrassed and asked his Sergeant what he should do.  The Sergeant simply replied, "Be thankful you don't live in Broad Channel or Rockaway!"

This Saturday, October 15, the Broad Channel VFW will be hosting a Friend in Need fundraiser starting at 7 pm.  Walker and Friends will be on hand to rock the VFW hall into the wee hours as only they can and, of course, there will be plenty of raffles and 50/50's.  Needless to say, refreshments will be available. A $10 dollar donation at the door will be greatly appreciated. Mark your calendars and be sure to come on down for an evening of great music and fun. It's for a good cause and I can guarantee all of you there will be no scary clowns present at the party!

I finally obtained a copy of Dan Guarino's new book, "Broad Channel Through Time", and spent several enjoyable hours last Saturday afternoon curled up on the couch reading it. The juxtaposition of historical site photographs of our town alongside current ones affords the reader a true sense of the history of our community here in Broad Channel that is just plain unavailable anywhere else. If you enjoyed "Images of America: Broad Channel" by Dan and his wife Liz, which was published back in 2008, you are in for a real treat with his current book. Dan will be at this weekend's (Sunday, October 16) Broad Channel Historical Day exhibition from 1 to 4 pm at the VFW.  Be sure to stop by and pick a copy up for yourself and your family - it's a keeper!  Hint, if you were a good Romper Room Do Bee back in the day, Dan will even sign the book for you!

Broad Channel, why would anyone want to live anywhere else?

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