Good Old Broad Channel

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Good Old Broad Channel

Dear Editor,

Why, I could walk down the boulevard, then Jamaica Bay Boulevard, all sand, and say hello to everyone. Now? Forget it. All new people, or perhaps grandchildren or great-grandchildren of the people I remember. Some of them even have the same names. Regardless, I’m still here in the old homestead or “Boathouse,” my dad, William, and his two brothers, Charles and Arthur, built on the boulevard in 1898 and completed in 1900.

I was baptized, confirmed and married in the same church, Christ Church on Noel Road by Bishop Arthur Brooks, pastor. I’m in pretty good shape for my age, 90, since January 2017. And I don’t know how I got so old so fast.

We had the greatest drug store, Whalen’s, run by Dan O’Sullivan and his wife. Frank O’Sullivan or Bill Morris would fill your prescriptions while old Frank, a retired Borden’s Milk Man, would whip you up a strawberry float while you waited at the soda fountain.

Across the way was Gus Colberg’s Hardware Store. If you needed anything for the home, they had it. To get new soles on your shoes, you went to Mr. Minnie, the shoe repair man; or to John Goetke, the tailor, to shorten your skirt. On the other corner of West 10th Road was Hans Glass, the baker, where you got the best lemon meringue pie you ever tasted. Across from him was Dr. Louie Granierer; if you wanted to get better, you saw him. We also had Bodack’s, an A&P, Segerdell’s dry goods; Dick Soliday and Ed Smith, fine meats; Rossi’s for fruit and veggies, Behr’s deli, a cleaner’s and even a liquor store. But two guys stopped in for lotto tickets and robbed the liquor store and that was the end of that. Also, there was Bob Berry, my nephew, the TV repair man.

Do you remember Gus Brudermann who owned a restaurant between East 19th and 20th Roads on the boulevard? It was called Gus’ and later sold and renamed Harvey’s. Charlie Phillips rented the back room and called it The Bay Club. Maxi’s was on the corner of East 16th Road (now a bus stop and playground); it had two gas pumps out front and was sort of a grocery. They had Breyer’s ice cream by the quart and that was some quart—Yum Yum!

Over on Channel Road in back was Hartell’s Grassy Point. Stop for a slug of booze or a bottle of beer, even during the Depression, if you had a nickel to spare. Down the boulevard a bit was Broad Channel Baths. Don’t forget to take a dip, weather permitting, or a ride on the merry-go-round. And stop on the way home at Weiss’ for a hamburger or at Sun Toy’s for a chow mein sandwich for 35 cents.

Down at the north end of the Channel at 1st Road, have Bud fix your flat at Demerest and Stenson’s Shell garage. And I nearly forgot the old Enterprise Hotel over by the Long Island Railroad station, owned by Eugene and Ruth Bollermann. Their daughter Ruthie was my sister-in-law. (And be very careful whom you talk to in Broad Channel, they may be a relative.) Plus Dutch’s Barn where the American Legion is now.

Then there is Noonan’s Inn on East 9th Road, the Brown Derby at the end of West 10th Road, Mauro’s Channel Inn by the Sluice (knocked down when they widened the boulevard in ’36) or Moran’s dance hall that stood for years.

Or sometimes you’d take a day off and go to the Cross Bay Movie on Liberty Avenue or The Park at 116th Street in Rock Park to see Burgess Meredith and Betty Fields in “Of Mice and Men” or Spencer Tracy and Mickey Rooney in “Boy’s Town” or even Marie Dressler and Wallace Beery in “Tugboat Annie.”

But there’s a couple of things I shall never forget—the old outhouse out back or the coal stove in the kitchen. And the memories shall always remain. You sure didn’t have to go out of Broad Channel for anything. We had it all right there—right here.

I wonder if there is anyone left who remembers these places. I’d like to know.

PS…My grandpa, Mickey Finn, was sports editor for the Daily Sun ‘til he drank himself to death.

Muriel Stemmann


A Peach, Not Impeach

Dear Editor,

President Trump should not be impeached. The Democratic party should be feverishly searching right now for a brilliant, personable, beautiful strong female candidate for that Office. And we average caring dames should vote 'er in!

I believe a woman can focus, handle emergencies and solve problems of great governmental magnitude. Most of Europe agrees with me. And she can deal with Congress properly: After all, we do have children.

No, America, Trump should not be impeached. A 'Peach' should replace him.

Maureen McNelis


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