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As a youngster I was blessed to have marched up 5th Avenue on March 17th alongside my grandfather with the Ancient Order of Hibernians in several St. Patrick’s Day Parades and in later years accompanied my father with the Police Department’s Emerald Society in numerous others. Additionally, during my 30 years with the NYC Department of Correction I am proud of the fact that I marched up 5th Avenue with the Correction Department’s Emerald Society in over twenty St. Patrick’s Day parades! Since my retirement I have managed to march in five additional parades but, as my knees have since turned to rust, my marching days are over. Sad as that may be, it’s probably for the best as the last parade I attended I may have imbibed a wee bit too much forcing me to take a bus home. I know that may not sound like a big deal to you, but I had never driven a bus before. My beloved Grace (aka: she who must be obeyed) was none too thrilled with that adventure and immediately restricted all future St. Patrick’s Day travel on my part to “limping distance” within the confines of Broad Channel.

The new bulkhead at the end of West 12th Road is fast nearing completion and on Monday, March 7th, construction activity started on the street itself to accommodate the installation of new sanitary and storm waste lines as well as a new water main feed for all homes. The street reconfiguration, infrastructure and raising work is expected to continue for a minimum of nine months during which time all parking will be prohibited on West 12th Road. The bad news is the next nine months will be “noisy, dirty and long.”   The good news is that, like the old Irish blessing, at long last the road truly is rising up to meet us!

I was at the All American Channel Market recently waiting for my breakfast order to be filled at the deli counter in the back of the store when I was approached by a freckle-faced, green-eyed Colleen in her early teens who asked me if I was the “…guy who writes the about bridges in Broad Channel for the Rockaway Times”?   “Guilty as charged” I responded and then asked her what she thought about the column. She thought for a second or two and then said “The column’s okay, most times it makes me laugh but to be honest, I didn’t think you would be physically able to get out and about so soon after your Valentine’s Day column where you told everyone it wasn’t worthwhile to spend money on a card, flowers and candy for the wife!”   I chuckled, thanked her for her candid response and assured her that after an intensive intervention with the women of my household, the greeting card, floral and confectionery businesses will all see a substantial increase in sales in the future.

I then inquired as to how she liked the Rockaway Times newspaper in general. As she grabbed her order from the deli counter and started to walk away she remarked “I think it’s great! I especially like the Fun Facts section and was really surprised to read this week that Leonardo Dicaprio invented the scissors. I mean I know he’s a great actor but he’s smart too! Nice meeting you.” Her reply left me scratching my head all the way home until I grabbed the recent (March 10th) edition of the RT and located the “Fun Facts You Probably Don’t Need” insert on page 15 where I found the following fun fact – “Leonardo DaVinci invented the scissors.” God bless the Irish, if ya love ‘em raise your hands…if you don’t raise your standards!

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

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