I’ve just read the recent article, “Rockaway Memories: The 1940s and Summer’s End,” by Jean Caligiuri McKenna. But to call it an article does it a lyrical injustice. No mere assortment of facts, the author, who certainly knows how to write, beautifully narrates her memories, touched by the magic of childhood’s sentiment, of the turn of the season as summer so quickly transitioned into autumn after Labor Day during the mid-twentieth century. In some respects, the suddenness of the social turnover was experienced in Breezy Point much longer than in Rockaway since we remained a bungalow colony long after Rockaway became a winter community, but, here, too, we are now mostly a permanent population. Yet, as I walk the emptied Breezy beach and bike the Rockaway boardwalk after Labor Day, the same sweet melancholy still seems to linger after Labor Day, no longer a moving-out day for most, joins the rest of its September peers.
I would encourage Mrs. McKenna and others who remember a Rockaway past now fading from view to offer us similar happy memories. I would think that the decade she chose, the War Years, would be an especially rich treasure trove of memories important for readers both young and older.
Kevin Anthony ReillyBLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS