Letters from Our Readers:

In a message dated August 14, 2012, Harvey Tarshis writes to Rockaway Memories


Dear Marty,

I just finished reading Ed Vlahov's “The Whiting Catch ” just published in your latest edition of Rockaway Memories. So many memories of that era float through my mind. I have written to you in the past and reflected on various episodes of my youth. I came to Edgemere in 1939 at the age of nine and stayed until 1961. We lived in a four story apartment house on the corner of Beach 32nd Street and Sprayview Avenue. The beach was less than 250 yards from my door.

I would often go to my friend's apartment to look out the window in order to see if the ocean was rough or calm that day. My best years for catching whiting were probably between 1942 to1945. I would take an old baby carriage, put it under the boardwalk, and walk down to the water with a few burlap bags. My average take per outing was about 30 fish. We kept between 6 to 8 fish and the rest we sold to Fogel's Fish Market which was located on Edgemere Avenue between Beach 34th and 35th Streets. I was paid between 5 and 10 cents a fish.

Some nights we would go to beach 19th Street. with waders on and net the whiting in the water. I went with my friend Don Housman who was one of the best fisherman you could find. He introduced me to catching striped bass. We fished from the surf. Don would cast out a small metal lure with a swivel hook at the end covered by a few colored feathers. The lure weighed about 2.5 ounces. He could cast approximately 100 yards. Other fisherman would just stand there in awe and watch.as he caught bass that weighed between 8 and 25 pounds. Don would also bike over to Atlantic Beach to catch the really big ones. We would also rent a boat out of Hennings Pier at Beach 9th Street and. go under the Atlantic Beach Bridge and fish the tides.

I remember once waking up, going outside and seeing the beach covered with dozens of soldiers carrying machine guns.

I spent most of my youth growing up in the Rockaways. There was nothing like it.as I look back I say to myself, "It was the times".

I look forward to your next edition of Rockaway Memories.

Harvey Tarshis (P.S. 106 -1939 to 1944, FRHS - 1944 to 1948)