From Betty Ochs to Rockaway
Memories, Dated March 16, 2011:
The pictures of Irishtown are wonderful, especially
the top one on page 12 (what became of McGuire Bar). My late husband
is the Normie Ochs that you mentioned in the caption. He and basketball
legends Al and Dick McGuire were childhood friends, and remained
friends for all their lives.
It was a unique area, and we Rockawayites will always have our
memories. My husband's family owned a deli/grocery store on Beach
109th Street, diagonally across from McGuires. Of course, in the
winter they were virtually the only family there.
Summer weekends, my dad played the piano at Smyth's.
I believe it was on Beach 87th Street. I know that Smyth's wasn't
located on the few streets that were technically known as Irishtown,
yet it was still considered a part of it.
located on the corner of Rockaway Beach Blvd. and Beach
90th Street. Circa 1958. Photo Credit: Tom Stenger Collection
By the time this picture was taken around 1958,
Smyth's was all boarded up. My father had already departed Rockaway
and moved to Florida. While there he became a cocktail pianist
who used the professional name of Mickey O'Toole. However, his
real name was Sidney Lipson, obviously not Irish. We found this
to be quite ironic. But, if he was happy with it....so be it.
Thank you so much for this unexpected treat.