Letters and Emails

From Mary McGee Aretakis to Rockaway Memories, Dated March 16, 2011:

Dear Marty,

I loved the Irish Town Album. Unfortunately, I didn't see any pictures of Gildea's Bar. Gildea's was located on Beach 103rd St. Before that it was Feeney's & Lynch's. I met my husband at Gildea's. We danced there many a night.

My family lived in the Bronx but summered in the Rockaways for more than forty years. We lived in various bungalows during this period - on Beach 102nd, Beach 104th, and the last one on Beach 99th St. right across from St. Camillus school. My girlfriend's family took a room for the summer upstairs from Gildeas.

I have attached several snapshots taken in and around Gildeas during the 1950s:

Most of the guys in this photo came from the Throgs Neck section of the Bronx. They would come down to the Rockaways for the weekend. Most of them were great dancers. Photo Credit: Mary McGee Aretakis


Hanging out in front of Gildea's. Photo Credit: Mary McGee Aretakis


Would you believe that he was never carded when entering Gildea's. Photo Credit: Mary McGee Aretakis


Pat and Mary in front of Gildea's. Photo Credit: Mary McGee Aretakis

I have a friend, Melba, who I met subsequent to my summers spent in Rockaway. She lived on Beach 99th Street all year round and attended Far Rockaway H.S. Her grandmother owned Barnett's Candy Store on Rockaway Beach Blvd. between 98th and Beach 99th Streets.

Next week I am going to visit another Rockaway friend of many years who now resides in Florida. We will certainly be reliving our great Rockaway memories.

My sister and her family live in Belle Harbor. I have cousins who live in the apartments on Beach 108th St. Consequently, we visit Rockaway often.

Few can appreciate how it was to live in Rockaway back then. They were special times.

Thanks for all your hard work.

Mary McGee Aretakis

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