From Brendan Grubb to
Rockaway Memories, Dated March 24, 2011:
Great photos evoking greater memories!
I grew up in Rego Park. But, every year we "summered"
on the " Irish Rivera" at the first house on the boardwalk
and Beach 114th Street. I read Tom McManus and Brian McManus's
comments in the guestbook. They were Belle Harbor lads who spent
summers on Beach 114th Street in their families' large homes rented
to the likes of my family. There were nine Grubb brothers and
sisters who crowded into two basement rooms and we thought we
were living large. One of my first paying jobs was working at
Curley's for 90 cents an hour. I supplemented my income by hauling
beach chairs and umbrellas for Harry Nemith on the boardwalk.
One of my best friends is Pat Gildea of the "Gildea Beer
Garden" clan. It's odd that he also spent the summer
at "the beach" on 96th Street. But, we did
not see each other until we headed back home to begin school.
In later years many a night were spent at Manns,
Fitzgeralds or McGuires. Later, I worked tending bar for John
McGuire at Pep-McGuires in Kew Gardens while I was paying my way
through St. Johns University.
I live in Florida now. But, whenever I get up
to visit Mom we always take a drive to "the beach",
still one of the unsung best beaches in the northeast.
on the beach at night, hit it in the water at high tide
and it was a homer, ring a levio, johnny ride the pony,
rubber band rifles made from orange crates that shot pieces
of roof shingles, Mameys for Ice cream, the Park Theater
on a rainy day in the upstairs section, fishing off the
barge at 116th Street and the bay when a nickel brought
you a drop line hook & sinker and a large clam for bait
was also a nickel, Wednesday night fireworks after listening
to the music from the St Johns Boys Home, large beers in
tall paper cups from the Whitehouse, very spirited, competitive
basketball games at 108th Street park, having the local
cop from the 101st precinct chasing us off the railings
on the boardwalk, collecting all the colors of the wrist
string needed to get into the Pool on 114th Street, hot
dogs and fries from Tweenies, sand sifting for coins using
those orange crates, collecting bottles to return for deposit
and washing them off in boardwalk water fountains, and using
the coins at the penny arcades on 116th Street, first kisses
from summer loves on the lifeguard stand, throwing the lifeguard
stands into the surf at night, late summer storms that brought
large waves for fantastic body surfing, late season Labor
Day court parties, so as Bob Hope said, "Thanks for
the Memories. "
I spent every summer from 1948 through 1963
in Rockaway, most of them on Beach 114th Street. My mother told
me that I was actually conceived in Rockaway in July, 1947. After
1963 it seemed I spent every Summer (and many a winter) night
in Rockaway. It was a marvelous way to grow up. I have several
great stories to tell, some quite humorous. So, if you want to
hear more let me know.
Good luck with your venture. I am sure that
there are lots of us that will love reading this book . By the
way, my friend Pat Gildea is one of John Gildea's three sons.
He owned several saloons in Rockaway and the infamous Gildea's