Peter J. Mahon
October 20th, 2016
After indulging myself with the afternoon's hot dish in the canteen, I strolled back into the VFW hall where the Broad Channel Historical Society was holding its annual "Historical Day" exhibition. The Historical Society was founded in 1994 and since then its members have worked tirelessly to both document and preserve the history of our small community in the middle of Jamaica Bay. It is always a pleasure to have the opportunity to speak with the likes of Barbara Toborg, the society's chairperson and our town's resident Broad Channel centric author, Dan Guarino. In addition to the hour or so spent enjoying the myriad of historical documents and other items on display I also had the pleasure of meeting Mary Dady Clarity, author of Old Salt, a memoir of her husband, Mike Clarity's, life growing up in Broad Channel through his years of service with the United States Navy. I picked up a signed copy of Old Salt while there and am looking forward to reading it this week.
While at the VFW I ran into Barbra Yahle who pulled me aside and explained that she has been having problems with the delivery of the Rockaway Times to her residence over on Beach 87th Street in Rockaway. She explained that she lives in an old bungalow area where the property addresses are all the same accompanied by a letter designation (i.e.: "A", "B", "C", etc.) It turns out Barbra does not have a computer but she states she is such an avid fan of the Rockway Times that she has taken to purloining her neighbors copy from his yard when the opportunity presents itself. She asked me to pass this along to our editor, Kevin Boyle if he could look into this stating, "After all, I am risking arrest and jail time simply to get my weekly fix of the Rockaway Times!"
Later that afternoon as I was sitting at the canteen's bar someone remarked, "Wasn't this a great day? You come in the front door and you visit our town's past with the historical society and then you walk to the rear canteen and you're back in the present!" Someone further down the bar replied, "Yeah, and when you leave, make a right on Cross Bay, walk down to East 14th Road and you can visit your future at Hillebrand's Funeral Home!"
Broad Channel, why would anyone want to live anywhere else?