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my hometown's web site

My sister forwarded me the URL for the Laurelton web site. I found many interesting things there, such as pictures taken during the 1950s and 1970s, and personal anecdotes from former (and a few current) residents. Many of the people who posted anecdotes seem to be from the early baby boom generation, although there were a couple of names I recognized.

I can recall doing a lot of things many of the people posted. Running an errand to Zickerman's hardware store for my father to pick up nails. (It all sorts of ladders leading to lofts, etc.) Picking up prescriptions at Marder's. Going to Stanley's for school supplies (including this funny looking clay that came in rectangular blocks) and Spalding balls. Seeing Conquest of the Planet of the Apes at the Laurelton theater. (The icon is from the movie.) It's interesting that in the movie describing the making of the Planet of the Apes movies, one of the producers tells how in one showing in the Los Angeles area to a predominantly African-American audience, practically the whole theater was cheering for the apes to kill the humans. Same thing happened in my neighborhood theater.

BTW, Noah and Vanessa, do either of you remember a Mr. Rabinowitz who I think taught history at Stuy for a while? He lived across the street from me.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 17th, 2006 08:07 am (UTC)
Sure, I remember Mr. Rabinowitz! He once told me, "You know, you should try studying sometime."

That site brings back so many memories. I remember those blockbusting years that some of the posters on the site mention. I remember seeing "The Omega Man" and "5 on the Black Hand Side" at that theater.

After going away to school, I returned to that area in the early '80s. My parents were living on 235 St. near Merrick. I never did get used to the changes in the neighborhoods: the theaters had become churches, the delis had been mostly replaced with bullet-proof fried chicken places, the mom-and-pop hardware and drugstores were gone. Remember Larry Lucas dry cleaners?

When my family was in a horrible little railroad apartment in South Jamaica, my mother dreamed of moving to someplace like Springfield Gardens or Laurelton. By the time we got there, it wasn't such a great place to live. Somehow we ended up in Hollis.

When I talk to Southern Californians about where I grew up, many of them back away and change the subject. The bootstrap thing means bupkis here. Thanks for giving me a chance to reminisce.

Jul. 18th, 2006 06:04 am (UTC)
I don't remember Larry Lucas' dry cleaners. Where was it?
Jul. 17th, 2006 04:07 pm (UTC)
I remember Isidore Rabinowitz quite well. I had him in the fall of my junior year ('75-'76). He had a wonderfully dry sense of humor. At the beginning of the first class session, he told us (and I'm paraphrasing) that "This is a class in world history. The necessary skills for this class are the ability to read and write. If you cannot read and write, I suggest that you kill yourself and improve the gene pool."

I laughed out loud (as did many others in the class), but I can't imagine someone getting away with that nowadays. :-)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )