Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Rego Park Revisited 2013

So what is this guy wearing a red NJIT t-shirt doing walking around Rego Park?  For several years in a row during my Spring vacation I made it a ritual to walk around the old neighborhood to see how it had take the changed.  I hadn’t done it in a few years so I thought I would revive the tradition and take the tour again.

I walked along Saunders Street, 63rd Drive, Queens Blvd. and Wetherole Street to recall where people lived all those years ago and what commercial establishments existed in the 1950s and 60s.  The only business establishments that are still there were:

  • Ben’s Best Delicatessen
  • Barber Shop in the 63rd Drive Subway Station
  • Sprung Monuments
  • Mobil Station on Queens Blvd

I passed by the three apartment buildings where I lived:

  • 61-40 Saunders Street - I looked at the names on the directory and noted that an F. Reisher still lived there.  I must assume that their son took over the apartment
  • 64-12 Wetherole Street - I look by the mailboxes and noted that the building had a new owner.  I moved out of there in 1983 so Mrs. Bonk must have passed away.
  • 62-60 99th Street (Saxon Hall) - Karen and I lived there when we were first married.  I just passed by.

I noticed that the schoolyard at PS 139 was really crowded.  It seems that several classes were on recess together.

I had two interesting experiences on this trip.

At the corner on 63d Drive and Saunders Street I met Judy Gerber who was a classmate of mine at PS 139 over 50 years ago.  I became reacquainted with her through Mike Seidman and on Facebook where we play Family Feud together.  We had a nice chat about how the neighborhood had changed over the years in terms of the ethnic makeup and of  “beloved” retail establishments that no longer exist.  I have a much better memory our PS 139 classmates than she.

After leaving Judy I had to see the Rego Center which recently opened at the site of Alexanders’ parking lot.  I had seen it from the LIE, but never visit it.  I usually don’t like to walk around shopping malls, since I will inevitably purchase something that I don’t need.  I browsed for a few minutes and then sat down to rest when a gentleman approached me and asked if I graduated from Forest Hills High School in 1967.  I most certainly did.  His name is David Blustein.  His name was familiar but I didn’t recognize him.  I vaguely remember that he was in my Physical Education class with Chet Gusack back in High School.  We had a nice chat and exchanged business cards.  We didn’t know each other back then, but I was pleased that he recognized me.

Before I end this entry I must make a “shout our” to Jean O’Connor-Prokopchuk  who was my classmate at PS 139.  We have reconnected on Facebook.  She asked how my visit went.

No comments:

Personal-Journals blog