By Harvey Tobkes

From the year that I was born till about age 13, my mom and dad rented a bungalow every summer. I’m sure there must be a few viewers reading this who remember Rockaway. Some of the block’s streets leading from the main road down the row of side-by side bungalows were not paved with asphalt; they were filled with sand, and it was just like living on the beach. Every spring when my family went to hunt for that summer bungalow, one of my parent’s summer friends was sure to remember me back in my baby days and remark about how I used to eat the sand. It didn’t help my bowel movements though, as I am still constipated. There are many, many fond memories I still hold. I remember:

Our baseball team played on the beach, we went fishing in the bay, I made a surf board out of my mom’s ironing board and road the waves and some days they were gigantic. We had “wars” and shot little squares of roofing material from wooden guns that launched the missiles by unhooking the pulled back rubber band, we went to Play-Land and played table games of ice-hockey, Baseball, Shoot-a-Jap, Roll-a ball Poker and Ski-Ball and we tried to accumulate tickets to redeem for prizes. It was so good, eating frozen Milky Ways, hot dogs, Takee-Cups (Chicken Chow Mein in an edible cup ) and knishes and real Italian lemon Ices. Mmmmmm! We used to watch the teenagers jitterbug to songs like “Tisket a Tasket” and “In the Mood.” Believe it or not Zoltar the Great (remember him from the movie “Big?”) was a popular attraction. Put a nickle in a slot and out would pop a card with his predictions for your future.

As I got a little older, one of the games we played was camping under the boardwalk at advantageous spots to be able to peer through the boards and look up at the girls legs as they walked along. There were so many activities and things to do that I could fill a book, but now it’s only a sweet memory.

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