Could everyone write one simple essay about something that once happened in Saltaire…that they saw or were a part of…and put it on one big website? Somebody should collect a lot of stories before we all forget. Otherwise it is like a line in “On The Beach” : The history of the war that now would never be written.” -(JO'H)

Saturday, July 12, 2014


This is what we looked like in the Fifties, with an occasional shot from the Forties and Sixties. These pictures are from the camera of Bill Weinlandt.  

At the end of this photo array, there is a  "comments" section.  Please post your comments. 

Rich Greer and Billie Greer, 1951
Note the Pavilion at the top of Broadway at the Ocean. 

For a great series of Kodachrome Labor Day photos by Rich Greer, click here:
Rita Connelly, Kay Imray; Bronson Goddard to right
Kitty Goggins and the Glascocks
Note the dune line in the background. This was a dune replenishment year

1958  Chris Kartalis, Chief Lifeguard
by the way: so many outdoor shots of Saltaire vistas somehow have the water tower somewhere in the background. 

Murderers Row, 1957:
From left: Ed Weinlandt, Jack Thorp, Mike Fitzgerald, Tony Shoecraft, Bill Weinlandt, "Stick" O'Brien, Bob Marks; Larry Lynch.
Pic by W.J. Weinlandt




Captain Baldwin 1948
Hermit. Fisherman. lived in a shack in the marshes of Clam Cove. 

Captain Baldwin, 1948
for the lowdown on who Captain Baldwin was, click on the link below to one of our most popular stories:


Charley Ritch, Village Superintendent
from the 1930's through late 1950's

Frank and Kitty Goggins,  1948
Mrs. Goggins, too was one of the earliest Saltairians. Second Village Historian.

Larry Lynch

The Marks

Ladies' Softball Labor Day 1957
Left: Rita Connelly  Mary Wright at bat.

Labor Day, because one of the girls is holding a trophy. Best kid in group got "The Cup."
The Labor Day ceremony was kind of like the Academy Awards.

Ladies' Softball Labor Day 1957
Edna Wilson, Mary Wright

Cyril Schmidt, October 1954
Father Francis X. Fitzgibbon of Our Lady Star of the Sea 1954

Howard Sutherland October 1954

Lou Schmidt, Catsy Schmidt October 1954

Chuck Foster, Pie-Eating Champion. He won by diving into  the Entenmann's blueberry pie while all the other kids were trying to eat theirs.   Hands behind  backs, of course. 

Future Mayor and Fire Island Association President Norma and Tom Ervin 1951. Both had worked at the Nuremburg trials.

Charley Ludlow and his brother Jack, 1951  in the ball field. This Photo looks east.  No playground yet. 

Mike Coffey 1951

The Pipers 1951
Mrs. Piper was a fashion model in the 1950's.
Background: Looking West, Bay Prom was still boardwalk,  CC Sailboat on right. 

Paul Schmidt, former Mayor,  1951

Ruth Dobie and Mr. and Mrs Lynch, 1951
Among the earliest Saltairians. 
Mrs. Dobie eloped and got married on the beach, 1917.  A  summer resident until 1959, she was the First Village historian. 

Mrs. Lynch was working for a public health service organizations in 1918 (?) when a troop ship ran aground and she came out as part of the rescue corps. Village houses were used as emergency shelters.  She fell in love with the village; bought land and a house and stayed a summer resident. 

1951: future Mayor John Ludlow and Dan Langley

Ed Weinlandt, Eleanor Mark; Fred Mark; Helen Weinlandt; Bob Mark

Gil and Pat Bell, 1951 
There are kids jumping off the Fire Islander in the background.
Those days labor day swimming races were held in the boat basin. Eleanor Mark on right.
Dwight Isaccson, Chief Ocean Lifeguard   1964

Bob Marshalk and Gil Bell, 1951

All smiles. Pete Kuracheck at the  guarded  front door. Kids wait on line to go in for gamma globulin shots in polio epidemic, August, 1954. Notably, kids who got shots inside exited the back door so that the kids waiting to go in through the front door  would not see their tears. 

Oliver Hull, Georgiana Hull 1960

Peter W. Kuracheck, 1955
Athletic Director, swimming instructor, 1954-1964.
Wore this white zinc oxide on his nose, 1954-1964. 
  Played football at University of Kentucky, Class of 1937;  M.A.  in  Phys Ed, University of Kentucky. When the War came, Captain Kuracheck drilled  WWII fliers to be physically fit to handle combat flight.  Some say he was every bit as tough (but loving)  in teaching eight year-olds  to swim in Saltaire in the 1950's and early 1960's. Sixty years later, people remember his swimming lessons like yesterday. He would hover over fledgling swimmers with a ten foot long bamboo pole. Kuracheck was one of the most successful football coaches in New York scholastic history at Pleasantville High School.  

Yacht Club Steward and Stewardess Jim and Terry O'Connor, 1960

Beach Party. Lotta kids. Lotta families had lotta kids. July 1954

The Ahernes,  1954. Merry, Harriet, Marie and Bob. 
Note the artificially built up dunes 

Skinner Birthday Party 1950
Captain Al Skinner lived in a small apartment in what would now be the east end of the Fire House, with a porch facing the ball field.  "the Shim Shack" they called his apartment. By the terms of the contract between the Village and Fire Island Ferries, the ferry had to be berthed in Saltaire at night and Skinner had to live in Saltaire. In case of the need for any emergency evacuations. 
Note on the bulletin board in background.
Carved initials "JO'H"  and "DW"  by Jim O'Hare and Danny Weinlandt. 

Skinner, 1954

Skinner Birthday Party 1960
Skinner was an accomplished pianist, singer, accordion player, raconteur and life-long bayman.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Friday, July 4, 2014

"If it wasn’t for the mist we could see your home across the bay," said Gatsby. "You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock."

Thursday, July 3, 2014

SUPPOSE THEY GAVE A REUNION AND NOBODY CAME? Time for a Reunion? Nobody wants one.

We say it is time for a reunion.
But Nobody else seems to want get behind it.

No time for a summer friend
No time for the love you send
Seasons change and so do I
You need not wonder why
       -- Guess Who

Do You Believe In Magic? “The Night People” Invade Saltaire in the Summer of 1966 (reprinted from November 16, 2008 with new comments)

by Jim O'Hare

Rock and Roll hit Saltaire in the 1950’s and 1960’s like it hit the rest of the world. I can recall Labor Day shows in the late 1950’s with an occasional nod to Rock and Roll—Richie Millus took a beagle on the stage and did a talking version of the Big Mama Thornton/Elvis hit “Hound Dog.”

Bruce Wright, Bill Ervin, Eugene Piper, and Robin Torrey over a period of sum
mers all played very good rock and folk guitar.

Lots of kids from Saltaire went to Forest Hills Tennis Stadium to see the Rolling Stones and the Beatles in 1964 and the Beatles at Shea in 1965.

It was in 1966 that I became really convinced that this was not just a fad, not just a Beatles & Stones thing that would eventually go away, as so many parents had been hoping. For me, the epiphany came the night in the summer of 1966 that I brought THE NIGHT PEOPLE
to Saltaire.

I didn’t realize exactly what I was getting into in the summer of 1966 when I was asked to be the "Junior Commodore” at the Yacht Club. I was actually too old for the job—I was 19—but someone wanted to get wholesome night time activities for the younger “teens. ”

I was to make arrangements for a “Teen Dance.”

This did not seem like a very good idea to me because the only live entertainer the Club had in those days was this guy named Ken Thompson. Ken Thompson was about a hundred years old. The oldsters never complained about Ken Thompson because he generally showed up pretty late on Saturday night after everybody had finished a few rounds.

In earlier years, Thompson used to try an Arthur Godfrey type “talent show” for kids. They were so bad that sometimes Thompson had to pull unwilling kids out of the Coca-Cola bar and make them do a song and dance.

But those shows had long died for lack of interest, so my thinking was that, by the summer of 1966, Saltaire teenagers had had no interest in old man Thompson pounding on an out- of- tune piano and singing “Let me call you Sweetheart” and “Edelweiss. ”

So I figured, if we want kids to come, let’s get a rock and roll band. A real one.

My talent scout was the older, more mature Drew Weinlandt, who went to Greenwich Village to track down a band willing to come out to Saltaire for a dance.

Drew calls me up on the phone all excited. He had gone to this coffee house in the Village called the “Night Owl” and saw a great band called "The Night People.” They were the backup band that summer at the Night Owl. The main attraction at the Night Owl in 1966 was the future Hall of Fame band Lovin' Spoonful, who had hit the charts big by then with “Daydream” and “Do You Believe in Magic.”

Drew was ecstatic with how well "The Night People" could cover “Do You Believe in Magic,” and he said that they would come out to Saltaire for a few hundred bucks for a night.

So arrangements were made for The Night People to come out on a Thursday night, July 28, 1966.

Suddenly a tide of concern arose among some senior members of the Yacht Club: who were these “Night People?” Is it a cult? What 'element' would they attract? What if the Club building’s foundation collapsed under the constant pounding beat of a Rock and Roll band and 150 kids stomping in unison?

I had to convince them that all would be OK. Fortunately, Norma Ervin was on our side and she pretty much calmed everyone down.

Thanks to Norma, the show would go on. July 28, 1966. But no outsiders. No Kismet, No Fair Harbor, no other “elements” were to be admitted. Only for “members and their guests” born prior to January 1, 1954.

So we sold every last ticket, but these guys never return our calls so we don’t know for sure if they are going to show until 6:00 on July 28, when they arrive at the terminal in Bay Shore, looking as raunchy as all get-out.

They had all kinds of heavy equipment: instruments, amplifiers, etc, all those things we told them they should have dropped off at the freight boat.
Capt. Al Skinner was pissed about having to carry the equipment on the Islander.

Meanwhile, back on the island, word of mouth had spread from Kismet to Lonleyville and all points between that there was gong to be a real Rock and Roll Band Saltaire that night.

Scores of teenagers from all over started showing up. The Village authorities and busybodies were taking note—and shocked to see — all kinds of unknown teenagers—especially girls—showing up outside the Yacht Club. Talk about the Magic of Rock and Roll.

Once they got to the Club and were setting up, the band members were pretty upset that people—especially girls—were being turned away.

But the show went on with a lot of non members peeking in through windows and eventually finding their way in.

And yes, the band did excellent covers of “Do You Believe in Magic,” British Invasion stuff like "Play with Fire," and R&R standards like “Walk the Dog, ” “G-L-O-R-I-A,” and “Summertime Blues,” but mostly they did their own stuff, which was heavy and raunchy. The volume shocked the oldsters—but the lyrics went right over their heads. The kids understood.

At a break halfway through the show, one of the band members told me to cancel the water taxi that we had promised to take them back after the show. It seems that they had all magically gained invites to stay on the Island overnight.

This caused my immediate consternation, because for the previous two hours I had been begging every sort of Yacht Club and Saltaire authority to not tar and feather these guys after the show. Now they were going to stay? In Saltaire??? “With our children?” somebody shrieked in dismay.

Fortunately, it turned out that the offers to stay were from about a dozen places in Kismet, Fair Harbor, Dunewood every place but Saltaire.
None of our Healthy, Happy Saltaire Youth would be violated

In reality, "The Night People" was a great band – and all went quite smoothly inside the club, and the kids – Saltairian or otherwise—loved it. And the building did not collapse. You just couldn’t peel the kids away from the Club that night. I would have invited "The Night People" back, but for the reaction of all the “grown ups.” We could have filled up the ball field if we brought them back.

About midnight, after the concert was over, I saw two of the band members walking along Lighthouse Prom headed for Fair Harbor. They had a dozen people carrying their equipment for them, rolling the amps on dollies, and, carrying the guitars and drums, the whole bit. It looked like a medieval traveling show.

This was 1966--a couple of years after the Beatles had landed—and it was clear that this craze was not going away soon, regardless of what the oldsters hoped. You really could believe this was magic

Do you believe in magic in a young girl's heart
How the music can free her, whenever it starts
And it's magic, if the music is groovy
It makes you feel happy like an old-time movie
I'll tell you about the magic, and it'll free your soul
But it's like trying to tell a stranger 'bout rock and roll

-- J. Sebastian

Mary Campbell said...
Loved this story about the Big Teen Dance!I doubt I was there, as I was born post-January '54. On the other hand, I do have memories of being on the outside looking in. So, that's probably where I was...outside jockeying to look through the windows.Those were the days, weren't they? When life's biggest worry was what you were going to wear to the Big Dance!
November 20, 2008 12:50 PM
Mary Campbell, Les Gowan 1977??
click on imae to enlarge
photo courtesy Girlmonkey

Nov 25, 2012
AnonymousMary Campbell said...

Loved this story about the Big Teen Dance!

I doubt I was there, as I was born post-January '54.

On the other hand, I do have memories of being on the outside looking in. So, that's probably where I was...outside jockeying to look through the windows.

Those were the days, weren't they? When life's biggest worry was what you were going to wear to the Big Dance!
November 20, 2008 12:50 PM

AnonymousJO'H said...
Mary Campbell:

I am sure you were there peeking through the Yacht Club windows-- any person with a pulse was out there-- unless your parents locked you in your room and forbade you to come out.
November 20, 2008 2:40 PM

Bloggercosmo said...
That's definately Leslie Gowan. I was out with her and her husband Jack last night.
December 4, 2008 8:06 AM

11-25-12 Susan Chadburn, of Fair  Harbor remembers that night tooBloggerCafe Wha Reunion said...
I was one of the uninvited from Fair Harbor. The drummer Bob Mason, and guitarist/lead singer Alan Musgrave stayed at my place that night. Later, Debbie McGlam dated Bob and I, Alan. Jill Gill's mother's helper dated Paul. I moved to the village in September 66 and worked at the Cafe Wha?..I remained good friends with the band. All the boys were from Brown University.
The drummer, Bob Mason and guitarist, Alan Musgrave stayed at my house that night. Later, Debbie McGlam dated Bob and I, Alan. Jill Gill's mother's helper Ann dated Paul. I moved to the village that summer and worked at the Cafe Wha? The guys and I remained friends for a long time. They were all from Brown University.
Susie Chadburn...Fair Harbor
11-27-12 JOH: Holy cow.  Drew Weinlandt went to Brown. I don't remember that he told me that was where he knew them from.  I remember him telling me that he saw them at the Night Owl that summer.  --JO'H

At any rate, the last time the aforesaid  Bob Mason and Alan Musgrave were seen in Saltaire was that night with all those kids roling their instruments down towards Fair Harbor.