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)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Ladies Circle

It would seem that the time has come to attempt to tell the story of 'The Ladies Circle' of Saltaire.  One of the last great members, Virginia O'Brien, recently passed, leaving Carol Mihaly as the last surviving member.

I must be very careful of the language I use to describe 'The Ladies Circle', for fear of offending.  I am loath to even name names, as, those that are included may take offense, as well as those that are not mentioned as members.

'The Ladies Circle' was a group of wives and mothers of my parents' generation, who sat together on the beach and discussed local matters.  This is where things get dicey.  As I recall, the group was predominantly very socially conservative, and religious.  It was always rumored that they discussed the behavior and demeanor of other residents of Saltaire.  Of course, I don't know what they actually discussed, as I certainly wasn't a member.  The closest I got to hearing the conversation was when I stopped to say hello to the Ladies, but they always stopped talking when I walked up. Perhaps they were always talking about me.  The general impression was that one did not want to be a subject of the conversations.

Now this gets into very dangerous territory.  Who were the members of 'The Circle'?  There was certainly a core group, consisting of Virginia O'Brien, Carol Mihaly, Pat Corrigan, Rita Connoly(?), Claire Marcus, Harriet Aherne...Then there was a group on the fringes, including my mother.  Who else?  This is why we have a blog.

Everyone should feel free to add names to the list, although the person who provides the name will be exposed.  Were they core members or on the fringes?  And what was really discussed.  Personally, I am afraid to ask, but it is our history.

Addendum- Grace Gallagher, Joan Gowan and Mary Fontantals were definitely on the list, and all still alive.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Thursday, January 12, 2017

FACES FROM THE FIFTIES: SALTAIRE PERSONALITIES AS SEEN THROUGH THE LENS OF BILL WEINLANDT



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:    http://saltaire38.blogspot.com/search?q=Labor+Day
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

1957

1957

1949

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:
http://saltaire38.blogspot.com/search?q=Baldwin

1957 



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.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Saltaire Memories: Labor Day

Tom Lyon was a smart city kid. He seemed to know about everything. In Saltaire, he would sit down in front of the Saltaire Sweet Shope or on the dock and read a whole stack of daily newspapers. Sometimes he would fight with his sister Laurie about who would get the sports sections first and who would get the news sections.

Tom would come up with critiques of and pithy quotes from that morning's observations by Arthur Krock, or John Drebinger’s report of what happened last night with the Yankees. When we were kids, Tom must have picked out a thousand newspaper articles for us to read and talk about.

And the Yankees ... Tom could tell you what the Sporting News was saying about the latest Yankees streak, or how many home runs Babe Ruth hit at the Stadium in 1927.

At any rate, it was Labor Day, September 7, 1964. The annual awards ceremony was over, and people were starting to roll their wagons packed and ready to go down Broadway to the dock. In those days, the season pretty much ended at Labor Day.

Tom is sitting there in front of the Sweet Shoppe, and he says "you should read this story.”

It was an essay about Labor Day from that morning’s Times. I read it, and I figure I have read it again almost every Labor Day since. No great shakes, that essay. Tom wasn’t sentimental that way. His sentimentality had more of a Holden Caufield edge to it.

But I read it because I think of Tom sitting there reading that paper, that day at the end of that summer.
There would be more summers for Tom. But not many. I still think of Tom sitting there.

Then I think of the millions of stories over that vast expanse of time that Tom never got to read, that he never got to talk about, laugh about
, make sarcastic remarks about. I still think of Tom...

---JO'H




So for what it's worth: here is the article Tom told me to read:

_______________________________________
TOPICS

End of Summer

It's gone it now, the whole thing. That's all there is, there isn't any more. It seemed just a moment ago when, on a Memorial Day Beach the summer stretched ahead to a rockets a flight beyond infinity. Obviously this was not so. The seashell held to the ear that day sang a gay lyric based on sunshine, sparkling water -- and all the time in the world. Hold that shell today and it weeps with sadness and is dour with foreboding. Good-bye to the beach, which to all intents and purposes today is turned back to the gulls. Farewell to the clams and the driftwood fires, to the castles and the fishermen and the legend of the singing sand. This holds that to walk over it when the tide is right will compress it in such a way as to sound like a song. The tide was right that day the summer started, the result having a lilt like something composed by Meredith Wilson for 76 trombones. Today the tide is all wrong. Today is Labor Day and the end of summer. Good-bye.


Lake and Mountain

Farewell to the lake and to the mountain just behind it. Under a late May sky the water was deep blue and the mountain a brilliant green, and the scene cried for a painter to record it. Today there is something bleak about the sky, and an occasional dab of red and brown disfigures the green, like careless spatterwork. No artist would care to touch it today, now at the end of summer. Good-bye. Farewell to the trout at the bottom of the stream and that bass the bottom of the lake and to the loon that makes its home near where stream and lake join together. Back in May the call the old fellow made could be recorded as a cheerful salute to the season, although this could stretch the imagination somewhat. Today, there can be no question about the call. It is rude, sardonic, and it spells out its message -- you're going back where you came from, and good riddance.

The Winding Road

Farewell to the dirt roads which lead to picturesque hamlets and pretty, cared-for farms. Back at the end of May, the spirit was adventurous and it took no more than a touch of the wheel to leave the superhighway world and find a better one. A whole new country opened. Roads were found which followed the natural course of roads -- beside the natural course of streams -- the best of them not even on the wavering thin blue lines on the road maps. On Memorial Day it seemed right to plan an entire summer away from the highways, but good-bye to that. Farewell to lanes going through buttercup meadows, and the brooks lined with weeping willows, the lanes on which twice a day the herds of cows have the right of way. Good-bye to the road stand with box-top counter, where sweet corn is still warm from the sun and practically given away by a proprietor or honestly glad and to see you. Farewell to the country store. Of recent years these have sprung up everywhere, vending atmosphere along with antiques, but they are imitative, not real. The real ones are on the back roads which, starting in late May, went everywhere. Tonight, going home, they will lead but to the superhighway at the end of summer. Good-bye.

Farewell to It All.

Goodbye to the weekend, which never is quite long enough, of course, but is the next best thing to the official vacation. Farewell to tennis and golf and the rocking chair on the hotel porch and the hammock beneath the tree. In late May it was possible to itemize all the worthwhile books which would be read in that hammock, but today the fact must be faced that "War and Peace" has suffered its usual postponement until another summer. Farewell to the little carnival, set out for a week in the town's dusty lot -- about the only relic left of the great circus tradition. Farewell to watermelon, held in the hand and not on plates, and grilled chicken drumsticks, served minus forks, and peanut butter sandwiches seasoned with just the right pinch of fine white sand. Farewell to the summer. Late last May it seemed likely that even the office time clock would cooperate, by slowing its hands or stopping them altogether. That was just an illusion, so recognized now. Instead of stopping on the sunny hours, the hands of all clocks everywhere moved forward like lightning, to reach today. Good-bye.


New York Times
Septemer 7, 1964

Friday, October 30, 2015


It’s with a heavy heart that I let you know what my brother Richard Campbell passed away yesterday morning. 
Here’s a picture of Richard, his late wife, Marie and their children, Michael and Kathryn (and their dog, Sheldon).   I think it was taken in about 2004 as they were waiting on the dock to head back to Bay Shore.


Squeeze the ones you love today,
Jean Campbell



------------------------------------------------------
Jim O'Hare notes:
I remember him. It was yesterday....  No, I am wrong. It was more than fifty years ago--Just seems like yesterday.
Richard Campbell, just  a kid when the Campbells were new to Saltaire never stopped talking about the super Garden City Pool and its diving board.
And how he never stopped diving off the Saltaire Diving board, doing flips and cannonballs and things. After the lifeguards had gone for the day. 
Or was that yesterday?

JO'H
Look back on time with kindly eyes
He doubtless did his best
How softly sinks his trembling sun
In human nature's west.
-Emily Dickinson