Ode to Rockaway
By Beth Hanning
Someone from work once asked me, “How can you live in such a small town and everyone knows your business?” I responded at the time that I loved it! I loved calling St. Francis de Sales as a parent and Phyllis Lograno knew my voice immediately and said, “Okay Beth, I will take care of that for you.” I also loved calling Doctor Galvin‘s office and speaking to either the late Mrs. Shaw, Mrs. Burke or Mrs. Galvin, the doc’s wife! Those women knew when I was calling, I was sick and needed to see the doctor. They would say, “What time can you run over?” If it was a later time than they had thought, the doc would wait for me! Now I have to call Northwell and press buttons to speak to a human and hope they have an appointment for me. (They are very nice but it is just not the same!)
I also love when I call various restaurants to order food, the person answering the phone sometimes knows me! Where else does this happen? Maybe on the television show “Cheers” that ended 30 years ago this week!
But the reason that Rockaway will always have my heart is when we come together during trying times. In 1988, my mother got sick and died within two months of her diagnosis. I will never forget the outpouring of love from this town. Women from the neighborhood did all sorts of tasks for us: they stayed with my mother during the night so my dad could get some shut eye, they delivered all sorts of food and even took our wash to their own homes to do for us. A group of women even made sure that almost a year later, I had a fabulous prom dress. My mother died 35 years ago and some people still message me about remembering her and how she would be proud of her children.
And we do not only do these kind gestures for only people we know. When Anna O’Connor had the toy drive for the Ronald McDonald house, I could not believe the number of toys Anna collected. (Neither could my husband who complained about the tons of boxes cluttering the living room.) When I had the baby drive for an unwed mother organization, the woman called me after we hired a driver to bring an entire truck to her, and she could not believe what we had collected. Over the years, teacher friends have posted about their school needing supplies and we all chip in whatever can be done for students we have never met. I do not think I have ever heard about a town as community-orientated and generous as “The Rockaways.”
So, when we are all complaining about summer parking regulations, alternate side, the beach traffic, etc., just remember we live in what I think is the greatest area in the world!
Have a great Memorial Day Weekend everyone. Happy summer!
Have a topic: email me: Mrshanning308@gmail.com.