It's A Beautiful Life
Here's Some Random Photos Of Everyday Life In The Mastics Through The Years
Contributed by some the fine folks out there who I like to call "My Knappsters"
KICKING THINGS OFF !
Life was beautiful on Baybright Drive in 1950 for the Vitellaro's. Here is Dan surrounded by his 4 children Sal, Angel, 3 year old twins Gerry & Kenny and two nephews in the stripes Sal & Al Vitellaro. Baybright Dr which is now in the area called Shirley was called Mastic Acres then. Electricity was just arriving after three or four years of doing without. The only one who looks troubled here is Kenny perhaps 'cause football was not his game? There's more on the Vitellaro Family here
BACKYARD SHOWER ON LAKEVIEW DRIVE
George Tzoucalis hosing down his brother in law Frank Schylick. Notice the barrel for flushing out the outboard motor and the wooden ice box.
Dogs Don't Read "NO DIVING" Signs
UP THE CREEK ? ...... NO....
Captain Phil Van Tassel taking his cousin Helene of South Ozone Park and school chum George Borstcheller DOWN Pattersquash creek. Bayview Hospital was just beyond those trees.
CAROL MESSINETTI ...... FOREVER SPRING
At her husband Pat and brother Mike's Landmark Service Station on the 5 Corners
AT THE LAGOON 1947
"Uncle Charlie" & his nephew Mickey Tzoucalis & Mickeys Dad's 1932 Plymouth. If this is December of 1947 I'm just 6 months old in the hospital in Queens and battling pneumonia.
"DONUTS ON DAHLIA DR. 1958"
Phil Van Tassel is about to take Christine out by of his freshly shoveled driveway for a few easy donuts on Dahlia Dr . The fact that there was a fictional Plymouth named "Christine" and a non fictional career in law enforcement for Phil in the future has nothing to do with the caption or does it?
FANNIE'S circa 1955
Staying warm in winter was as easy as heading down to Fannies for a few games.
The Cardamone's who owned it had their own pro bowler in the family, Andy Varipapa who would show up now and then for exhibitions
BUT COME SUMMERTIME.... IT'S BACK TO THE BEACH
SMITH POINT BEACH BEFORE THE BRIDGE
Ever The Promoter Walter T. Shirley could gather a crowd... Hold A Bathing Beauty Contest! All These folks had to come by Ferry, Boat, or Wade across Narrow Bay (just swim the channel)
AND HERE'S ONE FOR THE ROAD
er Creek ..... actually the Lagoon
Did I ever mention I grew up on the South Lawn Of The Knapp Estate ?...... Which Was Waterfront ....
Capt George Tzoucalis taking the family cruising on the "Lady Anne" 1966
Thanks to : Kenny Vitellaro, Charlie Tzoucalis, Carolyn Capel, Phil Van Tassel, Gary Messinetti, Marty Van Lith and Van Field for sending in the photos....... GOT ANY IN YOUR CLOSET OR ATTIC?.....SEND THEM HERE....
AND WAIT BEFORE YOU GO SAILING OFF .....LISTEN TO THIS !
1946 Melody Cruiser Radio
My grandparents The Walter Josephs, who lived as far south as you could on McKinley Drive without building your bungalow in the swamp, had one of these Melody Cruisers on the mantle of their artificial fireplace. The song you are about to hear come out "Its A Beautiful Life" by a a duo named Fisher was released only yesterday April 26, 2005 and in my mind perfectly represents what is on this page in photos. You may get a real case of Deja Vu when you hear it as part of it has been used in a national commercial...but trust me you never heard it like this unless perhaps you lived when I did in the Mastics. Hats off to Kathy Fisher for a beautiful song!
Butchie & Me coming out of the Lagoon 1960