FEB 15, 1959
A New Ground Hog Day?
It never was a really big story, even in our hometown and the fact that it drew nearly half of us out of our homes to watch that Sunday afternoon and well into the night. That's because a three story mansion makes for a big fire and it could be seen for miles around, coaxing folks to get in their cars and drive over to the bright orange winter sky like moths to see what the heck was going on. For most in Mastic Beach, it was long forgotten about by the time the tall grass had grown over the plowed under rubble and ashes of what remained on the three and half acres. True it did make the local papers that week. The Moriches Tribune that came out on Thursday February 19,1959 actually ran a few pictures that I would love to find in usable condition. It's sister publication The Patchogue Advance carried the text of the Tribune story and I swear on Dodi Knapp's grave, that at least one daily, most likely the defunct Long Island Press, ran it in their paper (most likely in the Suffolk Edition) with a photo of how the Knapp Mansion looked in its better days, Even here on this website, the story of the actual mansion fire was only a few paragraphs in my original " The Mansion" story in the Buzz & Pee Wee section. Yet in retrospect it was that fire that sparked everything else that was to come and is still coming seven years later. My research looking into who the Knapps were, the way the Mastics area was during the first half of the 20th century, and the three books I hope to finish " The Knapps Lived Here" Buzz & Pee Wee Butchie & Me and & "The Mastic's .... From Blue Blood To Blue Collar" before I'm history too .
For most of the past seven years, I have usually put something on here on the anniversary of the fire (The links to the past pages will be on the bottom) I think I didn't last year and this year I thought I would just let it pass again without mentioning it. After all it's like how one comedian (his name escapes) me reviewed the BIG 2006 remake of the King Kong movie on Letterman or The Daily Show... "Big Monkey In The Jungle, He Climbs The Empire State Building, Falls Off It ...no need to drag it out over three hours!",,,,,, (much less seven years for a little fire) But yesterday,Valentine's Day, 2007, I Googled the date "Feb 15, 1959" just for grins and holy smoke!....... The very top result out 2,370 other things Google has for that date was this entry..........
|"Sunday Feb 15 1959 Sunday afternoon, about 4 PM eastern time, marks 45 years to the exact day that I witnessed along with my brother Butch and our friend Doug Percoco, ...www.geocities.com/dodiknapp/Feb1504.html - 28k - Cached - Similar pages|
That got me to thinking about what else was going on in the world that day. By looking into the "Old Grey Lady" The New York Times for Sunday Feb 15, 1959 , I can now seriously suggest we move Ground Hog Day to Feb 15th 1959 or at least do a remake of the Bill Murray movie with that date. But no need to take my word for it..... Some of it is like re arranging deck chairs on the Titanic and some strongly suggests the term ..... "SLOW LEARNERS"
Here's are a few for you to Deja Vu to from 48 years ago today ..........