July 14, 2006
Back in May of 2001, I received a letter from Sue Carol Nussbaum asking whether the Rockaway web site would be interested in posting letters from Laurelton and Rosedale Alumni. As a result of her desire to create a forum for memories of Laurelton, I added a Laurelton page on to the Rockaway Site. Since that time, I have received hundreds of heartfelt letters about Laurelton, and it is obvious that the memories are still vivid after so many years. As with the Rockaway web site, the Laurelton page helped to reunite many long lost friends and for this I am truly grateful.
Last week I sent a note to those who had posted letters on the Laurelton page and I asked for donations to help keep the site going. I am happy to report that many of you responded and as a result of your contributions, I was able to purchase a domain name and server space to create a web site just for Laurelton. The address of the new Laurelton web site is www.laureltonnewyork.net.
Please take a look when you get a chance. Much of it is still under construction but I hope that it will continue to grow just as the Rockaway web site has grown. If you have any photos or memories of Laurelton, please send them to me at email@example.com and I will be happy to post them.
Below is Sue's original letter that started everything. Unfortunately, she passed away in June of 2005. But her Laurelton legacy carries on. To view a tribute to her, please click here.
Okay, here goes:
Where are all the train riders? Where are those of us who stood on the platforms of Laurelton and Rosedale stations and waited for the Long Island Railroad to take us to school?. Where are those of us, who had our own culture, the culture of P.S. 156, and Merrick Road, later to become Merrick Blvd? What happened to those of us who made the choice to go to Far Rockaway and opt for the train instead of the bus to Andrew Jackson High School, thus sublimating ourselves to the overwhelming culture of the Rockawayites? Even now, as I log onto the site, it is overwhelmingly of the Rockaways, the public schools they attended, the shops they frequented and the friends they made.
Let's hear about what happened to that vibrant culture, the kids from Laurelton, who went to Chung's Chinese restaurant and Safran's delicatessen and the Woolworths on the corner of 129th street and Merrick Road. How many remember going to Jamaica to the Valencia theater, with it's fantastic sky-like ceiling filled with stars and clouds, or for our first part time jobs in Macy's or the many shops along Jamaica Ave? Who among you remember the "Itch," our Laurelton movie house and meeting friends there? Is anyone as old as I am who can remember when the Bee Line bus ran along Merrick Road, before it became a Blvd, and the city busses ran on it? Does anyone out there remember Walter's taxi or Marder's pharmacy, and who among you can tell me what happened to P.S. 156, where I made my first friends? Where are you all? I remember Laurelton, and my Irish, German, and Jewish friends as the great melting pot of my youth. I remember going to St. Claire's church in Rosedale with my Catholic friends, because Laurelton didn't have one Catholic church.
I brag about my childhood with anyone who will listen, but where have you all gone?
BTW, I graduated from P.S. 156 in June of 1946. I know it's a long time ago, but there must be some of my classmates a) who are still living, and b) who have learned to use a computer. Let's hear it for Laurelton. We were always in the minority, but that doesn't mean we should remain invisible.
Sue Carol Ludacer (Nussbaum, Ragland) Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sue's desire was that any responses to her letter be sent to me at email@example.com and I will post them on this site. Thank you Sue, and thanks to all of you who contributed both financially as well as with your photos and memories.
FRHS Class of 1963