10/15/19 10:00am

REPORTER FILE PHOTO
This week, Mr. Lomusico reflects on stumbling across a vintage Cushman mother scooter.

Have you ever noticed how a scent, a taste, a sight or a sound can dredge up memories from the distant past?

Well I had such an experience a few weeks ago.

You see I get notices each day in my email about classic cars for sale. The one that’s singled out is called the “Pick of the Day” and lots of information about it is presented. So one morning when I looked at my pick, it was not a car but a 1940s Cushman motor scooter. And it was red. I don’t think they were made in any other color. The scooter was in Texas and the seller was asking a few thousand dollars for it.

I immediately started to think back to a late October day when a couple of friends and I were able to get one for $15. It was at a junk yard in Brooklyn and the year was 1959. It did not come with the registration. That was $15 more, which we were supposed to pay a week later. So we pushed the scooter through the streets to my friend Joe’s garage behind his house. His father had recently died and no one in his family ever went into the garage. Safe place to hide the scooter. And also a good place to get it cleaned up and running. And this scooter was red.

So we spent afternoons cleaning the spark plug and carburetor and polishing up the body. We put in fresh gas and kick started it. It fired right up. But where could we ride it? We were only 15 and it could not be driven on the street. So we thought of a place nearby which everyone referred to as the “Creek.”

This was an inlet of Jamaica Bay bisected by the Belt Parkway that was empty — lots of rolling sand hills and grasses and with a large selection of wildlife. There were rabbits and ducks and pheasants. Many kids would go there with bows and arrows. But that did not interest us at the time. We wanted to blast around the hills at speeds of 20 or 30 miles per hour and feel the wind and just be cool.

On the next day off from school we wheeled the scooter from Joe’s house to the “Creek” and spent most of the day riding. It was very exciting. We took turns behind the handlebars until we ultimately ran out of gas. Time to get the scooter back to Joe’s house.

While pushing it back, a police car pulled up next to us. We explained where we were going. At first everything seemed O.K. until he asked for the registration. We explained about our purchase plan and that the junk yard dealer still held the papers. We had to get into the police car and go to the precinct. A tow truck came for the scooter. Perhaps it was stolen, they thought.

I remember suggesting that they give us the $15 balance and we could go and get the registration. They did not buy my plan.

Ultimately parents got involved (except for Joe whose mother had just lost her husband and she had a bad heart and might not be able to handle the stress).

The owner of the junk yard was found. His yard was in another precinct. And he hauled the “restored” scooter back to his yard.

I don’t remember what happened to the $15 we had chipped in to get the scooter initially.

06/28/19 10:00am

JOHN KRAUS PHOTO | Bill Gordh will lead the annual Children’s Service, titled ‘Echoes of Caring,’  at historic Union Chapel on Sunday, June 30 at 10:30 am.

Bill Gordh: Educator, master storyteller and banjoist

The annual Children’s Service, titled “Echoes of Caring,” will take place at historic Union Chapel on Sunday, June 30 at 10:30 am. Bill Gordh designed and will lead the service for the fourth year. People of all ages are encouraged to attend, with or without children.

(more…)

10/12/17 10:00am
COURTESY PHOTO

COURTESY PHOTO

EVENTS

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12

Book in the woods, through October read pages of “Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn” on half-mile Mashomack Preserve trail. Adult must accompany children. Call for details (631) 749-4219.

Voter registration, for library budget vote. 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Library, upper level. (more…)

Featured Story
08/12/15 8:03am
AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO A corner of the attic at Sylvester manor, where slaves and indentured servants  families were quartered.

AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO A corner of the attic at Sylvester Manor, where slaves and indentured servants were quartered.

In the stifling attic of rough boards, the afternoon sunlight caught etchings of sailing ships on a wooden beam near a narrow window.

You could see a progression in the work, from a suggestion of a ship to finely drawn images of sails and intricate renderings of ropes and riggings. In the airless August heat, just under the roof of Sylvester Manor, the etchings spoke of an indentured boy’s need for expression and freedom. (more…)

Featured Story
05/22/15 12:00pm
COURTESY HOWARD JACKSON Howard Jackson’s military identification card from 1944 when he was 19.

COURTESY HOWARD JACKSON
Howard Jackson’s military identification card from 1944 when he was 19.

It took months and covered continents.

Beginning in southern Italy, the voyage moved through Egypt, North Africa, Newfoundland, Connecticut, Texas, through eight more states until the long homecoming ended at the front door of a house in the Nassau County town of Hewlett. (more…)