Art's Corner - Letters From Guests

From Deb Lawlor of Lynbrook

My name is Deborah Lawlor (Moran) and I have lived in Lynbrook my entire
life. I was born in Brooklyn in 1952 and my folks (Irene and Francis)
along with my maternal grandparents bought a house here on the corner of
Vincent Ave and Wanut St. in 1954. I still live here with my husband and
recent college grad son.

I recall a supermarket on Merrick Rd with big windows where the Astoria Bank is now.....not sure if it was Grand Union or Food Fair, but my grandparents would take me there and I would "plant myself" on the "horsey" inside the store that you would put quarters in while they shopped for groceries. I attended Our Lady of Peace school from 1958 to 1966 and can recall when they were just adding the 2nd floor of the school when I was in about the third grade.

I recall Grants with it's wavy floors and was even able to have lunch at Woolworths
lunch counter with my baby son in his stroller and my Mom before it
closed in the 90s.I also recall the "other" movie theater in Lynbrook,
the Arcade Theater on Atlantic Avenue. 

Wasn't there a restaurant on Atlantic Ave called The Village Green ???  Does anyone   remember John's Bargain Store on Sunrise Highway and the A&P  nearby ?  We would use Herren-Rogers Travel Agency where you could walk through into Meadowbrook Bank on the corner of Atlantic and Sunrise a Karaoko Suits. Our neighbors were Pauline and Merrill Steiner and he had a kosher butcher shop in Lynbrook. Also, Dilbert's Big Ben where Cross Island Fruit now stands. So many memories.


From Bernice Silberman Greenberg:

We moved to Lynbrook in 1930, I was five years old and my sister was a one-
year old.  We moved from Brooklyn because the rents were too high.  We 
lived in a two family corner house on Winter St. and Nieman Ave.  My 
family lived in the upstairs apartment, my Aunt and Uncle and three 
daughters lived in the larger downstairs apartment.  The house had 
originally been owned by a very wealthy family who lost their money in 
1929 and had to give it up.

On the corner of Merrick Road and Nieman Ave. there was a very large, 
empty Casino called the Chateau Madrid.  It had been abandoned when 
Lynbrook became a "dry" town.  It was our play house.  All the kids in 
the neighborhood played in the "haunted" house.  The property was 
bought by the Catholic Church and today the Church stands on the 
corner where the gambling casino stood in the '20's and 30's.

The woods and a creek at the end of Winter Street was our favorite 
hideout.  We collected pollywogs from the creek in the summer.  We 
took a "short cut" to the Village and the Lynbrook Movie Theater.  
Every Saturday afternoon we went to the movies.  A double feature, the 
news, a serial with Gene Autry, and an amateur show, where kids in the 
theater would perform for prizes, all this for five cents.
At night, the adults were given a dish each week to add to a set of 
dishes, as enticement to spend twenty-five cents for admission to the 

I attended West End Elementary School and can remember the names of 
all my teachers from the first grade to the eighth grade.  I attended 
Lynbrook High School and graduated in June 1941.  I lived in Lynbrook 
on Curtis Place until I went to college.


 From Christopher Barnes - Hancock, NH

     I'm not sure how to start this, so I'll jump right in.  As near as I can tell, my family lived at 109 Charing Cross in 1936-41.  We children took part in singing activities with an organization called, "Lillian M. Quinlan's Juvenilles." I remember the name because it is part of the "theme song":

We are the juvenilles /  Lillian M. Quinlan's Juvenilles. / We love to sing and play / A rat-a-tat. A trat-a-tat-tat, / We're on our way ...

    Thankfully, that's all I can remember, but it gives a flavor of the times.  I know we sang on the radio at least once, and before live audiences.  The  reason I am writing is:  does anyone out there have any information they can share about this group?  Send a note to Art at, and also to me at

Sincerely yours,



I have to share this story with you.  I'm 47 now and I lived in Far Rockaway from age 5 to 17.  When I was a teen, I had some problems and bought some wine and sat on the shoreline drinking and feeling sorry for myself.  I listened to the waves rolling in one after another until it just blended as one continuous roll.  There I was in all my misery, and the waves--suddenly they sounded like a roomful of people laughing.  I swear this is true!!  I felt like the ocean was laughing at me, and I felt so stupid!!!

     Years later I read about the history of the Rockaway Indians and Rokawanhaka, which means "Our Place of Laughing Waters", when I was doing some research in the Queensboro Public Library in Jamaica.  What a chill that sent down my spine.  I knew exactly what they were talking about!!!  




     I don't know if I have anything much worthwhile to add, but I am wracking my brain to remember.  I was born in Lynbrook in 1933, and attended Marion St. School, East Rockaway  (1938-44).   We played a game called "territory" in the schoolyard.  You drew a square and halved it.  Then you tried to throw your pocketknife into your opponent's half, and if you did (if it stuck in blade first), you got to draw a straight line through it and erase the old boundary.  When you could no longer get three fingers in your territory, you had lost.  I remember going to Kuckens Brothers grocery store, then across the street to buy penny candy (an agonizing process).  It seems to me that on some of my wanderings I passed the Henri Charpentier Restaurant, derelict and forlorn, closed in 1930, I have read.  Every Saturday morning I went to the double feature (plus news and a serial) at the Arcade Theater, for a dime.  During the WWII, they put an amusement tax on movie tickets and when I got there one Saturday, they wanted 11 cents, which I did not have.  Ah the tragedies of youth!  Went back to visit Marion St. school a few years ago, and it is still beautiful and as I remember it.  But all the vacant lots where we used to play, and all the woods, seemed to be gone.  My family moved to Orange County when my father feared German submarines lurking off the coast of Long Island, in 1944.

    Does anyone know the location of Kuckens Brothers?  If I knew, I'd have my orientation back. 

Gerry Dobson

Art got two answers to Gerry's question.  Here they are:

Hi,my name is Craig Kuckens and I read where there was a question about the store my grandfather Henry and his two brothers Matt and Frank had on Atlantic Avenue in Lynbrook. All are gone now except dad who lives in Sarasota,Fla. He also worked at the store and graduated from Lynbrook High. I have a few great pictures if the old store which opened about 1908. Would like to hear any stories about the store or any info that you can pass on.

Thanks.    Craig

I was just reading some of the letters and someone asked about Kuckens brother's store- my granfather was henry Kuckens- all 3 brothers (Matt, Frank) have passed on but my Dad-Jack Kuckens lives in Sarasota Fl and will be 81 in Feb- the location of Kuckens Brothers Store was Carmen and Atlantic Avenues-St Raymond's Church bought land and built there in late 1950's.

Candace Kuckens DiPietro



My name is Pamela Fregeau. I was born in Long Beach hospital in March of 1950, and my family was already living in their home at 8 Maiden Lane, Lynbrook, for approximately 3 years. Mom still lives there!

Lynbrook was so much fun back then. These was a "woods" and stream at the end of our "dead end" street. We were told by our parents NOT to go down there, so of course, we did! IT was loaded with berry bushes, and Hugh Trees! We would make small bridges out of big stones to cross the stream...dam it up to catch killies (bait) in, and even at times make "Tarzan" ropes for swinging over it! It was so thick you couldn't see two feet if you went off the places! <<< AND, by the way...I really DON'T recall seeing any RATS, either! >>> We just had so much FUN! At times, during huge rainfalls, it would swell up to the top! Once I fell in!

I recall the day "the curbs" arrived! Up until then, I could ride my bike up and down the sidewalks wherever I wished. But when the CURBS were built...that ended that. Then I needed to go through the driveways!

We, the kids on the block that is, all had this pet wild squirrel called HAPPY. All you had to do was call out "Happy", and there it would be! It was the friendliest, and loved to be FED! It must have been raised by some family at one time.

I can recall the smell of the linseed oil on the wooden planked flooring in "GRANTS"! I was in my stroller, referred to by my mom as my "kiddie car", I believe I recall Mom having to go up a step or two to get in to the store, and then they would go: ba boom, ba boom, the wheels rolled over them!

My first job was in the old Woolworth's! I recall going to work one day after school, and....the fire had destroyed it. I still have a pair of pearl earrings from there I bought at the center jewelry counter with my paycheck! I think they were $2.00!

I have so many more funny stories! They just go on, and on!

The smell of coffee being grounded in the old A&P. Our first trip to the "new Green Acres MALL". MAN, was it cold and windy there at first, when it was just one strip facing the Sunrise Hwy, if I recall correctly. Then it was two sided, and all open in-between. At least it stopped some of that WIND!

Well, thanks for the opportunity to share some with you.

Take care,

Pam Fregeau, East Meadow


Greetings again!

I believe Flossie [see L. J. Campbell's article below] was a "kissin' cousin" of mine. She passed a few years ago, I believe. She lived on the Hendrikson Avenue side of town. And I do recall the awful Seashell smell, too! The seashell streets, as I recall, were still in East Rockaway when I was still a child!

Again, thanks!



This is the last "recall" to you tonite...promise.!

My grandfather worked for Reingold Breweries for 40 years. Do you recall when they moved INTO Lynbrook?

thanks, Pam


Oh gosh...I REALLY promise this IS IT!

Fred Pearsall, at 10 Maiden Lane, and his family, Scottish, were our next door neighbors. I recall they had flaming Red hair, and he could wiggle his ears!!! Were they direct decendants of the original Pearsalls? His son, I believe, still lives in Lynbrook.

thanks, Pam

Lynbrook's Sea Shell Streets

by Louise J. Campbell

     If we travel back to the 1920's in Lynbrook we find a lovely piece of local history. This wonderful story was shared with me years ago by Flossie Beyer, who lived here for many years.

     Flossie's family moved from the "City" to Lynbrook back in the early 1920's when so many city-dwellers were making the trek to the "country" here in our Village. At that time our local population had reached about 8,000 residents and Shorty the Cop had begun his beat at the Five Corners. The 1920's was also the decade when Lynbrook High School was built, the Montauk branch of the Long Island Rail Road was electrified, the Municipal Building was constructed on Merrick Road, and Sunrise Highway was completed. In other words, this was a very "busy" time in Lynbrook. The population had doubled in less than five years as well.

     So it was in that timeframe and into that community that Flossie and her family had moved. As you might imagine it was very different at that time. Flossie told me that the streets back then were not paved. According to her, "The roads consisted of a mixture of dirt and loads of seashells." With a smile Flossie explained that the roads were just fine during the winter months, however, when the summer arrived it was a different story. As Flossie said, "You didn't need an alarm clock to wake you up after the cold weather ended because once the hot summer sun hit the seashells, the smell was absolutely horrible. There was no way to sleep and you had no choice but to wake up!"

     Whenever I repeat Flossie's marvelous story, I usually entitle it "She SMELLS Sea Shells". And Flossie always laughed at that. History can be wonderful and people like Flossie helped make it that way.

     If you have a "story" that you'd like to share, please e-mail us at this website and let us know what "history" you have to tell us.  We would love to hear from you!

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