Growing Up in Long Beach
I was in the Class of 1959 from LBHS but most of my still dearest friends I met in 1951 as I entered 5th Grade in Central School. I was in the same class as Joel Crystal and "played" with the rabbits in his back yard with both of his younger brothers. Arthur Rosen, our 6th Grade teacher was probably the most influential person in my life. Before anyone recognized dyslexia, Mr. Rosen pointed out to me that I had a "habit" of reversing numbers. Because of this astute observation, I managed to get through Junior High and High School with straight A's in Math and ultimately earned my living as an Office Manager and Bookkeeper. He taught me to always check my numbers...and I did. I miss being able to walk all over town and not have to worry about leaving my key at home because we never locked the front door. I remember riding my bike all the way to Beach 32nd Street in Rockaway after the Atlantic Beach Bridge was built. The cost for bikes was 5 cents. I now have three grown sons and two grandchildren with another one on the way and I watch my oldest son being so concerned every time his 13 year old daughter walks out of the house. She is in 7th Grade and needs to be driven to and from school and all after-school activities. When we were in 7th Grade in Long Beach...we walked to the Laurel Theatre on Friday night...watched the movie, went to The Penguin for Ice Cream and then walked back home, without Adult supervision.
I miss the changing seasons, and the "general warmth of everyone I knew in town". The Class of '59 recently had a reunion and the general conclusion we came to "was that we didn't know a good thing when we had it". I could go on and on...but basically I consider myself "lucky" for having had the opportunity to grow up in Long Beach.
Barbara I. Winter