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Astoria Park

2650 31 Victor bike hellgate bridge copy

There was a recent article in the NY Times about the park. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/14/nyregion/pool-built-for-the-people-6200-at-a-time.html

I swam here as a kid in 1967. It cost .25 cents. We went nearly everyday in the summer to cool off. I was 16 and took John 11 years old. I don’t remember if Eric came along or not, he was probably too little. We were allowed to wander around unescorted. There were no cell phones, and we could have been snatched. But those were days before Etan Patz and no one thought anything about letting kids run loose. After the 50 cents to get in, I probably didn’t have a dime. No ID, nothing… it was truly a time of innocence.

Your mom and I had a very early date here. We spent the afternoon in the park. She had just cut her hair really really short. And I got a picture where she put a pencil under her nose as a joke. It didn’t matter. She was beautiful then, as she is now. 0452 36 Lisa pencil copy

We (your mom and I) rode past the park when we did the five borough bike tour. There’s a picture of me with the Hellgate Bridge in the background holding my bike over my head that your mom took. The bike that I’m holding was lost by David’s friends when he loaned it to them (without my permission).

I lived in Astoria twice. I was born here and then we moved back in 1967-68. The Olympic trials were held in this pool around 1964 and my dad was around to swim with the Olympic hopefuls. He was fast enough for them to take notice… so he said.

Julia ran a big track meet here. I was there to take pictures of her under the Triborough Bridge. The Columbia Grammar Team won the relay. Julia was the starter of the relay, like I often was when I ran track. Go girl, get the lead and let the rest of the team bring it on home.
2924 34 Julia track start copy
Your mom and I rode over the same Triborough Bridge during the 5 borough bike tour. I’d been to the park hundreds of times and driven over the bridge too many times to count. But I only rode over it on a bike once.

Yeah, there are a lot of memories wrapped up around this park.

One response

  1. I loved this post, Victor. It made me smile. Wonderful family. And, they’re fortunate that Dad always had his camera ready. 🙂

    August 17, 2013 at 2:13 am

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