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Although it was 1944 and tire and gas rationing was in place since World War II started, merchants were concerned when the situation was expected to change once the war was over. They did not believe private garages were the solution.
Installing parking meters in more congested areas was one solution, and transportation czar Robert Moses scoffed at suggestions that the city set up a parking authority to run garages. Claiming the parking problem was “exaggerated” in Flushing, Jamaica and Long Island City by “impatient people,” he believed it should be solved by private enterprise.
Merchants disagreed. Herman Schneider, president of the Steinway Street Merchants Association, and Emil Spivak, of the Flushing Merchants Association, were indignant that Moses should dismiss their problems.
“I should like to take him on a tour of Flushing. I am sure he will change his mind,” said Spivak.
On July 10, a war bond auction was to take place from the stage of the RKO Keith’s Theatre. Abramson’s Department Store donated many of the prizes: a pressure cooker, alarm clocks, mattresses, irons, a carving set and blankets.
A special guest, Joe Shuster, co-creator of Superman, was on hand to auction off original comic strip drawings. Capt. Tim Healy of radio station WJZ was the auctioneer.
The Brewster Building in Queens Plaza was sold by the Brewster heirs to a Brooklyn builder. It was the largest real estate transaction of the year. It was built in 1910 when the firm moved from its old carriage factory at Broadway and 46th Street to larger quarters in Queens.
The firm was started in 1810 when James Brewster opened his horse carriage factory at New Haven, Conn. It moved to New York in 1907 to start an automobile coach business. The Brewster company also occupied a number of buildings in the area.
A recently custom built — 1939 — Norman manor at 125 Malba Drive was offered for sale. The house had a slate roof, eight rooms, four baths, a sundeck, a terrace, Bohemian glass tiled baths and a double garage. The property sat on 1 acre of tall trees and gardens. It was only 120 feet from the waterfront.
The asking price was $40,000.
On July 20, 1944, a newspaper featured a photograph with the caption “Big Hitters in Kiwanis League.” Donald Derle, Eddie Ford, Johnny Martin and Joseph Burges, who played with the 34th Avenue Varsity in the state Kiwanis League, were “hard hitters and are belting the apple for well over .300,” according to Director John Flood. The boys were scheduled for their game at Queens Park on 31st Avenue and 58th Street in Woodside as part of the weekly “quintripleheader.”
The photo shows a smiling 16-year-old Eddie Ford, who would go on to sign a contract three years later with the New York Yankees and would soon be given the nickname “Whitey” Ford.
A full plate of sports activities was offered across the borough. The Empire City was running at the Jamaica Race Track — first post at 1:30 p.m. — and for the more gentile, the state junior tennis championships were being held at the Bayside Tennis Club at 11 a.m.
On July 19, plans for a proposed Queens World War II memorial was unveiled for Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The striking building featured a beacon atop a bell tower. A court of honor included a chapel and smaller meeting rooms for veterans groups that did not have their own quarters.
For more information, call 718-278-0700 or visit astorialic.org.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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