“Fight when we are right,” has been my mantra over these nine decades.
Yes, a life spent battling I have lived. Whether it was the Japanese in the Pacific during Word War II, or the crooks on Mermaid Avenue in the 1970s, or the politicians on the steps of City Hall or on the pages of the Brooklyn Graphic in the 1980s, or on this new-fangled website where many of you read me today, my life has been one clash after another.
But I always have — and will continue to — fight when I am right. To, as this column is titled, “Speak Out.”
So what’s on my mind? Coney Island, of course, whose rise and fall and forever re-invention I come back to time and time angain.
Why? Because it lives and breathes inside me, and I know how great it was — and I know how great it can be again.
So our latest mayor, the one with the deepest pockets of them all, says he has a plan, and wants to see it through, forcing it down the throats of the people who just want to enjoy their playground.
But his idea of re-invention is too modern for my olde-tyme tastes — a plastic and cement Boardwalk to replace our beloved wood.
How can we dream, for the future after this reign has strained away too much of its once beautiful dignity?
This column comes from the heart of a guy who was born in South Dakota, who came to New York at 3 years of age and still remembers the aroma of the freshly cut lumber on the Boardwalk on beautiful fall evenings when the ocean breezes wafted across the fresh wood — a greeting from the King Neptune like no river, no lake — a gift from God, ignored by a man who came to us with hope, and bad ideas.
This is Lou Powsner.
America's columnist, Lou Powsner has been writing for the Brooklyn Graphic since the 1970s. His column appears twice a month on BrooklynDaily.com.