Return to Fairyland
To the Editor:
I thoroughly enjoyed the Return to Fairyland piece by Lorraine Sciulli. My Mother, who recently passed, used to tell me about Fairyland and I could only ever find minimal information (and pictures) about it on the Internet. When I saw the wonderful cover of the Juniper Berry at Pioneer Supermarket I smiled thinking of my Mom. I was born in 1970 and it was all gone by then.
A related interest of mine is the Queens Center Mall and how it looked in the 70s and 80s when I grew up around there. It’s another topic that I can’t seem to find any pictures of. There seems to be no photos of the old black marble fountains, etc. and I would love to see some. This seems to be of interest to quite a few people judging from the amount I see inquiring about such a photo memory on the Internet. I just wanted to see if this would interest your publication, of which now I have become a big fan.
Thanks again for a wonderful memory fully realized and beautifully presented by Ms. Sciulli in your fantastic publication.
For years I’ve been looking for something on Fairyland! Finally someone put something out on it!! Thank you, Thank you, so much for the Fairyland issue! For years I’ve been dying to find any articles about the amusement park, to no avail.
Fairyland was so great for us kids back then, I lived on 78th Street off Eliot Avenue for 40 years. If your parents couldn’t take you to Rockaway Playland or Coney Island this was the place we went to on our own by walking or by bike, it was that close.
I used to love to play ski-ball in the Arcade. Does anyone recall the mosaic clown face on the floor inside? We used to get the crinkle French fries and eat them with the wooden forks! Back in the 60’s the pocket money or the allowances you got usually was good enough for the whole day at the Park. But sometimes we would run out of money so what we did would be to go over to The Stor (I think that was the name) and stand under it. When the people on the ride would make the bucket spin around change would fall out of the pockets and come tumbling down to us. Of course we’d scoop it up and then we’d continue off playing in the Arcade and get more French fries.
The Stor was like a big Ferris Wheel but with caged buckets on it and as the ride was going you’d pull the lever inside the bucket and it would spin over and over. You have a picture of it in your Juniper Berry (on page 38) behind the background of the Comet Roller Coaster. There was a supermarket also at the Woodhaven Blvd. end of the Park. I thought it was called Dan’s Supreme? Sometimes we’d catch a double feature movie (remember them?) at the Elmwood Theater across the street then head across to Fairyland! Those were the days of innocence!
“Down the ancient corridors and through the gates of time run the Ghosts of days that we left behind.”
I look forward to Part II of Fairyland in some future issue. And if I can suggest (if not done already) an article about the old Howard Johnson’s that was further up Queens Blvd. that stood next to Alexander’s. That was a huge place! Too bad that was torn down. What ice cream they had! Please send me the Fairyland issue (if possible) for my brothers who now live out in California. They’d love it!
Keep up the good work! Thanks again!
Maureen A. Ford
Perth Amboy NJ 08861
I too have been looking for something on Fairyland for several years. Then I decided we had to do it. Lorraine Sciulli, our editor, did a great job in giving a background on Fairyland. We are planning to do a follow-up on Fairyland in our next issue called “Memories of Fairyland.” It will be a compilation of memories and quotes from people who visited the park.
I would recommend you subscribe to the magazine, we’ll also send you a copy of the current issue. And please send us your memories, we would love to include them in our next issue.
I lived in Elmhurst until 1978. As a child my grandfather would take my friends and I to Fairyland.
The tradition continued with my sister who was born in 1955.
A friend of mine mailed the article to me. It brought back fond memories.
I am the “Social Secretary” of the class of 1958 from St. Bartholomew's School Elmhurst. We had our 50th 8th grade reunion last year. It was great. Over 100 people.
Before I sent you the note I sent a note with the Civic Association web-site and Fairyland to my class, sister and a few other friends.
My two best friends and I would go with my grandfather and grandmother. It was such a treat to go on the Tilt-a-World. Your article said there were many part-time workers. Many of them were cops and firemen with an easy second job.
I would love a copy of the magazine.
Thank You ,
Hi everybody –
I sure enjoy receiving the Juniper Berry magazine. Maspeth was my first 20 years then the USAF for 20 years. Got a job here in Lone Pine California when I retired from the Air Force. I was a telephone control official repairman. My family came from Salerno, Sicily and I met my wife of 51 years in France.
Thanks for such a nice magazine. There are 2,000 people here in Lone Pine, California, looking at Mt. Whitney every day. I climbed it three times. So thanks again to all, take care,
Lone Star, California
A friend of mine forwarded your article to me via an email. I’m a baby boomer (born in Brooklyn 1947) whose parents moved to Rego Park in ‘54. I lived there until ‘72 when I entered the real world and left the nest.
I must say that your Fairyland article brought back many memories for me and – I am sure – for anyone who grew up near the fabled park (as you wrote) “back in the day.”
Thanks for the memories. I loved that place as a little boy and well into my teenage years. Now you have me thinking of the huge Howard Johnson’s, The Boulevard night club & catering hall, Lost Battalion Hall, and the early days of Alexander’s all located on Queens Blvd as well.
Martin J. (Marty) Machover
You brought back such wonderful memories. I was born in 1947 and lived in neighboring Forest Hills. Fairyland was a thrill for me. I can picture it now. My father & I once got stuck on the Ferris Wheel when I was 6 years old. It stopped working & we had to wait at the top. I was fine, but he was a wreck. I never knew the story behind Fairyland. Thanks for sharing.
good old days
Dear Friends of the JPCA:
Thanks for the great year of civic news and pictures. Your magazine gets better every year!! I lived in Middle Village from 1940 to 2002 and really enjoy reading the news of the old neighborhood. I recently visited Linda and Lou Doerrler who grew up in Middle Village and Maspeth. They live in Ormond Beach Florida. What a surprise to see your magazine on their coffee table! We may have moved but our memories are strong remembering friends and shopping on Eliot Avenue. The Juniper Berry magazine certainly recalls the “old days.” It’s GREAT! Thanks for the memories!
To the Juniper Berry:
I am ordering two subscriptions to your magazine. One is a renewal and the other is for a new member, Matthew Ilse. Matt is our grandson and I hasten to add that he is also the grandson of Peter Polonski, a member of your staff. Yes, he is very much a product of Middle Village. For the past year he has worked in Boston and has recently bought a house there. Obviously the young man has come out of Middle Village but we want to make sure a bit of Middle Village stays in with him. Hence, the subscription.
All good wishes as the Civic Association enters its 72nd year!
Not a member, but I will join (the JPCA) after the enjoyment I've had reading the past issues on line. Where are a complete set to be found – I tried eBay? My mother's family – Roehrigs, Delaneys, Wepplers – have lived in Middle Village since the turn of the 20th century. I spent my childhood there in the 40's and 50's. Mom will celebrate her 95th on March 19. Neither of us still live in New York. My wife's father lived in Maspeth as a boy, so she also has roots in the area. Thank you for this great publication.
New Brunswick, NJ
at exposing eyesores
To the Editor:
I am a Middle Village resident. I have lived in this neighborhood all my life. I am really appalled at the attitude of the civic organization. In this day and age the way the economy is at this point, the organization has nothing better to do than ride around this area and take snapshots of people’s homes. What a life!!
First of all, I want to state that it is quite apparent just maybe these occupants are in financial debt and cannot afford to renovate or take care of repairs to their homes.
That doesn’t excuse the organization for chastising them and humiliating them in front of the whole neighborhood, If the civic organization is so outraged then why not try and come together and help these people, instead of embarrassing them.
Make it a community effort and those that are agitated by these homes dig deep into their pockets and help.
Another thing is I agree with Stephen Glossza, about parking his commercial vehicle in his driveway. After all, he is trying to support his family and pay his bills. At least he isn’t on WELFARE. Why can’t anyone mind his or her own business? Live and Let Live. Dose anyone remember that motto? I do believe that is why so many residents are moving out of Middle Village, they are constantly be harassed with so many frivolous rules.
Reply – Dear Anonymous, Let me inform you that the zoning laws do not only apply to a neighborhood when we’re in good times. The “frivolous” laws that you refer to are on the books of the City of NY and if you don’t like them, in America you’re free to go out and lobby your elected officials to get rid of the “frivolity.” Trucks parked in a driveway or anywhere on one’s property are Department of Building violations and punishable with fines. I guess you would approve of the photo above because this guy is “trying to make a living” while destroying the quality of life of our neighborhood.
The JPCA makes every effort to out those who violate our laws, which are designed to protect all of us. Many times the violations are spotlighted in our all-volunteer Juniper Berry and the fact that you are so horrified at seeing the eyesores indicates that they have accomplished what we set out to do, out the violators and humiliate them into cleaning up their act! Feel free to go help them out, as you suggest would be a good thing to do! ed.