RESIDENTS REMINISCE ABOUT "GROWING UP IN SEA CLIFF" AT EXHIBIT'S OPENING RECEPTION
September 29, 2014 -- This past Sunday afternoon, the Sea Cliff Museum held an opening reception for its latest exhibit "Growing up in Sea Cliff" - a showcase of artifacts, writing, and pictures documenting more than a century's worth of childhood experiences of village residents. The event was both a celebration of youth and of the village, with residents spanning four generations presenting to an audience that filled the village hall second floor meeting room. They spoke of their own memories and read the reflections of others, touching on the themes of childhood, community, and the centrality of the beach to village life.
Village Historian Jean Davis related her own experiences as a youth in Sea Cliff, as well as those of her friend and co-village historian Priscilla Waltz, who was unable to attend, during the 1920s and 30s. Many would not be recognizable to children today - paying for admission to a movie at a hall in Sea Cliff with a can of food during the Depression; playing ringolevio and kick-the-can; or spending "porch time" in the evenings with neighbors and friends; while others would have been very familiar - skating on Scudders Pond and sledding in winter, and, of course, spending the summer months sailing at the Beach.
Al Reres read the essay "Lets Go the Beach," written by Henry Hollman, a description of the 1920s Sea Cliff waterfront, from the Glen Cove line past the old Beach Pavilion, along the boardwalk to Tilleys Bathhouse and continuing to where Scudders Pond lets out into Hempstead Harbor. Mr. Reyes followed with a recitation of the Beach Pavilion Rules from 1929.
Dale Napolin Bratter spoke of Sea Cliff's small Jewish community in the 1950's through the 1970's and the origins of the annual Hanukah celebration at the firehouse that villagers of all religious and spiritual persuasions turn out for each December.
D. Jen Dawson read "The Pavilion," a witty reminiscence of youthful days at the the beach and pavilion during the 1940s and 50s.
Tying the childhood experiences of the past to the present were 13 year old Katherine Hunt and her brother William, 10, who spoke of their fondness for events like Sunset Serenade and the Civic Association's Ice Cream and Cider Socials, as well as for the village parks, beach, and grabbing a slice with friends at Il Villagio.
"Sea Cliff is an awesome place to live and grow-up," said Ms. Hunt.
"When I grow up, I want to have a family in Sea Cliff just like my parents," her brother declared.
"Growing Up in Sea Cliff" will run through June 2015, and it, along with the Sea Cliff Museum's collections and permanent exhibits, can be visited on Sundays from 2 to 5 pm.