Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk

The Daily Plant : Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Kudos For A Rockaway Parkie

Surfers on Rockaway Beach.
Daniel Avila

The following letter, commending a Parks employee at Rockaway Beach, was mailed to Commissioner Benepe’s office on September 6.

Dear Commissioner,

I am writing to you to express my thanks and to commend one of your staff workers. Many years ago, 1957-1967, I spent my summer vacations at Rockaway Beach. My family rented a bungalow on Beach 107 Street. The public facilities there were usually very crowded and often dirty, with little or no privacy for someone needing to use them. As the years [passed by], I saw less and less of my favorite Beach. This summer, I promised myself I would return for a visit. A few weeks ago, I fulfilled that promise and returned for a day at the Rockaways.

I drove to Beach 95th Street, parked my car and made the walk to the boardwalk, all the time remembering my younger days there. I found a nice spot on the beach and set up chairs for my wife and [myself]. After a while, I decided to use the public facilities on the boardwalk at Beach 96-97 Street. As I approached I saw a gentleman mopping the outer door of the men’s room. I stepped to the side, so I could avoid walking over his clean floor. The gentleman thanked me but said it was okay, he would mop this area many more times that day.

When I entered the bathroom facility, I was shocked to see how clean the area was and that all of the stalls now had doors that even locked, with a good supply of bathroom paper. In my younger days we brought our own paper. As I exited the facility I complimented this worker on how clean and refreshing the facility was and briefly told him of what I remembered as a child.

I asked his name and [he] told me his name was Mr. Charles Smith. I introduced myself and thanked him again for his efforts. It should also be noted that my wife utilized the women’s facility and also compimented the staff worker responsible for that area, [but] unfortunately she did not get her name. However, the same staff worker was present on both of our [visits]. So please convey my wife’s compliments to Mr. Smith’s counterpart at the Beach 96-97 Street facility.

This past weekend my wife and I decided to make another trip back to the Rockaways and I returned to Beach 95th Street, set up our chairs and umbrella. Before I sat down, I walked to the men’s facility on the boardwalk and once again, there was Mr. Smith swinging that big mop inside the facility.

As I approached him, he looked up and smiled and said, “Hi, Mr. Jim.” I told him he was still doing a great job, keeping this very busy area clean. He replied it’s his job to do exactly that. I told him I was thankful for his dedication and for remembering me.

I do not usually write letters such as this, but Mr. Smith is a person who you rarely find with a big smile and kind words, doing a job he obviously enjoys. My compliments to you and your staff at the Rockaway beach facility for giving the public a very clean and pleasant facility to use during the hot summer days at the beach.

Please convey my thanks to Mr. Smith, for his hard work and his ambassador type of friendliness that he displayed to me during my visit to the Rockaways. In this day and age the New York City Parks Department is fortunate to have a worker such as Mr. Smith.



"We could never learn to be brave and patient,
if there were only joy in the world."
Helen Keller
(1880 - 1968)

Directions to Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk

Was this information helpful?