Sunday, May 5, 2013

On to Staten Island

In February of 1985 we made the move to Staten Island.  I wasn't really sure that I wanted to do it; but the prospect of a house, for less monthly rent than we'd been paying for an apartment was hard to pass up.  One thing to note was that the day we moved was the last day I smoked.  I'd been a pipe smoker since I'd been about 19.  I had a kindred spirit in DEC because Jay Molinelli not only smoked a pipe, but had the same taste in tobacco that I had.  We took some good-natured ribbing about our pipes polluting the air, but stuck it out.

Dennis O'Reilly was helping us with the move and as he and I started down the steps from our apartment with a couch, I had Peggy take the pipe out of my mouth so I didn't spill any ashes.  Dennis remarked that Jay had quit smoking a couple days before.  At the end of the moving day, all my pipes, lighters and other paraphernalia went into a drawer and I never smoked again.   Though there are times a good cigar will attract me, I've never broken down and picked one up, or gone looking for my pipes.

The house we got was a nice little place in Clay Pit Ponds State Park.  It was state owned and the rent was set by the state.  It was about $125 per month cheaper than our Brooklyn apartment.  It was also "in the country."  We were were on a low-traffic road (for the city), even though we were only a couple hundred feet from the West Shore Expressway.  It wan't a bad place to be.  We had a big yard, a nice back porch and a mess of pheasants...the biggest pheasants I'd ever seen in my life!  The were so big that our cats would almost cower on the back porch when they came near the house.

We got the house, and the transfer, because the officer who'd been there was moving upstate.  Things were on the move, all of the guys I'd started with were leaving for upstate positions and new guys were coming. For several months, I was the only officer in the entire city while the new guys finished their days at the academy.  There was the Captain, the Lieutenant and me...apparently I needed a lot of supervision!

A few things came out of this move. We soon found ourselves in the Bethel Evangelical Free Church where we made fast friends with a number of great folks.  Nearly 30 years later, we are still close to many of them, and our kids are connected with theirs.  That, the easier living and a few other things led us to be very comfortable there.  We'd had a New York State map on the wall in Brooklyn that had a line drawn around all the counties to which we'd be interest in transferring.  It had been a pretty large area.  After being in Staten Island for only a short time, we had to draw another line, a much smaller area.  It had become home, not just the place we lived.  We liked it there and it was going to take something pretty good to get us out.  We were not going to move to get out, then move again to get someplace we wanted to be.  We were there until we could move to a new place and call it home.  That would be another two years.

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