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Man, 92, recalls his youth in Sea Cliff

Irving Miller, 92, of Glen Cove, spent most

Irving Miller, 92, of Glen Cove, spent most of his life in Sea Cliff and took over the family-owned liquor store and stationery store, which now houses Dimitry Schidlovsky's studio and vacant space, for his uncles Sam and Ike Raff after they became ill in the 1990s. (July 13, 2012) (Credit: Brittany Wait)

Editor’s note: All week long, Brittany Wait is profiling people around Sea Cliff, from community leaders to residents she bumps into around town.

Irving Miller, 92, of Glen Cove, spent most his life working in Sea Cliff at a family-owned liquor store called Raff's Liquor, and the stationery store next to it on Sea Cliff Avenue. The two buildings now house Dimitry Schidlovsky’s studio and a vacant space. In the 1990s, Miller took over for his uncles Sam and Ike Raff after they became ill and ran both stores.
Up until recently, Miller lived in a large gray house on Sea Cliff Avenue and would sit on the steps waving to passersby and striking up conversations with them.

Even though you now live in Glen Cove, you spent most your life in Sea Cliff. Tell me what it was like when you were younger and working on Sea Cliff Avenue.

I rode the trolley car all the time for five cents a trip from Glen Cove Landing to Sea Cliff when I was 6 years old. I remember that my parents danced at the Battershall Inn where the Memorial Park is now. I was born in Glen Cove, but grew up in Sea Cliff because my family lived and worked there.

Tell me some of your most fondest memories of your time in Sea Cliff.

I used to watch them play baseball at the parks, I worked here even when I was young and I swam down by the beach. We had a locker at the pavilion. My mom would throw me into the water and say, ‘Swim.’ You didn’t take lessons back then. I remember a cold bottle of Coca-Cola cost a nickel. I remember eating homemade ice cream at Schoelles down the street. They made the best ice cream. When my uncles got sick I sold cigars and cigarettes for 10 cents a pack.

How would you define the character of the community?

Everybody knew everybody. It was a nice small community. On Sunday, at the stationery store, we used to write people’s names on the newspapers, so they could pick them up.

Pictured above: Irving Miller, 92, now of Glen Cove, spent most of his life in Sea Cliff. (July 13, 2012)

Tags: Sea Cliff , Irving Miller , liquor store , stationary

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