Many people were saddened by the loss to fire of the Knights of Columbus building in the west end of Long Beach ("Fire destroys a Sandy haven," News, Dec. 11).

My grandparents, Herman and Toba Schwarz, built this building in the 1930s. It had a department store on the east side, and a stationery story on the west. In back was a room for my grandfather to rest, with a small kitchen. Although my grandparents lived nearby, my grandmother would come every day to make him a hot lunch.

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As a child I was delighted to help on their busiest days. It was almost a tradition to buy a bathing suit at Schwarz's then go swimming after the Memorial Day Parade. It seemed that summer began then. And it was exciting to help sell fireworks for the Fourth of July.

I'm glad to hear of the plans to rebuild.

Carol Maskin Spielberg, Long Beach