I have lived in Lynbrook my entire life. Here and there over the years, I would meet someone who originally came from Brooklyn. They would immediately ask: “Are you from Brooklyn? Which part?” Those from Brooklyn would have the biggest smile and a gleam in their eyes, thinking I would be able to reminisce with them about good ol’ Brooklyn. The next thing would be their disappointed faces when I’d say: “Sorry, I am not from Brooklyn.”
When my daughter Mary started kindergarten, her first good friend was JoAnn. JoAnn’s brother Vinny became friends with my son, Jerry. When I had the pleasure of meeting JoAnn and Vinny’s mother, Roseann, her first question to me was, “Are you from Brooklyn?” I, again, saw the excitement in her face and then the disappointment when I said I wasn’t.
I was happy to say that my husband did come from Brooklyn and, on our next meeting, she would be able to ask him about good ol’ Brooklyn. When they first met, again there was disappointment — the two of them came from different parts of Brooklyn.
As time went on and the four children became closer, I asked Roseann to come to my house for lunch and bring her mother, since my mother was also coming. We had a wonderful time getting to know one another, but I had to step out briefly to pick up Mary and JoAnn from another friend’s house. When I came back home, I heard loud laugher.
It turns out that Roseann and her mother, Anna, asked my mother what part of Brooklyn she was from, and they all came from the same neighborhood, Navy Street. Anna knew my mother’s father and brothers. In fact, my mother’s brother had asked Anna out on a date many years earlier.
My wish to see a big smile about Brooklyn on a friend’s face finally came true.
It was a wonderful day and the outcome was that the children, Mary, JoAnn, Vinny and Jerry concluded that they were cousins and, to this day, about 35 years later, they are still good friends.