I recently visited the rest stop built in 2017 just east of the Deer Park exit on the Long Island Expressway. I was impressed with its cleanliness and theme of all things Long Island and New York.
Outside the front door is a walk of fame with rectangular plaques honoring Long Island figures from politics, sports, show business and other fields. They range from Billy Joel and Patti LuPone to LL Cool J and Charles Lindbergh.
A glaring omission is the legendary comedian-actor Rodney Dangerfield, who was born Jacob Cohen in 1921 in the Town of Babylon. Not surprisingly, a stand-up comedian whose trademark line was that he got no respect actually has been snubbed near his place of birth.
Dangerfield also made it big in movies, including “Caddyshack” (1980) and “Back to School” (1986). His Dangerfield’s nightclub in Manhattan is still open 15 years after his death.
New Jersey has highway rest stops named after former prominent residents, including Vince Lombardi and Thomas Edison.
The best way to right this wrong for Dangerfield is to name Long Island’s rest stop for him. Now that would show him true respect.
Eugene R. Dunn,
Editor’s note: The writer is a member of the Deer Park Historical Association.
Danger at service road intersection in Islandia
About a year ago while I was driving south on Blydenburgh Road in Islandia, the car in front of me made an improper left turn onto the one-way North Service Road parallel to the Long Island Expressway. Traffic on this road goes only west, but there is not a single warning sign — no one-way arrow, no no-left-turn indicator, nothing about right turns only. At this point, cars travel at high speeds from the LIE exit onto the service road. There could be a horrible head-on collision.
I called the Suffolk County Police Department and was told to try the New York State Police. The state police suggested I contact the Suffolk County Department of Public Works. Someone told me to contact the Town of Smithtown. Smithtown said not ours, contact the Village of Islandia. Islandia told me to call my local representative. I live 30 miles away in a different town, so I just gave up.
Recently, I saw another car make this left turn off Blydenburgh Road and heard the screeching of brakes. Luckily, there wasn’t a crash. Someone needs to put up some signs before motorists get killed.