The Hurricane of 1938

We’re looking back to the Hurricane of 1938 on this episode. Called “The Long Island Expresss” by some, “The Great New England Hurricane” by others, remembered by all who lived through it.

 

Today you’ll hear five people, recorded back in 2008, recalling their experiences from Brooklyn out to Orient and up into Massachusetts. Children at the time, they all remember that day as if it just happened.

Special thanks to Ken Strange, George and Rhea Mitchell, Priscilla Teisch, and John Kalinowski for sharing their memories with us.

If you’re on the Island, make sure to check out the new exhibit In Harm’s Way running at the Long Island Museum. It looks at natural disasters on Long Island, how the region has responded in the past, and how we can plan for the future. There’s a special symposium on October 28th at which our own Chris Kretz will be participating.

Front page of the Mattituck Watchman, Sep 22, 1938. From NYS Historic Newspapers

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Old Mansions Never Die

George Davies’ younger days would be the envy of any boy. During the Great Depression in Oakdale, he and his brothers had the run of Pepperidge Hall, a giant 19th-century mansion in walking distance of a swimming hole and the Great South Bay. Plus they had a pet duck.

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George with his father Jack Davies in the courtyard of Pepperidge Hall. Photo courtesy of the Dowling College Archives & Special Collections.

On this episode you’ll hear excerpts of a talk George gave on Sept. 15, 2015 sponsored by the Dowling College Library and the Oakdale Historical Society. He describes life in the 1930s, adventures in the mansion, and nearby neighbors like Arthur K. Bourne and Louise Ockers. We’ll also find out if Dutch Schultz was hiding nearby.

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Many thanks to George for sharing these invaluable memories. Most of us think of the glory days of these mansions as the Gilded Age but many of them lived on through various incarnations. George gives us a glimpse into one of those periods when the glory had passed but there was still fun to be had and living to do.

 

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Stories of Storm and Sea

Folklorists would make good podcasters. They are used to finding interesting people and getting them to tell good stories. Take Nancy Solomon for example. As the executive director of Long Island Traditions, she has spent years collecting and studying the stories of baymen, offshore fishermen, boat builders and the like. Today we’ll talk to her about a number of those stories revolving around the subject of weather lore. Continue reading “Stories of Storm and Sea”