GROWING UP IN FOREST HILLS WAS GREAT!

By Jane Furnier

We lived at 72-34 Austin Street in the apartments across from Queen of Martyrs until I went away to college and the family moved across the boulevard to a house on 69th Road.

Things I remember about growing up on Austin Street are playing in the street across from the apt, roller skating, playing punch ball, stick ball, hide and seek, and of course the all time favorite ring o levio (sp?) hop scotch on the sidewalk, jump rope and a game we called Russian handball, (where that name came from ?????? who knows. ) In the spring there was always trading cards and it seemed we girls from 101 somehow arranged to play softball with another PS. Taking our bikes and riding through the Gardens and even to Forest Park. In the summer going by bus to where the LIE is now and walking to go swimming at the aquacade. After 6th grade I started to go to camp in the summer so many of these pastimes became “childish” All these things until HS … can you imagine parents today letting their children do these things without parental supervision.

Also going into the city to skate in Central Park walk 5th Avenue and window shop, going to Radio City20Music Hall , ride the ferry to Staten Island and back, and when out of town guests came to visit I was in charge of showing them around the city. With money in my pocket for the subway I could go anywhere!

I started HS at FHHS and didn’t like it very much so that ½ way through sophomore year my parents transferred me to Kew Forest---yea! There were also years when our family also belonged to the Community House. I don’t remember which years as there was a break in there somewhere. But I do remember when I was at KF there was big discussions on whether one could play basketball for both KF and the CH.

My college years were spent at Boston University - what a great city to spend college years. After college I spent 2 years teaching in MD and then returned to LI to teach at a HS in Bayport…went to California for a year returning to get a Masters at NYU. I then started my career in exceptional education teaching for BOCES for 6 years, started a doctoral program at NYU got as far a s the dissertation when I moved to Orlando and worked there in the school system until I retired. While in Orlando I did quite a bit with Special Olympics on the local and state levels and was placed in the Florida Special Olympics Hall of Fame. In addition with some other folks we started a Sports Ability team for those handicapped individuals who do not qualify for Special Olympics.

I moved here to WV about 3 years ago intending to stay about 6 months and then return to Florida….. But my Mother is 99 will be 100 next month and cannot be left alone so that my sister and I take turns staying home.

I do plan on returning to Fl one of these days and have my eye on The Villages as a possible spot.


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