1960 - 1969

Milton Berger's nephew describes adventures at Steeplechase Park with Coney's great showman
Rob Weissbard reminisces about his uncle, Milton Berger, the legendary long-time press agent for Coney Island's biggest attractions. When Berger died at age 81, an obituary in the NY Times  dubbed him the “Flamboyant Soul of Coney Island” and...
Content type: Oral History Item
Growing up on West 16th Street between Mermaid and Neptune in a cold water flat in the 1940s and '50s
Carmela recalls growing up in Coney Island on West 16th Street between Mermaid and Neptune Avenues in a cold water flat with a coal belly stove and an ice box.  She lived there until 1959, when she got married and moved to her husband's neighborhood...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of growing up on Coney Island's first block and working in the Cyclone photobooth's darkroom
Brooklynite Mindy Gress and her family moved to Coney Island when she was 3-1/2 years old and she has lived here ever since.  "I'm living in Coney Island till I die," says the resident of West 5th Street, who describes her street as the first block...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of working on the Coney Island Parachute Jump's operation crew at age 16
Ralph Avella was the youngest member of the Coney Island Parachute Jump's operation crew. Bensonhurst native Avella was sixteen years old when he began working on the landmark ride in 1961 after graduating from Brooklyn Technical High School. This...
Content type: Oral History Item
Lifelong stickball player and Coney Island lifeguard for 48 years
Born in 1949, Ron Vernon grew up on Mermaid Avenue in Coney Island playing stickball and since his retirement to Florida has played in the Palm Beach County Stickball League, which has eight teams. For him and 120 other guys, it's like being 15...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of growing up on Brighton First Court and a summer job renting beach chairs in Coney Island
Bill Zeidenberg grew up in the 1950s and 1960s at 212 Brighton First Court, just east of Ocean Parkway, the dividing line of Coney Island and Brighton Beach. He shares vivid memories of his summer job working for the M. & C. Chair Operating...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of growing up on West 36th Street in Coney Island's West End
Edith Storch, 90, grew up in the West End of Coney Island at 2762 West 36th Street near Canal Avenue. She shares memories of her immigrant parents, shops and street vendors, a nickelodeon on the pier at West 37th Street on the Bay, and Coney Island...
Content type: Oral History Item
Longtime baseball scout for the Chicago Cubs and Sea Gate resident
Billy Blitzer grew up in Brighton Beach, has lived in Sea Gate for the past 36 years, and is a pro scout for the Chicago Cubs.  Baseball has been an integral part of his life since he played Little League at Coney Island's Kaiser Park and with his...
Content type: Oral History Item
Sign-painting legend, musician and Sea Gate resident
Sea Gate resident Sam Moses, 66, is one of Coney Island's finest sign painters. He shares memories of his boyhood apprenticeship at a sign shop in East New York and his dreams of painting in Coney Island.  In 1998, he moved to Sea Gate and started...
Content type: Oral History Item
Grandson of sword swallower Joseph "Ajax" Milana and DeWise Purdin "The Handless Sharpshooter"
Van Milana, 65, was born on Dewey Place in the area of Coney Island called "The Gut" before Trump Village and Warbasse. He shares memories of both of his grandfathers, who were famous sideshow performers in Coney Island. Milana recalls his paternal...
Content type: Oral History Item