1980 - 1989

Proprietor of Major Markets, Coney Island's oldest butcher shop
Jimmy Prince, long-time proprietor of Major Markets, Coney Island's oldest butcher shop shares his memories of the neighborhood through good times and bad. After closing his Mermaid Avenue market in 2009, Jimmy Prince, now 82, remains active. “...
Content type: Oral History Item
Life-long resident of Coney Island
Reginald, a life-long resident of Coney Island, revisits his childhood memories and shares his opinion on the current state of Coney Island's transition. He describes the racial tension that stemmed from fences and walls keeping people of color...
Content type: Oral History Item
Coney Island singer/songwriter who wrote "Save Coney Island" and "Hot Dog Song"
Amos Wengler moved to Trump Village in Coney Island as a teenager in 1962. Today, he is a professional musician best known for his "Save Coney Island Song," which he has performed outside of City Hall and on Broadway. He first performed...
Content type: Oral History Item
Family owned the Shamrock Irish House and Eldorado Arcade
Sheila and her family owned and operated the largest arcade in Coney Island, the Eldorado. Her father, his two brothers and three sisters opened The Shamrock Irish House, a restaurant/cabaret/open-air bar, in the early 1940's, and her family...
Content type: Oral History Item
Artistic Director of Thieves Theatre
Nick is the former artistic director of Thieves Theatre, a theater company that worked with Coney Island USA in the late 80's to mid-90's. One of Thieves Theatre's early projects after moving to New York was to stage an Anti-Mermaid...
Content type: Oral History Item
Model Maker and Music Producer
Roy grew up in Coney Island and, among many other ventures, makes exquisitely detailed scale models of rides like the Himalaya, at which he also worked when he was a child. He tried to get a job at Astroland when he was too young but, eventually,...
Content type: Oral History Item
Devoted Cyclone Rider
At the time of this interview, Howie was in Coney Island to ride the Cyclone for the 50th year in a row. He was accompanied by his family, who have also been riding the Cyclone for years. Howie brought his wife to Coney Island shortly before they...
Content type: Oral History Item
Owner of Williams Candy and past owner of Fascination Arcade
Peter Agrapides owns and operates the Williams Candy shop next door to Nathans. He began working in Coney Island in 1949 and also owned the Fascination game arcade on Surf Avenue next to the old Loew's (Shore) Theater.
Content type: Oral History Item
Visiting Coney Island his whole life
Allen Ashby started coming to Coney Island as a boy in the late 1950's. In the 60's, he came with high school friends and spent most of his time trying to meet girls. Later, he brought his daughters for visits as they grew up in the 70...
Content type: Oral History Item
Began his career as a sign painter in Coney Island
John Rea is currently an advertising professional and adjunct professor at the School of Visual Arts in New York, but he began his career as a young teenager working for his father, also John Rea, in the Peluso Machine and Iron Works shop in Coney...
Content type: Oral History Item