Vivian and Ben Grisar

Holders of Coney Island History

Vivian and Ben Grisar
Interview Date:
August 1 2010


82 year-old Ben Grisar and his wife Vivian both grew up in Coney Island. Ben's grandfather owned many businesses in Coney Island including partial ownership in Dreamland Park, which was destroyed by fire in 1911. He shares his personal memories of his grandfather as well as things he learned through research as an adult. He describes his various jobs at a local bathhouse as a young man and the mischief he and his coworkers got into. Ben's wife Vivian is also a Coney Island native who recalls visiting Steeplechase Park with her father, who enjoyed watching pretty ladies get their skirts blown up. She describes growing up in a corner apartment close to trolleys and trains and not noticing the noise. They both share details of daily life as it used to be in the Coney Island of their youth.