Bill Zeidenberg

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 Company,  a chair and umbrella rental concession that had about 35 stands up and down the beach and hired lots of local teens. Zeidenberg worked at the job for nine years, starting the summer before his freshman year at Lincoln High School and continuing as a manager through his college years at Pratt Engineering School, where he studied to be a chemical engineer. He says the job was enjoyable, as he liked people watching in Coney Island and the ten cent tip per rental chair added up to nearly 25 dollars on a good Sunday. Currently a resident of California, Zeidenberg describes returning with his daughters to his former family home and what it was like growing up there when it had a coal furnace and a bathtub in the kitchen. He also recalls how the construction of Trump Village and other hi-rises transformed Coney Island in the 1960s.