Author Archives: Edgmere - Far Rockaway Archives

A Story of Love: Andrew Reach & Bruce Baumwoll and Our beloved Dogs and Cats found on the Streets from Central Park, New York to West Hollywood, California to Miami Shores, Florida to Cleveland Ohio. All sent to save us and to take us on the path we have ended up on. God’s little angels.This is their story and ours..

Katie and I on the piers near our apartment on
Charles St. in Greenwich Village, NYC 1985

Finding Katie in Central Park on a cold march day in New York City 

Diva: found on the streets of New York City

Diva

Chapter 1

Andrew is taking photos of me. I had become one of Andrew’s subjects for his creativity since we met. He was studying at Pratt institute toward his architecture degree.  In the 36 years that I (Bruce Baumwoll) and Andrew Reach have been together we have saved 54 animals from the streets of the cities we’ve lived in.  At this point we are not sure who saved whom, for without these animals we surely would not have ended up in the places we have come to. This is their story and ours.

It was spring break when Andrew and I met in Florida. I was living and singing around Miami and Ft. Lauderdale.  I had been working and living  in the home of Ellen Burstyn. The Oscar winning actress for the film “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” for over 3 years. From her example, she had helped me in many ways, from studying at the Actors Studio to the way I would learn for the rest of my life. She taught herself so much. Her bed was always filled with so many books. She helped me to see that, I too, could be all that I hoped to be, and that I could learn. We would sit with groups of people and read from Gurdjieff and so many other great authors. She gave me so many books to read, and I would write down all that she would read, and I would find them myself.

Ellen & Jefferson Burstyn At Ferry House

The Stone House in Snedens Landing

My Dog Sugar Magnolia (aka Maggie) living
the good life on the Hudson, Snedens Landing 

Me in the Stone House Mansion, Snedens Landing

Maggie and I in the Stone Mansion, Snedens Landing

When I got the job,  The film “The Exorcist” which, at that time, was a major hit. There were lines around blocks in every city in America to see that movie. I would not see the film when it came out, for I was afraid it would cause me to have more visions. Life has a funny way of working out. I ended up seeing it in a private screening with Ellen next to me. All the living room furniture had been given to Ellen from the set of the film. Not until that moment did I realize, as I was watching the film, that I was watching it on the actual couch from the movie.


Ellen and Linda Blair

Ellen with the great  Max Von Sydow

Ellen 

Max Von Sydow and Linda Blair

Ellen with William Peter Blatty , Jason Miller

Ellen with William Friedkin

I would meet William Friedkin for the first time as they skinny-dipped in the pool. The house that Ellen lived in was called the Ferry House as it was the original Ferry House of the Dobbs Ferry that connected Snedens Landing on the west side of the Hudson River to the town of Dobbs Ferry on the eastern side. At one time Vivian Leigh and Laurence Olivier lived there.

When I got the job at her house she was just getting ready to star on Broadway in the play “Same time, Next Year” with Charles Grodin. It was a fabulous moment when Ellen won the Tony Award for the play. When Charles Grodin’s film, “King Kong” with co-stars, the young Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange, I would be there right next to Ellenand Jeff   she was so nice in  taking me.  The World Premier. It was an amazing night.



Ellen in “Same Time Next Year”

Ellen in “Same Time Next Year”

Charles Gordin, in “Same Time Next Year”

Ellen had given Charles this book when he came for dinner while they were doing the play “Same Time Next Year”. As he was leaving the house, he gave it to me.


We later moved up the way to the Stone House, a great big mansion. I had always been a boy that lived in movies. The world of film was my life’s passion so to end up there was, in my mind, meant to be.  To say I was in my bliss is mild. One of my fondest memories is holding up Ellen Burstyn’s Oscar and Tony, thanking my imaginary audience for my own work. I can still feel the thrill of touching and holding them up.

In her Oscar winning role of Alice, Ellen wins Best Actress as a  single mother who finds her way. One of the great films of the 1970′s by one of the greatest directors, Martin Scorsese, doing what he does best-making great films.

Ellen

Ellen with Kris Kristofferson

Ellen with Diane Ladd, Vic Tayback, and Lelia Goldoni 

Ellen and Alfred Lutter

Ellen

Ellen with Kris Kristofferson

Ellen


Ellen 

Ellen with Diane Ladd, Martin Scorsese, and Vic Tayback

Meeting the people I met there was a chance of a lifetime, from Albert Schweitzer’s live in companion for the last 20 years of his life, to so many great artists from the Actors Studio including Lee and Anna Strasberg, and other fascinating people from all walks of life.  There were so many teachers. I would be taught by them at the kitchen table. Some of the people were major players in film and theater at that time.

Some of the people that I grew fond of were Ralph Roberts who, at the time, was one of Ellen’s masseuse’s. He was an actor. He was in the film “Bells are Ringing” with Judy Holliday. He had worked for Marilyn Monroe and had known her well and he would tell me so many stories that I loved. Another person who had an impact on me was Fred Haines who had done the almost impossible task of turning James Joyce’s Ulysses into a screenplay.

Fred Haines, screenwriter and director
of such films as “Ulysses” & “Steppenwolf”

Ralph Roberts
A truly lovely man

Ellen and Ralph

At the time, Ellen Burstyn was practicing Sufism, bringing many spiritual men and women to the house. It was an amazing place to learn for a young man that had spent so much of his time growing up alone.  I was a true sponge. The more you taught me the more I wanted to learn and that has never stopped.

Because of my learning challenges, my parents found it easier to contain me at home to be what they thought to be best for me. I stayed in the house huge amounts of time when I was young. Soon, I began to clean and cook for them. I did that until I left home. So I was not prepared for the real world. When I did start to work, I would become a domestic and clean houses, which, of course, I was very good at.  I had only two of these jobs before I worked for Ellen. At first, I was hired to take care of the Ferry house. As she got to know me, she open up to me . I had been sharing and wonderful old carriage houses, right down the block from Helen Hayes old home. One night the person I was shaing with when crazy and beat me up. Ellen the next day ask me if would   moved in to the main house. very early on with my constant companion, my beloved dog, Maggie. She was  a person who loved aniamls. Big heart.  That’s when she began to teach me. Little things yet really big stuff. I moved into Stone House and lived there for almost 8 months alone . While the work went on, much needed to be done before Ellen would move in.

Maggie at Stone House, Snedens Landing

The Stone House, Snedens Landing

The Stone House, Snedens Landing

The Stone House, Snedens Landing

me at Stone House, Snedens Landing

Maggie in the living room at stone house, Snedens Landing

Ellen and Micheal and Marilyn the dog, Snedens Landing

Jefferson Burstyn in the grand foyer, Snedens Landing

Maggie at the grand door between the
living room and the dining room Snedens Landing

Maggie playing in front of the house with some
of Bernard and Marilyn’s puppies, Snedens Landing

You see, I was a young man with learning disabilities.  I did not see words in my head. I saw pictures. I hardly spoke until I was five years old. I was also born a celiac so eating was a problem. I had difficulties communicating which caused huge levels of frustration for me and caused me to be prone to outbursts. Today they would diagnose someone like me with a form of Asperger’s Syndrome or slight autism. I spent most of my life playing alone. I was super sensitive.  I do not like being touched.

I would fail kindergarten and then the third grade three times.  I would eventually graduate high school late, at nineteen years old.  I spent my life in special classrooms on weekends, in addition to regular school hours learning how to read and how to talk without stuttering and without a bad lisp. I was one of those boys that everyone made fun of. If they weren’t calling me a fairy or sissy they were making fun how I would talk. In the sixth grade, a teacher took me out to the playground, put me on a swing, put crackers in my mouth while I swung and told me to talk. And I could! She had helped me to get past a part of my brain that did not see the words. The feeling was like when Helen Keller finally said the word “water”. I felt total freedom in my head. But to read would take learning all my life. I can still see, in my mind’s eye, the cards being put up for me to read. The fear of reading in public would take even more years to overcome. I have been blessed with many teachers in my life.

Ellen was soon involved with the new film “Providence”, to be filmed in Europe. The director, Alain Resnais, really wanted her. He would travel to America to visit us at Stone House. At one point he was outside looking around the gardens. I was with him and he told me that I should keep going with my studies, for the camera would love me and that my face showed great emotion and depth. Perhaps someday, I might be able to work for him in one of his future films, he said. I was so honored that he was just talking to me. To give me words of encouragement was wonderful for me. I still was a very shy young man. Ellen did take the role and went off to Europe to film the movie.


Ellen with Dirk Bogarde and Sir John Gielgud

Ellen with Alain Resnais

Ellen with Dirk Bogarde, Sir John Gielgud,
David Warner, and Elaine Stritch

Ellen

Ellen with Elaine Stritch, Dirk Bogarde,
Sir John Gielgud, and David Warner

While she was away she would send us postcards to say hi, but also to let us know the things that she wanted us to keep up with. One of my main jobs was to take care of all the animals. There were the dogs, Bernard and Marilyn, and her many cats. Her favorite and closest cat was Georgie Baby. There was also Malcom X, Moses, Clorisa (she would run away at this time) and others. She always wanted me to comb Georgie Baby. Georgie Baby was very special to Ellen.

During the filming of Providence, Ellen had to fly home. With all the work that was being done on the mansion, the contractors refurbishing the house never let us know how dangerous it could be for the animals, and soon some of them got very ill and began to die. The lead paint that was being scraped off the walls fell to the floor. The cats would then walk on the floors and then lick themselves. Ellen came back to be with her beloved Georgie Baby for she too was dying. I was there with Ellen when Georgie Baby passed away in her bedroom. This was a very sad time at the house.

Georgie Baby and Maggie (my dog) in my rooms where
we often stayed when Ellen was out of town

One of the postcards Ellen send to me while
she was filming 
Providence


Jefferson and Ellen Burstyn with William Smith,
dogs
 Bernard and Marilyn, and Georgie Baby
the cat at the Ferry House on the Hudson river

Resurrection
The begining of knowing that my time there was coming to an end.

Ellen

Ellen with Eve La Gallienne

Ellen with Sam Sheppard

Ellen with Eve La Gallienne

Ellen with Sam Sheppard

Ellen

Ellen with Eve Le Gallienne

Ellen and Sam Sheppard

Ellen

Ellen

This film was very close to me for I have almost died three times in this life. Two of the times were at Ellen’s mansion. One involved a fire in the part of the house that I lived in.  Another time, we were all celebrating the Bicentennial on July 4th, 1976 on the Hudson River. I was too shy to go to the bathroom off Ellen’s boat that we were on, so I got in the river and within moments the river took me away. I was saved by another person living in the house, William Smith.

My first near death experience was in South Beach, the southernmost part of Miami Beach.  I was five and almost drowned. Our family was staying at a hotel. My grandfather owned two hotels in South Beach, the Euclid and the Commodore. I do not know why we weren’t staying at either of them. We were staying somewhere else on the ocean around 5thStreet. I fell in the pool when I was walking by it. My father pulled me out. I know this because I watched it all happening from out of my body above the hotel. As was also the case in the experience on the Hudson, I left my body and traveled towards great light and was met by a group of souls that I felt immediately a kinship to. It was as if we all knew each other. And through their eyes I knew that they were all people that had loved me, or come before me, or souls that were watching over me. They let me know that I couldn’t stay, that it wasn’t my time, and that I had things to do, and within seconds I was back in my body. Each experience took me to a further place where I could never be the same as I was prior to them. My consciousness kept expanding.

As Ellen was finishing the film “Resurrection”, I had come to see that I must leave her home in Snedens Landing to follow my own journey and to leave all Ellen was teaching me. I could not get what I was looking for there. It was a difficult choice, but I have never been a person afraid of surviving for I had been doing it all my life. I have never been able to allow people to control me from the very beginning of my life. It’s just the way I was born.

So I left Ellen to meet my own fate. I found a wonderful apartment in New York City on the upper west side on 75th street right off Columbus Avenue. I worked as a waiter at Carnegie Deli and began to sing and look for work as a singer and actor. I had to go on and achieve my own dreams. It seems I’ve always been able to draw powerful people and minds to me.

At Carnegie Deli I began to meet a group of great entertainers who came in all the time. There are too many to mention but I had my favorites and I was their favorite waiter and they would request I wait on them. Among them were Henny Youngman, George Jessel, and the incomparable Ruth Gordon and Garsin Kanin. Henny Youngman and George Jessel would come and sit at the front tables. Henny Youngman always would yell out to me “Hey little mishgeit”. George Jessel and Henny would laugh and talk. Everyone wanted to say hello to them. They were the center of attention. But my all-time favorites were Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin. I’m a short man and they were my size. I would ask them questions because one of my favorite films is the autobiographical movie “The Actress”. They always gave me encouragement and told me to always be myself and it will come to me.

George Jessel

Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin 

Henny Youngman

During the time I worked at Carnegie Deli in the late seventies, I studied with some of the great acting teachers of the day. I auditioned all the time. I met the wonderful young actor, Lenny Baker, who was on Broadway starring in “I Love My Wife” (which he won the Tony Award for). He also starred in the film “Next Stop Greenwich Village”. He would remain a friend until his death. We saw each other about two weeks before he died in Hallandale Beach, Florida.  When we first met in New York, I would walk my dog where I was living and let her go in the park that was right across from the subway station at 72nd Street in what they used to call Needle Park. He kept thinking I was one of his old boyfriends. We became friends. We enjoyed each other. We would go out for lunches. One of favorites we would go was Ruskays. He was a very sweet man. I think of him all the time and miss him. He also showed me many things that a shy man just never sees.

Lenny Baker

Lenny and Shelley Winters

The Wonderful Lenny Baker

Lenny

Lenny and the great Ellen Greene

Lenny Baker

I started to sing all around New York and this led me to Miami, Florida. My beloved dog Maggie would pass away soon after I got there.

my beloved Maggie

Andrew was in his sophomore year of his first college degree, at the University of Florida in Gainesville, and home for Christmas break. It was 1981. We met at the Marlin Beach Hotel; the hotel where the 1960 film “Where the Boys Are” was filmed and starred George Hamiltion, Dolores Hart, Paula Prentiss, Connie Francis, Yvette Mimieux , Jim Hutton, and Frank Gorshin. Because of that film, the Marlin was a safe place for gay men and women to meet. It had become a hotel catering to gays and lesbians. We took our time and on the last night of his break, we went out for ice cream. When we came out of the ice cream shop with our cones, getting ready to get in the car, we looked across the car top where our eyes met and our souls opened up to each other and we have never been apart since. Love is a powerful thing.

The Victor Hotel

Andrew At the Victor Hotel

The Marlin Beach Hotel

The Marlin Beach Hotel

The Victor Hotel at Miami Beach

Andrew 1981

AndrewReach and Bruce Baumwoll 1981 starts taking pictures

Andrew

Andrew on Miami Beach and the Victor Hotel 1981

Andrews note to me

We decided to meet again during spring break. We stayed at the Victor Hotel on South Beach. Miami Beach at that time had not yet undergone its reinvention. The hotel was Kosher and occupied by elderly Jewish people. Everyone was wonderful to us. On the first day, as we walked to the beach, my Andrew went ahead of me. It was there that I first saw his back. It wasn’t like anyone else’s that I had ever seen. It looked like a persons’ very defined chest, as if his head was on wrong. I wanted to run from fear of what it meant. But I am a man that has always had visions and in a second I saw and heard one at the same time. Are you going to give up real love and companionship because he isn’t perfect? And I answered back to myself, no. Our life has been blessed so many times, even though the journey has been one of great adversity and obstacles that we could never have imagined from what we think of as a good life. The next year, after he graduated from the University of Florida, we moved to New York City in the summer of 1982.

Getting ready to move to New York City

Andrew in our little apartment right off Riverside Drive

Me in our first home right off Riverside Drive

Me

Looking out our window at Riverside Drive and the park

Andrew going to his first Architecture job

We began life on the upper west side of NYC in a hotel that we rented a room in that had its own kitchen.  I watched Andrew walk up to Broadway from Riverside Drive to his first job. We lived there for about six months. Life was all in front of us. We lived there till my ex-wife decided she did not want to live in the apartment that she had gotten and fixed up on Charles Street at Hudson Avenue in Greenwich Village because it was too noisy. This would be our first real home and would bring in our first animals that we saved, Katie the dog who was found in central park on a cold march day, and Diva the cat. We were in Central Park. Andrew was taking pictures for his class at Pratt.

The day we found Katie in Central Park New York City going home

Diva at home on Charles Street

Diva and the good life

Our apartment at 105 Charles Street,
Greenwich Village, NYC

End of Chapter 1


Acknowledgement:

I wish to thank my lifetime partner Andrew Reach for his technical assistance. Digital technology has opened me up as a way of communicating. The speed of my brain can now sync with the speed of the computer. Through Andrew’s patience and technical skills, he has enabled me to learn and become free in this new digital world. There’s nothing more powerful than love and trust.

Bruce Baumwoll

The Wonderful World of Movie Tie-in Books

I spent most of my time when I was in Jr. High School 198 collecting books and movie posters. Each week I would go to town; town meaning Far Rockaway. At this point we lived in the apartment house right across from the old convent on Central Avenue where all the nuns lived and still had their old habits on; such fond memories. I can still see their faces.

Our family often sat on the terrace which was on the first floor. The terrace was on the left side of the building with a wonderful view of the convent. We lived there all through my Junior High School years. As I have said I was a very quiet person. So each week I would save my money and head into town and go to Woolworths and Grants where I would head right to the book section and see all the new paperback books that had come out.

I can not explain the thrill of finding a new book, to see all the stars and sometimes pictures of movie stills in the middle. Discovering One new book was all that was needed to feel that wonderful feeling. Remember the prices ranged from 25 cents to incredibly expensive for the time $1.25. Funny to think about that now.

 I loved the hunt and the find. I still feel that way now. After I had found my books for that day, my mom would always give me a little extra money to go have lunch out. My parents were happy that I was getting out. At lunch I would sit and put all the books out on the table and just look at all the graphics. I always ate at the deli or the Chinese place upstairs. I would have my lunch usually in the same spot the middle booth right in front of the window. That was the table my grandmother always ate at. She just loved their Chow Mein. I have not eaten that dish since.

 In the world we live today Paperback Movie Tie-in books aren’t what they used to be. They don’t have the great graphics that I love so much. So I hope you enjoy all the books and their wonderful graphics and images. There is still many that I have not added yet. I’m still documenting them all.

The golden years of Paperback Movie Tie-in books are over. They shall not pass our way again. 

Click here to see my Movie Tie-in Books Photo Album for books A-M or view slide show below

Click here to see my Movie Tie-in Books Photo Album for books N-Z or view slide show below


The Iconic Photographs of Margaret Bourke-White

Below are a few of the iconic photographs of the great Margaret Bourke-White. I’ve always loved her photographs but when I came upon the aerial photograph of the Boardwalk of Edgemere – Far Rockaway Long Island from a 1954 Life Magazine,it set me on a course of discovery. I was amazed to learn that she began her photographic career in Cleveland, taking many photographs of my great city, from the steel mills to the gardens, bridges and buildings. I went deeper and discovered her lifetime of work which I fell in love with and now share with you.

The photos here and on my online archive are courtesy from the following books:

  • Margaret Bourke-White, The Photography of Design 1927-1936, Stephen Bennet Phillips
  • Margaret Bourke-White, Photographs 1904-1971, Introduction by Terrence Heath
  • Margaret Bourke-White, The Cleveland Years  1927-1930 , The New Gallery of Contemporary Art – Cleveland Ohio


Note: all captions are for photos from left to right
Oliver Chilled Plow
, Plow Blades 1930
Royal Typewriter 1932
Otis Steel, 200 Tons, Ladle 1928
Industrial Cable 1930

        

Lincoln Electric, Sparks 1929
International Harvester, Welding Parts 1933
Chesterfield Cigarette, Barrels, early 1930’s

To see hundreds more, click here to go to my online Margaret Bourke-White album or you can view slide show below.

Reflections: Going Forward from Edgemere – Far Rockaway Archives to Baumwoll Archives

 Edgemere – Far Rockaway Archives started as a labor of love. The idea came to me when my partner Andrew Reach and I went to hear Scott Ligon, author of  the book “Digital Art Revolution”, and professor and head of the digital art department at Cleveland Institute of art. Andrew was personally invited to hear the lecture. As I sat there with Andrew and listened to Scott speak, I became more intrigued with what he was saying. He was telling the audience that we live in a new age, an age where everything is becoming accessible to all through digital technology and the internet. Through his presentation he showed us the power of giving back what we have by sharing and giving it away and by doing so, will be amazed at what will come back to you. Instead of hoarding anything, release it and let it be free to live on, way beyond the life we are living today. Before this digital age, most things were lost. That’s why so many of us are now being able to reconnect with the family histories we lost because of the ease of research through the internet with geneaology. When the lecture was over, and Andrew and I were talking with Scott and his wife, I let Scott know that he inspired me and I was going to go home and try to allow myself to let go of all that I was holding on to.

And so I began and that was the spirit that was the birth of this blog. Since I had no plan, my idea was to share all that I had and to try and make all the photographs that I could find of Edgemere and Far Rockaway live beyond any one person or website. Being an eclectic person, I also began to share all the things I have been collecting from my 60 years on this planet. For any of you who don’t have children, you will understand. “What will happen to all the things I’ve collected?” I wanted them not to be lost and forgotten. There are no children to leave them to.

I began going through my drawers and old paper and was amazed at what I had. I started the blog doing posts about Edgemere and Far Rockaway as I searched for my own family history, reflecting and reconnecting with my past. As any of you have followed my blog, I’m a man that has learning disabilities. It was always about being in the present and finishing the one thing I was trying to do, never reflecting on where it would take me to next. So with each new post and each new picture that I added, I was excited that the task was done and that the photograph was saved. I got a great response from people.

I began saving Skip Weinstock & Carol Marston’s photos from their sites Rockaway Beach Reunion Website and  More Old Rockaway Photos respectively since the beginning of the internet, never imaging at the time that I would someday put them on a blog. I also began saving every photo on the internet and everything that sold on ebay related to the memories of Rockaway that I could find.

When I began saving the photos, I had already begun to sell my collections of movie posters and movie tie -in books and ads from magazines from 1890 to 1970 all through the mail through my company Poster Palace. See, I’m a person who has great difficulty with words as I don’t see words in my head, I see pictures. That’s why for me to get each post done has been a true act of overcoming learning disabilities. By the time I began the blog, technology had changed so much that I was willing to try my own visual experience in the form of making videos that I share on youtube. They are made fast at the speed my brain goes at so that’s how my mind perceives pictures.

As the blog progressed in this two year period, I still did what I’ve always done, to save pictures off the internet, never with an ill intent. My intention was to enjoy the photographs on the journey they take me on and to share them with the people who come to my blog. I’m a very quiet man. I’m taken back and humbled by the fact that 152,111 people have looked at my blog and youtube videos. Typical to my personality, my brain keeps pushing me to expand and my blog has taken on a whole entire other life that I never imagined that I would be doing. I created videos expressing marriage equality that gay and straight people all over the world have looked at. I did a video of the area I live in, The Gordon Square Arts District that the residents of Cleveland have told me they really enjoy and captures the spirit of this place. Being a collector of paper ephemera since I was a boy and a seller of paper ephemera, I had a photo that Margaret Bourke-White took from the air of the Far Rockaway board walk from a 1950’s life magazine. I made a post showing the photo. So many people from around the world came to see it. With such enthusiasm, I decided to create a video of the photographs of Margaret Bourke-White.  I created a gallery of all of my paper book movie tie-in books that so many people have enjoyed.

When I began this blog, I wanted my grandfather Nathan Baumwoll and my uncle Max Schulkin’s movies and photographs not to be forgotten. By putting these photos on my blog with their names, they have become indexed on google and other search engines. These are men that died and were forgotten and now they have had a rebirth through this new digital age.

Barbara Cooper contacted me and told me the story of her father Murray Cooper who came for the seasons and stayed on Beach 38th Street and documented life there with his Kodachrome photographs. His last words to Barbara were “Don’t let my pictures be forgotten”. I told Barbara, let me make you post and make you a video of your fathers pictures and he will live again. People now search for Murray Coopers photographs of Far Rockaway. What I got out of doing all of that is the thrill that it will live on.

I have had trouble with one person ever since I turned down his idea of how I should write for him, a story that I suggested for his site. He wanted to tell me how to do it and how many pictures I could use. I have never been good with people trying to control me. And that’s when Andrew said “Why not start your own blog”. From that choice of not listening to him the man that has the other site and giving him my story we have not gotten along.  He would not let me join his facebook group. I once again was on the outside.  I just kept doing what I have been doing. It was my mistake to take pictures off his site, never really understanding how much his owning them in his own mind meant to him. That is until he made a complaint and had photos taken off my site accusing me of stealing them. Had I really understood, I would have gladly paid for the use of any photograph. At the beginning of our blogs, I  gave credit to him and his writers, but no matter what I did, it was not what he wanted. I could not make it right. I am an honorable man, taking no monetary gain; my motive was to share them with the people coming to my blog. If it wasn’t for Skip and Carol inspiring all of us to remember our memories of the Rockaways, we may not even be here having this conversation. We owe much of the credit to them. So I shall not take anything from his site and many of his photos will just disappear again into the vault. I meant no harm to anyone. As far as me trying to be any ones staunchest competitor, I did not even know that we were competing. I learned a long time ago, the only person I have to compete with is myself.

My blog has been evolving for a long time now. My interests being so eclectic, the focus of the blog was not merely only about the Rockaways but so much more. So now I embark on a new journey with my blog, beginning with a name change from Edgemere – Far Rockaway Archives to the Baumwoll Archives. It will continue to be an eclectic mix of all the things that interest me and even new things that come my way and Edgemere and Far Rockaway will always be with me and will also be part of it as well. I will tell stories, use photos and books from around the world and create new videos to keep evolving and keep going forward but most of all to keep going.

For any of you that read my blog, much of it has been dedicated to my life partner of 32 years, Andrew Reach. The gravity of his illness and the daily obstacles he goes through to get through each day inspires me to stay present, keep going on and take nothing for granted. Just as my blog is a way of giving back to the world we also give of Andrew’s art to the world to help others. Andrew put out a 2012 calendar of his art this year and we donated hundreds of them to children’s hospitals around the United States: St Judes Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Children’s National Hospital in Washington DC and Children’s Hospital Boston at Harvard. These hospitals don’t only have small children but older kids and teenagers. This group of kids have outgrown the children’s art that dominates these facilities and the hospitals gave the calendars to this older group to bring a little color and joy to their stays.

We find what Scott Ligon taught us is the way to go in life. Give it all up to the new world. It’s really amazing how much has come back to us. The Baumwoll Archives is a place that will keep growing and changing. I have been working on collecting Jewish paper ephemera; items and photos from books from all over the world, things that most people have not seen in one place, things that were lost in the holocaust and somehow saved. Without the new technology of the digital age, most of us would never see them and they would be lost, locked in books in libraries around the world. I will keep doing what I have been doing and it shall be left to the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC.

Andrew’s art continually keeps expanding and we have been asked to write our life story, a story of love, commitment, reinvention and inspiration. We donate his art to many different places to help raise money for important causes.

Nothing really belongs to any of us. It’s here and then it is pasted down. Again it’s hard when someone slanders you. Yet what can you do? One must keep going. Again if I used any of your photo graphs that any one does not wish me to use please let me know and I shall not and will take it off my site. I shall never sell any photos from the rockaways for money. I have been asked by organizations and private people to create small films for them for money but that is not where my heart is. So onward I go, to a new change, the Baumwoll Archives.

Soon a new store, Vintage Palace, will open and I shall begin to sell all of my collections throughout my life. I hope you come to visit sometimes.

Bruce Baumwoll

Bruce Baumwoll (in white shirt) sitting on sand talking to his grandmother Eva Baumwoll (in chair) at Beach 38th Street
Photo by Murray Cooper 

Boardwalk at Beach 38th Street – The big brown
house is our families home
Photo by Murray Cooper

Photo by Murray Cooper


My dad Jack Baumwoll with his cab at the corner of our house on
Beach 38th Street and Sprayview Avenue

Bushes in front of our house near the corner of Sprayview Avenue, Straight ahead  are the original bungalows toward the elevated subway and Edgemere Ave
Photo by my uncle Max Schulkin 


My brother Ira Baumwoll coming off
Beach 38th Street to our house

Still from my grandfather Nathan Baumwoll’s home movies 

Nathan Baumwoll coming down the front stairs
of our house on Beach 38th Street
Still from my grandfather Nathan Baumwoll’s home movies taken by my father Jack Baumwoll 

New York City Archives 2

Here are some more of the photos from the New York Archives along with other  photographers photos. Each one of them will take you back to a place that once was filled with many of our memories. Time does not stand still.  Many of these places are still there . The times have changed and some of the views are new, but many are the same. The  part of the Rockaway’s that was destroyed by Robert Moses and  left to die is finding new life with new families as they discover the wonder of the sea and the wonderful  boardwalk. I still say there is no place like home. 

Photo By: Todd Berkun

rockaways photos 2

Here are some more photos of the Rockaway’s .

Detroit Publishing company

Detroit Publishing Company

Detroit Publishing Company

Detroit Publishing Company

 

 

 

 

The Wonderful world of Rockaway’s Playland

For all who grew up in the Rockaways remember Playland. Whether you were  very young with all your families your first time.  One can never forget this wonderful place. As  we grew older many of us went there to hang out as they use to say and just be there on a saturday with our own friends. Again it was a simpler time. For a few dollars we could be with our friends or by ourselves. Remembering All the smells and the grit of the place is another feeling of home.  I have been collecting photograph and postcards for over 30 years now . Its fun to put them all together for all to see this wonderful place. I hope you enjoy all your own memories.

Bruce Baumwoll

Photo By: Julie Wilson

Photo By : Julie Wilson

Woody Allens : Radio Days

Many of the images of Playland are from Carol Marston’s site More Old Rockaway Photos. Her web site was started years ago and she is still updating the site with new photos. I began saving Skip & Carol’s photos from their sites Rockaway Beach Reunion Website and More Old Rockaway Photos respectively since the beginning of the internet. They allowed me to show thier photos on my blog with my personal reflections.

Other photos are from E-bay where they were for sale. The postcards and paper ephemera still sell everyday from e-bay. There is no copyright infringement on postcards and most paper ephemera as it was meant to be thrown away.

The Photography of Margaret Bourke-White: “Ball” composed by Craig Armstrong, performed by The London Session Orchestra from the score to the Motion Picture Plunkett & Macleane

Hurricane Irene Photographs From the Rockaway’s

Photo By : Craig Ruttle

photo by: Craig Ruttle

There is no way one can explain how beautiful the sea is when a storm is coming. Some of the days when the sky was dark with a storm coming would be my favorite times. The power of the wind in your face and the roaring of the sea, I would always love to go then and fine all those wonderful shells.

Photographer unknown

Photographer unknown

Photographer unknown

Photographer unknown

Photographer unknown

Photographer unknown

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Photographer unknown

Photographer unknown

Photographer unknown

Photographer unknown

New York Times, Photo By : Todd Heisler

Photographer unknown

Photo By Andrew Berends

Photographer unknown

Photographer unknown

Photographer unknown

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Photographer unknown

Photographer unknown

Photographer unknown

Photographs of The Rockaways

Photo By Matthew Carson

Photographer unkown

Photo By: Emilio Fuerra

The black and white photos that are next are some of the most haunting of a place that once had such life. There is such a beauty in these photographs such a stillness.

Photographer unknown

all the black and white

photos are by the same person