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Monday, September 1, 2014
Edward Richard Manck, who was born in Baldwin in 1921, died in late November at the age of 91. Before he died, Manck — an underwriter for MetLife who served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II — set down some thoughts about the Baldwin of his youth. Written when Manck was 86, his words shed light on what people mean when they speak of how Long Island, “used to be.” This is the first part of Manck’s work. Part II will run next week.
Ed Manck: Memories of Baldwin
Grand Avenue “As I remember it” Part I
Ed Manck

I’m 86 now, so my memories may not be as accurate as others, but I enjoy them just the same.

Grand Avenue, for me, began at the Southern State Parkway. On the northeast corner running along the highway was Terronova’s Farm. It really wasn’t a farm when I knew it, although they had a farm stand. It was a large field running into a wooded area towards Freeport. When I was 13 or 14, we would rent horses at Hempstead Lake and ride them to Terranova’s. We could gallop in the field and have a lot of fun and, when it was late, we would ride into the woods to cool the horses down. I remember the steam coming off the horses and the night mist surrounding us. It was a great feeling of peace. When we headed back, we had a tough time holding the horses. They knew their day was over and they were in a hurry to get some oats and a night’s rest.

There were a couple of bars near the stables. I remember one particularly because a friend of mine, John Manecke, played guitar there. I think Ed Harnischfeger played drums and they had someone on vibraharp. It was a great sound as they were all great musicians. These nightclubs were a favorite hangout of people my age, and they played the music of the 30s and 40s.

In the same area as Terranova’s there was a club named The Hay Loft. If I remember correctly, it catered to a gay crowd from NYC.

Russ and Mo Wygand, who lived on Grand Terrace, formed our band. Mo played first alto sax, Russ played tenor and I played second alto. There was a trumpet, a drum, and a one-eyed piano player who sometimes read a book while he played. We played at a bar named 5 Corners in Bethpage. I also played with pick-up bands whenever a gig was
available.

On the corner of N. William Street and Grand was the cookie bakery. They made those little red and green cake-like cookies with chocolate on top. Across from N. William on Grand, was the North End Tavern. Jack Higgins, who sang in our band, and I spent many a happy hour there. Jack was a pilot during the war. He went back into the service after the war, and lost his life when his C47 crashed.

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