I grew up in the greatest neighborhood in the world. Well looking back on Rockaway Beach, Queens it sure seemed like an ideal place to grow up. I grew up 2 blocks from the Beach. It was Heaven. When I was a kid every summer my friends and I would go down to the beach and bodysurf, swim, build sandcastles, play volleyball and bask in the glory of the Sun. We baked in the sand like lizards lying on hot rocks. Like I said Heaven.
I remember one of my first jobs was selling ice cream on the boardwalk up at Riis Park. The year was 1986. I was fifteen years old. I sold ice cream bars on commission on the beach. I had 'em lined up around the lifeguard station buying frozfruits and strawberry shortcakes like there was no tomorrow. Within a few months I had been promoted to inventory manager. It was more glamorous than it sounds folks! I got to ride up and down the boardwalk on a golf cart supplying all of my friends with ice cream, cases of hot dogs, buns and any kind of condiment you can dream up. And when I was not working I would enjoy the magnificent pastel colored sunsets, which were only slightly overshadowed by the glaringly gorgeous sunrises. I never knew how lucky I was until I got a little older and realized not everybody had a beach or a park to play in. Those were special days. Days I cherish very close to my heart. Anybody you ever meet from Rockaway Beach will have similar stories to share. It was Heaven.
November 11th Lin and I flew back to NYC from Greece. The trip was just what the doctor ordered-pure relaxation. Away from the none sense and hustle and bustle of the city. Earlier in the day we met up with one of my parents old tenants from Rockaway. As it turned out Dimitra was visiting her family in Greece the same time we were on vacation. We talked and caught up on the way back to NYC. When we arrived I surprised her husband Bill and we caught up some more. They were like family when we lived in Rockaway.
Every Summer Bill & Dimitra would join us in our backyard and we would have a bar-b-que. I had never really been exposed to Greek culture or cuisine before I met them, let me tell those of you who have not tasted much Greek food- you don't know what you are missing. Anyhow Bill & Dimitra were kind enough to offer us a ride back to Park Slope. We talked about the good old days before I had moved and before my parents had sold the house. It was really nice and I felt good.
The trip had really done wonders for me and I felt re-energized. I was very excited about getting into the office on Monday. I got a good nights sleep and when I awoke in the morning I was about to get dressed when my partner Steve called. Before I could tell him what a great time we had he asked me to turn on the TV. I got very worried. What had happened? When I turned on the TV I could not believe my eyes! My little piece of Heaven on earth was a blazing inferno. An airplane had struck Rockaway Beach. I had this very sick feeling in the pit of my stomach as I watched houses on Beach 130th Street burning to the ground. I could not believe it. I grew up on Beach 134th Street. Needless to say I never got to work that day. I tried to get in touch with as many friends as I could to make sure everybody was safe. Thank God they were all ok. I traveled to Rockaway over the Thanksgiving weekend. One of my Friend's homes was charred on one side; four houses were completely gone. There was a memorial set up right outside of the closed off area. I spoke with my old chiropractor later on in the week. He lives about 100 feet from where the plane crashed. He told me about things he saw that needn't be repeated in such graphic detail, as I am sure you can imagine.
What did I walk away with from this? What positive thing can you possibly pull out of these last few months that have been filled with such horror and tragedy? Here is what I have learned and am trying to live. Don't let the little things get you down, it could be worse, much worse. Live every day to the fullest. Be thankful for all you have. Make the most with everyday you are blessed with and don't take your time here for granted.
My wallet was stolen from me on Wednesday night. I have to say I was upset but not that upset. I kind of looked at my arms and legs and said "I'm still here, it was only money and some credit cards-nothing that can't be replaced with a few phone calls and some hard work." Don't get me wrong I am not happy that someone stole from me but I was able to put it into perspective and I realized it wasn't so bad.
Thanks for reading this. I had to write it and share it with you all. I have been feeling so much lately.
And now on to the comic market. We have been seeing a tremendous increase in mid 60's mid-grade Silver Age. People are buying up Marvels, D.C.'s in and around fine condition. I have been selling Atom, Aquaman, Brave & Bold, Flash, Green Lantern, Mystery in Space, Phantom Stranger, Sea Devils, Showcase, Superman, Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, Fantastic Four, Incredible Hulk, Sgt. Fury, Strange Tales, and Thor. This is a good sign. People are reading comics and putting runs together. I have personally spoken to many of these buyers and they are truly excited to find and get to read stories they haven't seen in a long time.
CGC graded books have also been selling well. Amazing Spider-Man #7 VF+ 8.5 $1,250.00, Batman #85 VF 8.0 $550.00, Captain America #111 Boston Copy NM+ 9.6 $650.00, Fantastic Four #26 NM 9.4 $1,690.00, Flash #114 VF- 7.5 $200.00 and Showcase #24 VF/NM 9.0 $1,650.00.
I think we will continue to see an increase in collecting and investing over the next six months. Many people are using the slow down in the economy to put their money into comics. The stability and growth potential are there and interest rates are getting lower and lower. Now is a great time to buy comics.
For myself, my partner and my entire staff at Metropolis I want to wish you all a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year.