Hurricane Sandy’s Sand in Sheapshead Bay: A High School Reunion

My friend George is a printer. A hard working one. I had not seen George in over 30 years until today. Hurricane Sandy brought us together.

George and I went to high school together. After graduation, he stayed in Brooklyn running his father’s print shop and I went off to college. Last week I was watching the news and mention of how hard Sheapshead Bay got hit by the hurrricane reminded me of George. I found his number and called him. 

“Hey Coffee Bean, (his nickname for me), how ya doin’?” Me: “I hear your area got hit hard buddy”. G: “My life is a mess kiddo. I lost almost everything.” Me: “What can I do, How can I help?” G: “How about bringing a gun with a single bullet?”.

I took a train today to say hello and help clean up the print shop. On the surface the area near the train station where the print shop is located looks fine – Post Office workers were back on the job; many for the first time since the storm. But a peek inside the neighborhood jewelry stores, shoe shops, bakeries and —  the print shops, shows the very dire situation for many hard working families. Livelihoods have been destroyed.

George practically lost his family’s 70 year-old print shop in Hurricane Sandy.The flodding was relentless; sand came up through the sewage system and practically runied the basement machinery and electrical wiring. Recovery efforts will go on for a very long time.

My buddy and his neighbors need help.

Over 100 sandbags, 7 hours and 30 years later our reunion has only just begun.


Photo: Orlando Camargo

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