Mastic Beach Pioneer
Capt. Tzoucalis With Son Mickey Off Of Section One circa 1942
notice the dropline ready for a flounder strike!
Last Friday April 22, 2005 I had the pleasure of speaking with Mr George Tzoucalis. George who is now 95 started coming out to Mastic Beach in the summer of 1942 . His son Charlie got in touch with me about a year ago and has now opened up a dialogue and photo exchange that helps add to the color and history of what the Mastic area I knew as kid was. My own grandparents (The Walter Josephs) moved there year round in 1940 , we followed in 1950.
Although our conversation was rather brief (and I hope to have a more with him) we talked about a lot of folks George knew that were the "founding fathers" if you will, of this then new summer community carved out of a few private estates. For example Izzy Sirulnink, the hardware store man who George said let a lot of folks slide on paying him for stuff they needed. George was close friends with Bob DeCordova who operated a garage in Section One on the corner of Aspen & Whittier which was then the hub of "Old Town" Mastic Beach. Bob would show silent movies in the garage on a Saturday Night. They also showed movies at the Democratic Club in "New Town"... George really enjoyed talking about the marina (The Lagoon ) with its crude docks, as it was a major drawing card for many of the folks from Brooklyn and Queens to move there.
At age 61 George and Anne semi retired to full time living Mastic Beach and he went to work at Old Neck Marina on the east side of Forge River until he was 76 and the owners sold the place. Of interest to me was the fact that the marina used the 1929 Pierce Arrow MBFD emergency wagon as a boatyard truck when George was working there. I recall it being kept in the original firehouse on Lakeview Dr. and riding in it as a kid.
Knowing that George is Greek and I naturally asked if he knew the George & Lillian Sutter family who lived in the largest and finest home in Mastic Beach from 1941-1950. Unfortunately he didn't. The Sutter family who were also Greek and Austrian with an Amercanised name continues to be an elusive mystery to me.
Below are a few pics of George's early days in the city and a link to a photo essay about life in his bungalow Four Aces & A Queen on Lakeview & Pine in Section Two.
IT'S A MOVING VAN AIN'T IT? .......WELL LET'S MOVE IT!
In 1927 17 year old George went to work for Merkel Movers in Queens. He stayed there till 1971 age 61 This photo is circa 1930's
Drummer George with his trio that played speakeasies and LI Gold Coast Parties in the 1920's