It was a hot August 1966 night in Long Beach, New York. My friend rode over to my house on his shiny black Schwinn bike. It was dark enough now and our generator headlights wizzed. Damn things slowed the bikes down but it was fun to see the orange lights get whiter the faster we rode. Racing to meet my best friend on Magnolia Blvd, the three of us would then ride up to Lindell Blvd and hang out with nothing to do. I was ready to ride down to the boardwalk in the cool Atlantic wind. We thought we saw ghosts at Glinda, the Good Witch rotting, condemned mansion at Laurelton Blvd (Billie Burke’s 1939 estate). We were grinning, 14 year-old flying monkeys. This wasn’t Kansas - Manhattan’s glowing dome lit up the sky 17 miles northwest of us like the Emerald City. There were no girls in our life to be jealous over yet, just witches. We were young, dumb and healthy in America’s Finest City.
Atlantic Ocean, Long Beach, New York, Glinda the Good Witch, Gilligan's Island, flying monkeys