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Letter: Reflections

On Wednesday I will close the sale of my childhood home at 221 McKinley Parkway, Mineola. My parents Joseph and Gilda Jansen moved to Mineola in June of 1953 and raised four siblings and myself in the village. My father died in 2008 and my mother passed away in December of 2011. This simple real estate transaction severs my physical connection to Mineola.

However, I have only the fondest and warmest memories of my childhood there in the 1950s and 1960s. There was something very different about that now bygone era.

My parents and our neighbors on McKinley Parkway were urban pioneers. For the most part they left various boroughs of New York City and attached themselves to their piece of the American dream on small lots in Mineola. Those pioneers shared the common psychic scar of the Great Depression and elation at having fought and vanquished totalitarianism in World War II.

They brought that common experience to Mineola and it was the foundation and the cornerstone of a cohesive community, which struggled and scraped for a better life for its children. These were people with a strong work ethic and willingness to sacrifice for the betterment of their families. I think that those humble people succeeded at that task far more than they ever dreamed possible.

I salute my loving parents and the Hutters, and Flinns and Lupinaccis and Fitzpatricks and so many others on McKinley Parkway for indeed they were risk-taking pioneers who formed and crafted a piece of the American Dream for those who followed them.

I may have severed my physical ties to Mineola with the sale of a house but the memories of that time and place will remain deep in my memory as long as I shall live.

John J. Jansen
Mineola resident