The "Motor Parkway Sunday Drive" held just before the arrival of Hurricane Sandy on October 28, 2012 was great fun. Here is a super report from Marc Hillman.
Oh, What a Time
By Marc Hillman
It’s been quite a long time since any car, let alone the 1909 Alco Black Beast (owned and driven by Howard Kroplick), a Ford Model T (owned by Paul Brozen), Ford Model A’s (driven by our club members), a '54 Ford Skyliner (driven by Jerry Bayer) or other vehicles drove on the Queens portion of the Motor Parkway. Yet, thanks to the Lake Ronkonkoma Heritage Association and, in particular, their President Ellyn Okvist (a member of both the Ford Model A Club of Long Island and the Motor Parkway Preservation Society). Who with assistance from Ashley Okvist and Bobby Kenter worked to organize, arrange, negotiate and coordinate this historic ride with the Parks Department of the City of New York, Borough of Queens and Cunningham Park. That’s exactly what we did.
For some 2 to 3 miles over one of the best sections of this preserved roadway, of which I know, opened for the first time to public traffic for this historical drive. Our drive started with an escort from the Parks Department whose cooperation was pivotal for the permission of and ensuring the success of the drive. All along the way we saw remnants of road guard rails, posts, and bridges built by Vanderbilt and still in use today. The drive through the lush foliage was reminiscent of the period of use along this time voyage of our presence. Along the route we were greeted by applause from joggers and walkers and some home owners who live along the way for the sheer beauty of the spectacle.
This was only the beginning of our trip. Ellyn had arranged for anyone who wished to continue this Motor Parkway Journey to do so. We had a New York City Police Highway Patrol escort from Cunningham Park onto the Queens portion of the Long Island Expressway heading east to the Nassau County Line where we were then handed over and escorted by Nassau County Highway Patrol.
Continuing east we were then escorted to our next handoff to the Suffolk County’s Highway Patrol along Route 110. Thanks to a rest stop along the route sponsored by Farmingville Bethpage Historical Society that supplied us with much needed and greatly appreciated coffee and donuts we were replenished of nutrients and fortified to continue on.
We then began the second half of our time travels as we navigated along Suffolk County’s Motor Parkway. With the utmost of professional and skilled services from Suffolk’s Finest, we maneuvered turns and curves along private homes and industrial parks, over Vets Highway, past modern hotels and businesses while over a road that helped shape our Long Island and beyond. Our escort ended when we arrived at Lake Ronkonkoma, as it did back when the Motor Parkway ended at the very same spot.
For those of you who were unable to attend this journey I can happily state….. maybe next year.