Livin' On the Edge

IMG 8180by Phil Girnis (Husband of Wendy (Elkis) Girnis, '77)

My name is Phil Girnis and I lived in Hicksville on and off for forty years, before leaving Long Island in the 1980s to pursue a job opportunity out of state.  My parents moved from Queens to Hicksville in the summer of 1957. I attended East Street School for the 5th and 6th grades and Hicksville Junior High for 7th and 8th. My remembrances of Hicksville life are quite different than most because of one factor: Location.  We lived in the easternmost section of Hicksville. Our little development was bounded on the west by New South Rd. (adjoining the Lilco building on Old Country Rd.) and the east by South Oyster Bay Rd. I was within two or three blocks from the borders of Hicksville, Bethpage, and Plainview.

 Unlike most Hicksville streets, bare lots were still on our block when we moved in. A few months after we arrived, builders started to prepare theIMG 0903Phil Girnis with his bike 1959 on Walter Ave. two lots across the street. What happened next was a goldmine for a bunch of fifth graders. The builders dug up dirt to accommodate the foundations. That left two great holes in the ground, just perfect for bicycle stunts. We would spend all day charging down those dirt walls. Who knew that dirt biking and BMX parks originated on my block?

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