A Letter of Remembrance
This is a letter we received when we were investigating the origin of these pictures. Larry Groff is planning to come down this summer to visit the pool!
My name is Larry Groff and I took the two pictures you have posted in the history of the pool over 55 years ago. The pool was empty in the pictures because they were taken in November on Thanksgiving Day around 1949.
The little girl in the picture is my sister Pat, who was two years younger than I. She is dressed in old adult clothes since it was a tradition for kids in Greenpoint to do that in those days, rather than on Halloween. Halloween was a mischief day, but costume day was on Thanksgiving in Greenpoint. We went door to door, chanting, "Anythingfathanksgiving?" and people would give us candy, nuts, etc. It was called "Ragamuffin Day" and apparently dated back to the turn of the century in Brooklyn. I think a reference to it is made in the famous book "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn."
Pat Groff was slain by an intruder who broke into her living quarters at 25 in 1967 while serving as a missionary-teacher in Bandung, Java, Indonesia for the Christian and Missionary Alliance. It was her life-long ambition to serve as a missionary and she had been in Indonesia only sixty days. She joined the Christian and Missionary Alliance when she was about 10 years old, attending a small church called Faith Gospel Church on Norman Avenue in Greenpoint.
It is great to see that efforts are being made to bring it back to glory. It was our oasis in the Brooklyn summers of long ago.