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Coney Island Is the Place to Visit on a Sunday Afternoon.
Has any visitor wondered how the place was named?
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I think I found one answer in a dictionary that was compiled and published in 1839 by William Holloway.
In 2012, Old House Books of Great Britain republished William’s original dictionary and gave it a new title that got my attention at the bookstore, “TELLING DILDRAMS and TALKING WHIFF — WHAFF.”
William described Coney Land as a place that was only suitable for rabbits.
The Dutch word Konijn translates to rabbit in English, which may sound like Coney to some ears.
In William’s dictionary, I read that Mr. Coke bought some Coney Land.
“He saw but one blade of grass on a great extent, and for this one blade two rabbits were contending.”
After reading, I said to myself, “I can make a story with that information.”
I imagined that William was using “rabbits,” in place of “politicians.”
You are invited to come along and read my imaginary story.
The Tammany Hall Man Fights The Federalist Man
They have a duel, in front of Nathans hot dog stand
I visited Coney Island to celebrate my birthday in 1918. I had reached the age of maturity, and it was time to think about starting a family. All my friends got married and moved into different social circles.
I was not getting any younger.
What better place than Coney Island to meet a future wife? I did not want to accept the decorum of the past, which demanded that you had to be properly introduced before you could talk to an unknown lady.
Perchance I could meet a blue-stocking who would nod me an invitation to engage in a conversation.
( The Blue-Stocking Society hosted gatherings of Ladies that focused on intellectual pursuits and avoided debauchery. )
It was tricky I know. If I misjudged, there would be no conversation. I would receive two lumps on my belt from her Bumbershoot.
With positive thinking, I knew that the stars would bring our paths together. She would be modern like me. We could agree to engage in discourse, and as long as I showed her the proper respect for her intellect, there could be an agreement to a continuing conversation on Coney Island the following Sunday.
I walked for two hours. There was not one glance in my direction. What was wrong with me? Maybe it is my clothes. Maybe I look like a Dude.
I have a proper job. I am not a Dude prancing around in front of a tailor shop showing off the clothes of a tailor.
I stopped and bought some Cracker Jack and found a bench to watch people walk by. There were happy families, smiling and laughing,
I thought, “When I start a family, we will be here every Sunday after church.”
I sat there enjoying my Cracker Jack, while a catchy tune played in my head, “Buy me some Peanuts and Cracker Jack, I don’t care…….”
My song was interrupted by two men arguing loudly in front of Nathan’s hot dog stand.
I could tell by their hats that one was a Tammany Hall Man, and the other was a supporter of the Federalist Party.
The only thing they had in common was the hot dogs they were holding. They pulled out their dogs and pointed them at each other, shouting like two roosters at sunrise.
No one understood what was being said. It sounded like a bunch of Poppycock.
Nathan could take no more, he came out the door, waving a mean-looking knife. He shouted loudly and got their attention. “Don’t make me use this!”
They froze. They looked at Nathan. They looked at each other and quickly hopped away like two little rabbits.
They went in search of a news reporter to brag about how brave they were and how stupid the other bloke behaved.
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