Middle Village had a volunteer fire department in the late 1800's. I wonder how many people knew that Middle Village also had a volunteer fire department during World War II.
Most of the men were older than draft age or men with families but they still wanted to help when war was declared. Burke, Gaeta, Kauff, Krapf, Stillwaggon, Specht, were just a few of the names of the men who were trained to help the regular city fire department and were ready in case of disaster or if our cities were bombed by the enemy.
On Sunday afternoons during the summer months the volunteer firemen and their families went to an old farm on Dry Harbor Road to play baseball. Boundaries of the farm land were Dry Harbor Road, Furmanville Avenue and Woodhaven Blvd. (After the war it became part of St. John's Cemetery.) Families couldn't go far because gas was rationed so many a pleasant afternoon was spent on the old farm.
The men played ball and the wives and children took advantage of the cool breezes under the old trees. Besides volunteer firemen, off-duty city firemen, volunteer ambulance drivers and boys who were home on leave and even a few merchant mariners in between trips to Russia and other ports would come down to play ball too.
At the outings beer and soda were served and everyone was welcome. It was a family day enjoyed by all.
I was scorekeeper for the games.