This is a photo we a couple of weeks ago. We were able to identify most of the people in the photo, but some people alluded us. Here’s a recap of what we knew:
The man next to the control box is Councilman Walter McCaffrey and the man in the center of the group is Assemblyman Fred Schmidt.
A native of Woodside, McCaffrey was first elected to the City Council in 1985. He was forced out of the City Council in 2001 by term limits. He passed away in the summer of 2013 at the age of 64.
Schmidt was a highly respected representative from Woodhaven who served 24 years in the Assembly. Following his political career, he went on to serve as judge in the State Supreme Court. He died in 2003 at the age of 71.
A reader contacted us and suggested the man on the far left is Gary Giordano, who to this day still serves as district manager of Community Board 5, and identified the man next to him as Jerry LaMura, who worked for several borough presidents in Queens.
And yet another reader suggested the woman in the blazer is Happy Rockefeller, the second wife of New York governor and one-time vice president Nelson Rockefeller.
We were a little dubious as to why such a bastion of New York's social elite would be in photo op for a new traffic light control box, so we asked our readers if they could confirm her identity.
Well, John Rowan emailed us that the woman in the blazer is Jane Curtain, the first district manager of Community Board 5. We can’t say for sure that he is correct, but it makes a lot more sense than a Rockefeller, so we are going to take his word on it.
Incidentally, some of our readers might recognize the name John Rowan, who in addition to being a longtime resident of Glendale is also the national president of the Vietnam Veterans of America.
And last but not least, a member of American Legion Post 1424 in Forest Hills sent us an old photo he had of the same technology – a traffic light control box - on Park Lane South dating from the early 80s.
As we have stated before, if you have old photos of political life in New York City that you would like to share with our readers, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.