Long Island in the 1960s

“Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days.”

doug larson

At the beginning of the 1960s, Long Island potato fields gave way to suburban neighborhoods. Rows of cookie-cutter ranch and split-level homes, with front lawns and backyards, lined the newly paved streets. The white middle class, looking for greener pastures for their ever-expanding families, had headed east of New York City in droves. Our family was no exception, and in 1960, the Donnellys settled in Deer Park.

       Entrepreneurial by nature and with a small loan from his parents, my father started a trucking business that quickly flourished. The most lucrative contract he had was with E-Z-Do Pools, manufacturers of in-ground swimming pools. In no time, the company was thriving, and my father had a fleet of a dozen trucks that drove up and down the East Coast, delivering pools.

       Our home reflected the unconventional 1960s and my father’s newfound wealth. A new, curved sectional sofa, drapes in vibrant colors and bold patterns, and a Zenith color television adorned the living room. My mother had wall-to-wall carpeting installed; it was all the rage and epitomized comfort and class.

       Pine cupboards, a Frigidaire, and wallpaper in eye-catching yellow sunflowers enhanced the kitchen. A large Formica and chrome table, with six vinyl-covered chairs, became the focal point of the Donnelly home. We had two cars in the driveway, and a housekeeper came twice a week. We were living the American dream.


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