Photo op for cutting-edge tech
Apr 22, 2020 | 11658 views | 0 0 comments | 1531 1531 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As we stated in previous columns, given the current state of affairs in our city and nation, it doesn’t feel quite right to take a cynical stance on politics right now, so we’ve been revisiting our archives.

This is a photo we ran some time back, and here’s what our readers were able to tell us about it.

A number of people identified the man next to the control box and the man in the center as Councilman Walter McCaffrey and Assemblyman Fred Schmidt, respectively.

A native of Woodside, McCaffrey was first elected to the City Council in 1985. He was widely viewed by his colleagues as a shrewd politician with a quick wit. 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.

Another reader shared that Schmidt was married with nine children, a conservative Democrat and war veteran. One of his sons delivered newspapers to area residents. Similar in occupation to Fred Trump's oldest son, Fred, who delivered the Long Island Press to neighbors in Jamaica Estates. One difference: young Trump had a limousine taking him back home after his efforts.

Another reader 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 suggested the woman in the blazer is Happy Rockefeller, the second wife of New York governor and one-time vice president Nelson Rockefeller.

We're still not sure why such a bastion of New York's social elite would be in photo op for a new traffic light control box, but if anybody can confirm it is her or correctly identify the woman – or anyone else in the photo we didn’t name - you can always reach us at

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.

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