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Author Wants Rockaways To Move Forward By Remembering Its Past

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Rockaways resident and author Vivian Carter is doing what she can to help Hurricane Sandy victims by donating copies of her book on the history of the neighborhood. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.

Time stands still in Vivian Carter's book, "Images of America, Rockaway Beach," which is full of vintage pictures of the Queens area, including the old Rockaway Playland, a beauty pageant at the beach and a woman's basketball team. Fast forward to 2013, and the area is still struggling to rebound, half a year after Hurricane Sandy.

"I think everyone is tapped out. We are all at the end of our resources as far as repairing our homes, repurchasing cars so we can get around. And I sense that it is very difficult for us to purchase things like books or gifts, so everyone is trying to help out a little bit," Carter says.

She is giving away $2,000 worth of copies of her book, and she got a grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts to do so.

"Many of them have already been given out to libraries and schools and churches and stores that lost their copies already," Carter says.

She will be giving more out copies on Saturday at the Blue Bungalow Gift Shop on Beach 116th Street. Owner Jeanne Jamin's store was damaged in the storm and she lost her home in Breezy Point.

"It's time to pull our socks up and think forward and make Rockaway better than it was and history plays a part in that as well," Jamin says.

The bookseller is now focusing on the future and hoping for a good summer.

"If you used to come to Rockaway 20 years ago, come back and enjoy that time again," Jamin says.

Lisa Long, the owner of the Rockapup Pet Shop further down on Beach 116th, echoes the same sentiments.

"I have to say there's a lot of anxiety about the summer, about what it is going to bring for us here. Because we kind of really rely on the summer months here," Long says.

The pet store owner says the city has helped bring merchants together to talk about improvements on the street and getting the word out that there are still businesses here that are welcoming customers.

"We're at least all on the same page of let's do this bigger, better and just make it awesome here," Long says.

Saturday's event at Blue Bungalow runs from 3 to 6 p.m. For more information and to reserve a free copy of Carter's book, visit her website at www.rockviv.com.

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