In August, 2003, I was working on a "Feature"
presentation for nywf64.com for the
Singer Bowl, the Fair's stadium and assembly building, with David
Oats. To look at the Singer Bowl -- or Louis Armstrong Stadium
as it is known today -- one would never know that by the late
1970s the structure had become nearly as derelict as the New
York State Pavilion is today. The Singer Bowl was unused and
virtually abandoned by the New York City Parks Department. The
lack of funding for New York's parks during the city's financial
crisis of the 1970s had taken a terrible toll on the arena.
Dave was instrumental in getting the structure
restored and in the hands of the U.S. Tennis Association. After
the U.S. Open was moved to Flushing Meadows, the Singer Bowl
was refurbished to become the home of that famous tennis tournament
held in late summer each year. Dave was also instrumental in
getting the name of the stadium changed to Louis Armstrong
Stadium in honor of Queens' famous son.
I was delighted that Dave had agreed to
put down on paper his struggles and triumphs in saving this great
legacy of the Fair. In anticipation, I developed the Singer Bowl
feature around Dave's essay. Those of you who knew David Oats
know that he always had about 15 "irons in the fire"
going at any given time so I waited patiently for him to get
to my particular "iron." Dave had written several essays
for nywf64.com over the
years. He was a journalist, a great writer and a great story
teller. Sadly, Dave passed away on February 5, 2008 having never
put down on paper for us his very personal story of the Singer
Time went by and after a computer change
and a new look for nywf64.com, the Singer
Bowl feature got lost. I thought that it had more-than-likely
been cleaned off of my old computer before ever being saved.
Then, while cleaning up some files recently, I came across the
old feature from 2003!
So here it is online at last ... the "lost"
feature ... which I very respectfully dedicate to Dave Oats.
He was a remarkable man with a remarkable connection to the Fair
that not many people can match. If you read the tribute at nywf64.com to Dave, you'll get a better idea of what I'm talking
about. He was a great guy and a great friend.
You are missed Dave. Thanks for the memories.
- Bill Young - Webhost
- April 26, 2010
- Also, gratefully acknowledging
photo contributions by Randy Treadway and Bill Cotter.