The Huntington Station Community, from its founding in 1867 to its physical destruction
through the Urban Renewal program in the 1960's,to its ongoing Revitalization efforts.
 

Dr. Alfred V. Sforza


Dr. Alfred V. Sforza is a lifelong resident of the Town of Huntington and educated in the Huntington Public School System. After graduating from Huntington R. L. Simpson High School, he attended Fordham University (1957-1959), NYU University Heights (1959-1961), NYU College of Dentistry (1961-1965).

After graduation from NYUCD, he returned to Huntington to practice his chosen profession. In addition to his private practice, he returned to NYUCD as an Associate Clinical Professor in Pediatric Dentistry for the next 40 years. Presently he still maintains a private dental practice with his son Dr. Anthony V. Sforza. He is a member of the American Dental Association, the Suffolk County Dental Association, Fellow of the Suffolk Academy of Medicine, and the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.

He is a two-term member of the Huntington Historical Society Board of Trustees and has served on the Town Of Huntington 350 Anniversary th Committee (2003), and Town of Huntington Police Department Appreciation Day Committee (2003), Huntington Police Department Wall Of Fame (2005), and and the Town of Huntington’s Ethnicity Committee.

He has published three books on the history of Huntington:

Portrait Of A Small Town I
Huntington Station
A Pictorial and Personal History
of Huntington Station

Portrait Of A Small Town II
Huntington, New York
‘In The Beginning’

A personal and pictorial history of the
Government, Law Enforcement, Geology,
First Americans,and Places of Worship
that influenced the development of Huntington.

Portrait Of A Small Town III
Huntington Station
‘A New Perspective’

A Critical Review of Urban Renewal and a Vanished Community.
“A Narrative That Needs To Be Told.”


He has lectured on the history of Huntington, Huntington Station, and the H. Bellas Hess estate, Native Americans and the Town government and law enforcement, at the Huntington Historical Society, schools, libraries, churches, and community organizations.

Dr. Sforza is married to his highschool sweetheart, the former Barbara J. Albin who was also born in Huntington. They have three children and six grandchildren. His father, affectionately called “Freddie the Shoemaker” has been in business in Huntington for over 75 years.

The Sforza’s have resided in Huntington all their lives. Dr. Sforza, often called the “ Historian of Huntington Station,” and his family have close ties with the area and the people that make up this Long Island community. They are a part of the heart of Huntington.

 

Alfred A. Sforza

a.k.a.“Freddie the Shoemaker”


(Reprinted from the book “Portrait Of A Small Town III)


This book is dedicated to my father whose fond memories of the people and places of Huntington Station inspired the pages of my book. Born on July 13, 1914, he lived his early childhood in Brooklyn. During the summers, he was a frequent visitor to his sister’s home in Huntington Station. His brother-in-law, Mike Aurricchio, owned and operated a shoe repair business in Huntington Station. When his brother-in-law died, his sister asked Fred if he would like to come out to Huntington and take over Mike’s shoe repair business.

On March 3, 1934, Freddie’s Shoe Repair business was established in Huntington Station. His first place of business was at 1157 New York Avenue. Later when the building was sold, he moved to 1169 New York Avenue.

Over the many years he has been affectionately called “Freddie the Shoemaker” and “The unofficial mayor of Huntington Station.” Fred has been known to be an “easy hit.” Children coming into town would ask Freddie to “borrow” a nickle or a penny for candy and ice cream. He was always obliging. The elderly, if they stopped to rest in a chair in his store, would be assured of him rushing out to buy them a soda or an ice cream. If any of his customers met with hard times, they would often hear his gravelly voice say “no charge.” And no insisting would change
his mind.

One day in 1934, an attractive young lady named Lena Bifulco came into his store to have her pocketbook fixed. He was smitten by the love bug. They were married November 29, 1936 in St. Patrick’s Church in Huntington Village. He maintains that since then “she has been fixin’ my pocketbook.” He says the key to their successful marriage is that he doesn’t hear very well.

They had only one child. I guess I was enough. I gave them a wonderful daughter-in-law and three grandchildren who produced six great grandchildren [This year(2009), they would have been married 72 years. Sadly, Mom passed away September 5th 2008. He misses her very much every single day.]

Throughout the years, Fred’s shop has served as a meeting place to discuss current events. Mornings were reserved for coffee and rolls and arguing local and national politics. Local policemen could always be assured of the finest shoe shine, a place to warm up on cold winter days, and an available bathroom. The cops’ booth near the railroad station was small and had just enough room for a desk and a filing cabinet, but no bathroom. He was known as the “cops’ best friend.”

During World War II, his storefront window displayed a vast number of photographs sent to him by Huntington’s servicemen overseas. Men on leave from the war would stop by at “Freddies” to get up-to-date information on the fate of their friends. Although many of the photographs have faded, most still remain in his collection. He could not find it in his heart to throw them out. Each person in each photograph had a special meaning to him.

He loved the Brooklyn Dodgers. He stuck by “dem Bums” until they finally won a World Series against the Yankees in 1955. I remember the headline of the New York News the next day asking “Who’s A Bum?” To this day, he has never forgiven the Dodgers for moving to Los Angeles. Today he roots for the New York Mets.

He loved playing baseball too. Mom still smiles when she remembers the days he was supposed to be cutting the lawn and the hedges. She would go outside looking for him and he was nowhere to be found. The lawn mower and the hedge cutter were sitting on the lawn, but no Fred. Someone driving by had asked him if he wanted to play baseball at Manor Field which was just a ball throw from our home on Second Street in Huntington Station. He dropped everything to play his favorite game.

As the manager of a Huntington softball team, he has been inducted into Huntington’s Softball Hall of Fame. His name along with some of his friends and teammates is proudly displayed in Huntington’s Town Hall.

In 1966, when Urban Renewal destroyed the hamlet of Huntington Station, he was forced to move his business to Huntington Village at 308 New York Avenue. For [75 years] he has continued to repair shoes six days a week. His week has been, to quote Fred, “the same thing . . . day in . . and . . . day out.” He works Monday through Saturday and on Sunday he is an usher at the 7:30 mass at St. Patrick’s Church. As long as I can remember that has been his schedule. In fact, both my parents had to work. We never went on a “vacation.” Never missed it either.

He is the only person I know in Huntington that is operating the same business for [75 years] and still counting. . .a record that will be hard to break.

In 1994, Supervisor Frank Petrone dedicated May 29 in the town records as “Fred Sforza Day” honoring his contribution to the Huntington business community
.
By his dedication to his family, his friends, and to his town, he is the epitome of a “Huntington Station Man.” If I could be one half of the man, the son, the father, the husband and the friend he has been, then I would consider myself to be very successful in my life.

On May 17, 2009 over 100 guests gathered at the Huntington Crescent Club to celebrate Fred,s 75 years in business in the Town of Huntington

In his tribute to his father, Dr. Alfred V. Sforza, a local dentist, historian, and author of three books on Huntington and Huntington Station, stated that..

.” Fred always enjoyed his job and more so enjoyed helping those less fortunate than himself. “Many times people would approach me in recent years and tell me ‘Your father fixed my family’s shoes and never charged us a cent’ Dad always received great pleasure in saying ‘no charge.’ He is a proud man, and regardless of the many “no charges”, he still managed to support his family in a comfortable way. We had our own home, owned our own car.... and never suffered from want. Dad worked hard his whole life. He worked long hours ... survived the Great Depression, World War II, and what he calls “ hard times”... and guess what ...

he was able to do all this without a stimulus package”

reinwald

Cake courtesy of Reinwald's Bakery in Huntington
Made for 75th Anniversary Celebration for
Freddie the Shoemaker
at the Huntington Crescent Club
May 17, 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
bj
 
 
Barbara & Al Sforza
 


 


 

 

 

 

To Contact Author
dravsforza@verizon.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 
FRED
 
 

Alfred A. Sforza
"Freddie the Shoemaker"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Since then...she has been fixing my pocketbook"
1934

married
November 29 1936
leefred

"They Would Have Been Married 72 Years"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bj av and fred

Barbara Al and Fred Sforza
Huntington Crescent Club
May 17 2009