Greenpoint, October, 2015

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cropsey on the BQE

For most of us the name Cropsey means little, except perhaps as a convenient rhyme for "dropsy." However, for a couple generations of kids who went to sleepaway camps in New York State, Cropsey is maniac who lives out in the woods and preys on innocent children.

I first learned about the Cropsey legend from the film by Joshua Zeman and Barbara Brancacio (both from Staten Island). It's a well made  documentary about a series (or not a series?) of disappearances of children, usually with mental disabilities, on Staten Island in the 1970s and 1980s. Andre Rand, convicted of kidnapping in the case, was a semi-drifter who lived at least part of the time on the grounds of what had been the notorious Willowbrook State School,* subject of Geraldo Rivera's breakthrough expose on the treatment of the mentally ill.

I wonder if the drivers of Cropsey Scrap Iron trucks ever get strange looks, or specially wide berths, from those down below.

(The grounds and facilities of Willowbrook now house a number of august institutions, most notably, the College of Staten Island, or CSI to the cognoscenti.)

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