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51 Birch Street


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"51 Birch Street is the latest autobiographical doc sensation"


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The Characters

Mike Block

was born, raised and educated in Brooklyn, NY.  He returned home from the army and married Mina Vogel in 1947.  In 1951, they bought a house and moved to Port Washington, where they raised their three children.

A mechanical engineer by trade, Mike worked as Chief Engineer, VP and Plant Manager for a number of different manufacturing companies in New York City and on Long Island.  He eventually became a partner in a machine shop, then sold the business and retired in 1990.

After Mina’s death in 2002, he re-connected with a former secretary, Carol “Kitty” Duffy, and they married in 2003.  That fall, they sold the home in Port Washington and moved to Kitty’s house in Key Largo, Florida.  In 2005, they bought a house in Sun City Center, Florida, where they currently reside.

Mina Block

was born in 1923, and grew up in the Bronx and Brooklyn, NY.  She graduated from Brooklyn College in 1945, and married Mike Block in 1947, a year after he returned from combat overseas during World War 2.  Their first daughter, Ellen, was born in 1949, and Karen was born a year later.  In 1951, the family moved to Port Washington, NY, where their third child, Doug, was born in 1953.  From 1962 to 1964, Mina worked full time as a marketing researcher, and took occasional part-time jobs over the years as the kids grew older.

Mina’s real passion was writing - she wrote a great deal of prose and poetry, and periodically contributed freelance articles to local newspapers.  In addition, she was a longtime peace activist, and was an active board member of the Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives for many years.

Carol “Kitty” Block

was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1935, and moved to Glen Cove, Long Island in 1949.  In 1956, she began work as a secretary for a manufacturing plant.  She married in 1958, and had 2 children.  When she returned from her second maternity leave, her new boss was Mike Block.

Kitty eventually divorced her husband, remarried in 1968, had a third child, and moved to Key Largo, Florida.  Her husband had a fatal heart attack in 1988.  She owned and directed the Key Largo Bridge Club for 28 years.  She has also worked as a bookkeeper, home nurse and driver.