2005_12_libertyisland1.jpgNational Public Radio has a great interview with Mike Moffitt, who lived on Liberty Island for ten years while his dad was head ranger there:

"People would ask 'What part of the city are you from?' I'd say, 'Staten Island.' I got so tired of explaining Liberty Island. And 99 percent of the people would not ask one more question..."

He and his brother and sister did normal kid things -- riding bikes and beachcombing -- but there were a few unusual side benefits.

"Occasionally my dad would take us into the torch," Moffitt says. "I don't know if he was breaking some rules... it's locked to the public. It's pretty scary. The arm is always moving. And you're on a fairly thin sheet of copper."

Mike lived on the island in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but it seems likely that someone from the Parks Department still lives on the island today-- which means there might be another generation of Liberty Island skateboarders growing up there right now! [Related: Google Maps has a satellite view of the island-- the house seems to be on the north side.]