Elsa Diamond, the indefatigably enthusiastic mother of urban explorer Bob Diamond, died Nov. 9 at Maimonides Medical Center. She was 85 years old.
The cause of death was complications from pneumonia and cancer, her son said.
Born in Borough Park, Elsa Diamond attended New Utrecht High School and later worked as a cosmetologist.
In the 1980s, her son, an engineering student at the time, used old newspaper articles and citations in assorted texts to rediscover the old Long Island Railroad tunnel sitting dormant under Atlantic Avenue between Hicks and Court Streets.
Elsa quickly became his biggest booster.
Barely five and a half feet tall, Elsa had a giant spirit. She embraced the role as her only son’s public relations ‘guru’ with brio, calling this newspaper almost weekly to kvell about her son’s latest exploits, or publicizing his latest tunnel tour.
“She loved the mystique and all the mysterious legends surrounding the tunnel,” Bob said.
Elsa beamed when her 48-year-old son was recently featured on the History Channel program “Cities of the Underworld.” ,
“I love it–are you kidding?” she said at the time.
And when her boy got the attention of a documentary filmmaker, that wasn’t too shabby, either. “He deserves it,” she said.
A memorial service was scheduled for Nov. 14 at Sherman’s Flatbush Memorial Chapel 1283 Coney Island Avenue at 2 p.m.
©2008 Community News Group
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