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Letter: An Open Letter To The Village

One year ago I packed my bags, loaded the truck and moved away; took off for the city as I always planned to do and have not looked back. After 45 years, it was time for me to go. Now as I reflect on the first year of my new journey, I thought I would tell you exactly what I think of you…


iPhone is using the song “Chicken Fat” in a new commercial. For anyone who went to Northside School in the 1970s, this song is not wholly unfamiliar. The gym suit, the Victrola playing the record, the squat-thrusts and Ms. Farmer blowing her whistle are all part of the image conjured up by the catchy melody of “Chicken Fat.” I love Northside School. The walk (uphill both ways, of course) was brutal for a kid, but completely worth the effort. Northside was a small, nurturing community where every student mattered. I am grateful for having graduated from there and couldn’t be more satisfied that the decisions I made as a single mother enabled my son to do the same. I thank Northside for building my confidence and for still rockin’ the old school ELA curriculum while my son attended that provided him with the vocabulary he has taken with him to college. I thank Mrs. St. John for making us learn “Fifty Nifty United States” during the Bi-centennial. I still know it by heart and am able to consistently amaze people with my ability to recite all 50 states in alphabetical order on command. I appreciate the high school for forcing me into honors English even though I was happy to remain in the regular class. I am grateful for trick-or-treating on Thomas Powell, sleigh riding at the golf course and the Hardscrabble Fair. I am grateful for riding on the bike path and walking into town. I love riding bikes to Mid-Island Department Store with my mother and eventually driving her to the mall. I loved when the butcher at the Meat Market would give me the end of the bologna and my father would talk to strangers on line at Waldbaum’s—even though it embarrassed me at the time. 


I want to thank Farmingdale Hawks for making me a cheerleader and the Farmingdale Baseball League’s Greendogs for the thousands of hours logged on fields across town, grading papers and watching my son do what he loved. I appreciate that Mayor Trudden made Main Street pretty again and appointed my father as building inspector. I love the clock that allows my brother’s memory to live in town forever.

I am thankful for that snowy night in 1992 when I picked out my first live Christmas tree at Starkies where they kept them all in stands for scrupulous customers like myself to view each one from every conceivable angle before making a choice.


I am indebted to my son’s father and my family for helping us maintain and stay in our beautiful house in the village all those years and especially happy for the new family whose life there is just beginning.


Basically Farmingdale, you were good to me and good for my family. I loved growing up with you and will cherish the people, places and memories we made together for the rest of my life.


Dina Koukos Persampire