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Memory Man

All of us have a story to tell. And who better to tell it, than us? Fred Chernow is trying to help Hicksville residents share their life stories with his Memoir Writing Class, which takes place at the Hicksville Public Library once a month.

“What I tell people that attracts them initially is that when they leave this earth, nothing will be more precious than their memories, because everyone will want to know what it was like when they were growing up, what it was like going to high school in the 1940s, or how they met their husbands,” said Chernow.

Chernow starts the class by giving a mini-lecture on a topic, such as good opening lines, ways to conclude your memoir or how to come up with a good title. Some students will then volunteer to read aloud other pieces they’ve already written, and Chernow will offer feedback.

Chernow was a New York City English teacher for 37 years before becoming an administrator. After retiring, he taught at St. John’s University for several years, before starting to do classes at different libraries and on cruise ships.

He’s been teaching the memoir writing class at the Hicksville Public Library for the past five years. Each class session has about 20 students, 12 of whom are regulars. He’s had students who have had their works published, while others have been able to pass it along to children or grandchildren. And all his students come away from the class with a greater sense of confidence in their work.

“They gain confidence in their ability to write,” Chernow says. “Some never wrote anything more than a post card, and now they write almost every day. They gain confidence in their ability to communicate through writing.”

Chernow advises aspiring writers to write consistently, using whatever method and time best for them. Chernow also says that new writers should never proofread as they’re writing, but just keep going and come back the next day to edit their work.

He encourages the writers in his group to not show anyone else, such as their friends or family members, their work.

“Frequently at the beginning they show it to a family member who might think it’s terrible or boring,” said Chernow. “Just bring your writing to the group and we’ll help you.”

The next memoir writing class will take place Tuesday, November 26 at 1 p.m. at the Hicksville Public Library. No registration, or previous writing experience is necessary.

News

Many would consider it rude to play with your food. That is unless, you’re participating in the Long Island Potato Festival. The event, which was held in Cutchogue, NY, included a mashed potato sculpting contest which was dominated by Hicksville’s Sarah Tsang, who won first place in the youth division.

Contestants were allowed to use any tools and materials to help bring their creation to life. Sculptures were left on display throughout the day and voted on by festival goers.

Some students returning to school the first day might see a new face on the bus: Hicksville’s new interim superintendent Dr. Carl Bonuso.

“Every year on the first day of school I ride one of the buses. To see the face of a kindergartener on that first ride just reminds you of why you’re in the field,” he says.


Sports

Somehow LSA, the Levittown Swimming Association, has always been a part of our Hicksville summers. My family’s introduction to the organization in 1975 began when our two older daughters tried out for the Parkway Swim Team, one of the nine teams that competed through July and most of August.

It was no small task for the younger girl, swimming her first full lap in the deep end of the pool to qualify at age six, but both girls made the team and donned the coveted gray tee shirts as the trees cast their shadows over the pool water at the end of practice.

I’m convinced that the soul and the center of Hicksville is Cantiague Park. And why not? Every weekend it’s a beehive of activity ranging from tennis matches, hand ball games, basketball and baseball games, swimming, hockey and of course ‘the beautiful game’ called soccer. Cantiague has two professional soccer fields that are perfectly manicured and begging to be played on. And they were. This weekend was the finals of the East Meadow Soccer Tournament which is one of the largest youth soccer tournaments in the nation, sponsored by the US Soccer Federation. There were 18 boys and girls teams in the finals and a large staff of referees.

Two of the refs were Steven Orozco and Randy Vogt who told me how soccer had been growing and has now become the second most popular participation sport in America with 25 million of us watching this year’s World Cup.  I also met and interviewed Joe Codispoti who along with Tim Bradbury is the head coach of Rockville Centre United, a U16 boys club.  This U16 team has a group of standout players led by  Jack Graziano, AJ Codispoti and Pat Basile who have been playing together for six years.


Calendar

Close Encounters with Benevolent ETs and Ascended Masters

August 29

Adventures in Genealogy

September 4

Greek Festival

September 5-7



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com