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Letter: Gregory Museum: Half A Century Of Hicksville History

One of those priceless little jewels that endow Long Island with its oftentimes overlooked cultural, historical and scientific heritage amid the ubiquitous subdivisions, shopping malls and automotive arteriosclerosis, the Hicksville Gregory Museum remains hidden in plain sight.

This unintended camouflage conceals a science and history museum housed in Hicksville’s 1895 Heitz Place Courthouse with scientific collections from all over the world, illustrating the community’s metamorphosis from 19th Century railroad town to the heart of suburbia’s commuter culture. Permanent exhibits alone consist of Long Island’s largest assemblage of rocks, minerals, exquisite crystals and rare ores; extensive paleontological specimens including dinosaur eggs and bones; ornate seashells from tropical waters; and hundreds of Lepidoptera specimens representing all the major families and genera of butterflies and moths.

For the student of history, there’s the William Clare History Room, featuring vintage maps and photographs, miscellaneous artifacts and ephemera and memorabilia evocative of Hicksville’s earlier days.

The year 2013 marks 50 years since the Hicksville Gregory Museum was established in the residence of Hicksville educator, Dr. Gardiner E. Gregory, the brainchild of a civic-minded, if eccentric polymath whose home on Cottage Boulevard served as a museum until – with a grassroots endeavor of dedicated parents, educators, civic organizations and the local business community – the abandoned 1895 courthouse on Heitz Place was restored and made the institution’s permanent home.

Today, the museum remains not merely the repository of significant artifacts but an educational and community resource welcoming school children, scouts and the general public. The board of the Hicksville Gregory Museum is planning events throughout the year of 2013 to mark the museum’s anniversary. Starting off on Sunday, Jan. 27, The Hicksville Historical Society’s annual social program at the museum will feature the museum’s 50 years of service. Stay tuned for future events throughout the year!

Paul Manton

Docent/Staff Entomologist

Hicksville Gregory Museum

News

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. That’s just what a Hicksville baker is doing, except in her case it isn’t lemons, but a gluten-free diet. Her lemonade stand of choice is her brand new gluten-free eatery, “Jac’s Bakeshop and Bistro,” which held its grand opening on April 12.  

“I’m a baker who can’t even eat wheat or eggs,” said owner Jaclyn Messina, chuckling at the irony.

There’s a lot you can do in 99 minutes. You could cook dinner, play a non-stop soccer game, watch a romantic comedy or hang out with Odysseus, Achilles and Hercules. If you chose the last option, Hicksville High School’s upcoming theatre production of The Iliad, The Odyssey, and All of Greek Mythology in 99 Minutes or Less  is the place for you.

The mouthful of a title says it all. The cast will take on over 80 characters as they speed through all of Greek mythology, including popular tales such as The Iliad and The Odyssey, in a little over an hour and a half.


Sports

Vito Sciascia was recently named Hicksville Soccer Club’s Volunteer of the Year at the 2014 Long Island Junior Soccer League 2014 Kick-off Convention.

Sciascia started coaching travel soccer in 1998 for a boys team, the Flash, who later changed their names to the Muddogs. He could always be found at various sporting fields trying to recruit new soccer players. He would make each of these boys feel important and there was always room for another player. He tried to never turn a child away and when other coaches were having trouble with a boy he would take them on his team, no one was ever too much for him. Sciascia found the good in all those boys and they in return respected him. He took them to many tournaments and solicited enough sponsorship so that it was never a financial burden on their families.

Cantiague Park Senior Men’s Golf League had its first tournament on Thursday April 4. Twenty golfers came out on on a crisp but sunny morning. Charlie Hong was the only man to score under a 40, with a 38 and won for low overall score. Jim O’ Brien  scored a 41, and won low overall net in a tie-breaker with Mike Guerriero.

Competition on the nine-hole course is divided into two divisions. Flight A is for players with a handicap of 13 or lower. Flight B is for players with a handicap of 14 or more. The league is a 100 percent handicap league. Any man 55 years or older is eligible for membership. We have many openings for this year, and you can sign up anytime throughout the the season.


Calendar

American Legion Meeting

April 21

HS Theater in the Round

April 24-26

Science Fair

April 26



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