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Around the Town with Lou: January 10, 2012

Magnificent would be the best way to describe our Corpus Christi Choir. The members are Nancy Becker, Marta Bertoni, William Boerner, Katherine Bautigam, Janet Bromfield, Irene DeMedeiros, Maria Dos Santos, Janet Langer, Franni Luisi, Lisa Madson-Connor, Dolores Mangold, Adriara Mello, Tom Murphy, Christina Nunez, Tom Schmitt, Sindy Seabra, Pat Tobin, Greg Tranchina, Mario Valdellon, Michael Vezzi and the director, Troy Gordon.

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Tsontos Furs was founded by a great friend of mine, Mike Tsontos. Mike was wounded and captured by the Germans in the North African campaign. When he was hit and laying on a stretcher he was next in line to be operated on, when two Germans were brought in wounded. He figured they would be moved ahead of him and was surprised when they took the casualties one by one whether they were German, Italian, American or British. He spent three years in a prisoner of war camp. As the Nazi fortunes declined, the POWs received smaller and smaller rations. He says that on the whole the American and British POWs were humanely treated except for the starvation diets. The German treatment of the Soviet POWs in the next compound was brutal. The Germans treated the Russian POWs like they were not human beings. Mike weighted 200 pounds when he was captured and 110 pounds when he was finally liberated by the advancing American forces. Years later he opened Tsontos Furs and built up a prosperous business.

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On a vacation Mike attended the bullfights in Mexico City. During the fight he got up to cheer the matador and slipped and fell to his death. He was only 55 years old. Today Tsontos belongs to Bill Greene who bought it 13 years ago. Bill is a member of the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He is a key figure working on the Chamber of Commerce projects like “Taste and Style” and the street fair. He is the vice-president of the Lions Club and a popular fellow around town. He and his wife and two children live in Mineola.

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Mayor Scott and Pat Strauss and Jack and Karen Gayson dined at the Davenport. At another table were Lennie and Ginney Schmidt and son Thomas. Lennie is Assistant Chief of the Mineola Fire Department.

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Randy and Claire Hundertmark lunched at the Williston Town House. Randy is an attorney and the family lives in East Williston.

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James Tores of Birchwood Court is a loyal parishioner of Corpus Christi Church. He works as a grocery clerk.

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Frank Syracuse works at the Wyndham in Garden City. Some may remember that he was a traffic enforcer for 14 years in Mineola. He has lived on Wellington Road for 40 years.

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At Christmas we sing about Jesus being born in a manger. I never realized what a manger was; it’s a trough used to feed livestock.

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You want to see a great movie? War Horse is a wonderful story. I didn’t see The Iron Lady but it got bad reviews in both The New York Times and Newsday in spite of the performance of our greatest actress Meryl Streep.

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“You are a chump” is a derogatory remark from way back. In the 1700s when the woodsman needed to split timber he used a stump to brace it. The stump was solid and unmovable. Over the years the work stump evolved to “chump” to mean somebody dull or stupid.

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Democrats and Republicans agree on at least one thing. “Fracking” is dangerous. This is a process in which you blast high-powered chemicals deep into the earth surface to extract gas. Proponents say it will be great to gain vast quantities of gas for our energy needs but the chemicals often poison our water supply. Even the huge machines on the surface used for the blasting operations pollute our atmosphere.

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Joe and Ann Tartaglia buy their newspaper every day from Mary Ann Fearon’s Whistle Stop. Joe is retired from the Water Department and is a member of the Fire Department. Joe and Ann are long suffering Islander fans.

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Diane Guylas loves our pool and uses it almost every day. Diane, who works in our Classified Department at Antons, is a champion swimmer.