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Around the Town with Lou: April 3, 2012

Editor’s Note: Lou Sanders, who has his journalism degree from NYU, and his wife Grace, founded the Mineola American in 1952, giving the village its first successful newspaper. Lou and Grace have lived in Mineola for 58 years, and his popular column is a signature feature of this paper.

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Rockets, planes, trains, cars, and even telescopes and microscopes are some of the myriad items found at Willis Hobbies in Mineola. The store, now celebrating its 60th anniversary has three floors full of fun and games and is one of the largest of its kind on Long Island. The store was opened as a little shop owned by Karl Boelinger in 1949 who three years later sold it to Al Ford. Today, the business belongs to Al’s two sons Steve and Ken. Steve is the past president of the Mineola Chamber of Commerce.

Josephine and Robert Liebl of Arlington Street like to shop at King Kullen.

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Mary O’Donnell was also at the same store. She and her husband Martin hail from Donegal. They owned O’Donnell’s Bar and Grill for 30 years. Today, the bar at Roslyn Road and Second Street is now called The Black Sheep. Mary suffered a very serious illness, but her fighting Irish spirit keeps her going.

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The restaurant on Willis Avenue called Riverbay will soon be gone to make way for a new TD bank. Do we really need another bank?

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When I was a kid, a player for the International League’s Jersey Giants hit four homers in a game. The next day in a game against the Newark Bears he hit three more homers, seven in two games, and Bob Seeds was promoted to the New York Giants. He never hit another homer and was soon back in the minors.

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I’m a digital subscriber to The New York Times. This cost me just $15 a month or $180 a year. The print edition would cost $500. I see that the Times now has a half million digital subscribers.

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Councilman Jimmy O’Dwyer of Williston Park will be honored by the Kerry Football League on April 13.

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Sean and Donna Burke and their son Ryan lunched at the New Park City Diner on Herricks Road. The owner told me he was doing a brisk dinner at night. It was a given that he would be busy at breakfast and lunch. If nights can stay busy, he will have it made.

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Maryann Iaquinto does a great job as a lay reader at Corpus Christi Church. Speaking of that church, aren’t the huge stained glass windows magnificent?

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The pastor of Corpus Christi, Msgr. Robert Coyle, spoke of the gospel when Christ drove the moneychangers and vendors from the lobby of the temple. The vendors were cheating people and the moneylenders were practicing usury. Jesus was defending the poor against the rich and the church’s battle to fight for the oppressed.

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Ten of us from Anton celebrated St. Patrick’s Day at Papa Joe’s next to the Herricks Movie. Elise Sainato of Mineola and Mark and Darrie Dolan were there along with Grace and I. Mark has just recently arrived from County Cork.

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What a great St. Patrick’s Day parade. It was led by our own Betty McLaughlan, the grand marshal. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in 1761 when a group of Irish soldiers serving in the British Army marched down the streets of Boston.

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I see a couple more of those wind turbines around the village. Harnessing the wind can save electricity. Other houses have installed sun panels on their roofs using solar power to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels.

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Rose Rao of Clemens Road never misses Sunday Mass at the local church.

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Lauren and Kyle DeMasters live on White Road. She works at Sloan-Kettering Hospital and he is a New York City fireman.

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A recent fundraiser for Corpus Christi Church netted $100,000 - enough to pay off our beautiful new organ. By the way, the church has 12 young people about to convert.

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Jay Leno spotted an ad for skinless franks; it came sinless franks. Gee, it’s good to know that your frank is not an evil doer.

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People don’t really listen. I used to sell job printing and my pitch once in a while for fun went like this, “We are fast, reasonable and do poor work.” Almost nobody picked that up. Most everybody said, “Great, we will keep you in mind.”