Written by Lou Sanders Friday, 31 August 2012 00:00Editor’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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“My dream is to own my own newspaper,” said my boss at the Binghamton Press, the daily I used to work for. I thought, good enough for him, how about Grace and I starting a paper? I went to every village in Nassau and the only place with no paper was Mineola. I had just $2,000 in the world, but 60 years ago in 1952 that was more money than it sounds like today. The first issue came out Sept. 3. Each week we prayed there would be another week and there always was.
On Sundays, I would go door-to-door selling subscriptions. Grace kept the books with her double-entry system. The paper was well received and in January of 1953, we were named the official newspaper of Mineola. I ran hard-hitting editorials backing different candidates in village and school board elections. I became the official moderator of the village staging debates for both village and school elections.
Debates in those days were exciting no-holds-barred affairs and hundreds would attend. I was active in the Chamber of Commerce and five times elected president. Sixty years ago, Mineola was primarily Anglo Saxon. Today, it is Irish, Portuguese and Italian. Grace and I played a part in the 50th birthday of Mineola (the village was founded in 1906), also in the 75th and the recent 100th anniversary.
A highlight for us was when I was honored by the local Democratic Club and Senator Charles Schumer and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy joined our family at our table with our children, Sister Annmarie, Richard and his wife Laurie, Tom and his wife Debbie and our oldest granddaughter, Tracey. We were so glad to see my lifelong friend John DaVanzo in attendance. John, of course, is a long-time Republican. It’s been a great 60 years for us. Mineola is a wonderful village with wonderful people.
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Ron and Kathy Woyciechowski, when they came up from North Carolina, visited Cathy and Bob Mondello of Liberty Avenue. They left Mineola six years ago. Kathy is one of the few people who was actually born in Mineola. Ron is able to see all the Yankee games. He is delighted with the fact that his team is so far ahead. By the way, a lot of fans are predicting a Yankee-Washington World Series.
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Maryann Burns is so helpful giving me leads and she loves the pool.
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A few people are availing themselves with the hearing aids at Corpus Christi Church.
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Ken and Ria Shea bought their home on Beebe Road 54 years ago. They have three kids; the oldest, Kim, heads up a Fortune 500 company in Virginia.