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OBHS Gospel Concert and Exhibit

Learn about the connected Roosevelt clan, at the Koenig Center

Gospel singing and hand clapping will be heard along South Street on Dec. 8 as the Oyster Bay Historical Society (OBHS) hosts their annual concert. Come enjoy the free concert by the Hempstead A Cappella Ensemble at 4 p.m. at the Hood A.M.E. Zion Church, 137 South Street, at the corner of Summit Street. It will be followed by refreshments at an open house at the Earle-Wightman House at 20 Summit Street from 7 to 9 p.m. The one-hour gospel concert is a not to be missed event. Think toe-tapping and hand clapping.

The OBHS is also opening their new exhibit: “Miniatures: Doll Houses, Little Rooms and Childhood Treasures” at the Koenig Center. Featured will be the model of the North Room of Sagamore Hill; a model of the two period rooms in the Earle-Wightman house; and a 1922 dollhouse that belonged to Polly Weeks of Oyster Bay that was donated by her daughter Ellen Nicoll who grew up here.

OBHS Director Phillip Blocklyn said, “In the exhibit we are featuring things relating to Roosevelt children, not just TR’s children but the children in the larger Roosevelt family, and including them.

“There are letters written by or to Roosevelt children. There are a few letters TR wrote to Elizabeth Roosevelt’s father John Roosevelt. One was to John written by TR when he was on his African safari; and a number of letters and at least one drawing by Roosevelt cousins,” he said.

Mr. Blocklyn said, “The thing I notice about all the material is that the family kept in touch. The nieces and nephews wrote to their grand-parents and they wrote to each other. They were a very connected family.

“We have the text of the telegram that TR sent to his cousin Emlen when his wife Christine had her first child, named after her mother, in August of 1884. What is interesting is that the telegram was from Medora, North Dakota, and it was the same year TR’s mother and wife had died six months earlier.

“And the other interesting thing in this short telegram is TR ends it by saying ‘he’s perfectly delighted,’ which sounds so much like Roosevelt,” he commented.

Other things people will enjoy seeing are the miniature printing press, dolls and children’s clothing, children’s books and things made by children as well, like samplers. There are also lots of doll clothes and doll house furniture.

“The reason I like the things we have in the collections of the various Roosevelts is that they are not so much about history and politics but are an inside look into the family. And, they really were very much a well-connected American family,” Mr. Blocklyn said.

One could say they were well connected in both senses of the word.

Mr. Blocklyn said, “There were five cousins all born within about the same year and were called the Magical Five by the press. They were, Alice, born in 1884, Elfrida, born in 1883, Christine in 1884, Eleanor in 1884, and Dorothy all born in a 10-month period. They grew up together and all came out as debutantes at the same time.

“We have many letters from Elfrida who wrote a lot of letters as a child and they are very interesting. She mentions people like her ‘uncle Percy’ who is Percival Lowell, who discovered the planet Pluto — a planet no more. He also wrote about the canals on Mars. He is a very interesting person and she would mention visiting him. When you look to see who ‘he is’ — you find he is very important. The same is true of her Aunt Amy. She is Amy Lowell, a noted American poet. In the exhibit we have a calling card of Percival Lowell and a book of poems by Amy Lowell.

 “It is interesting to see how the Roosevelt family were connected to a large web of important families. We have put a great deal of the information online on our website under exhibitions and events and archives. There is something there about every event we have had since 2008.”

Mr. Blocklyn also announced a cookbook coming out on Nov. 19 that is being sent to members. It’s called Oyster Bay Historical Society Cooks. “It is recipes created by our staff for all of the events we’ve done over the past few years. We do our own catering and these are the recipes they created: Jacqueline Blocklyn, Nicole Menchise and there are even recipes by Grace Searby,” he added.

Additionally, the OBHS gift shop, Windfall, will have books for sale as well as hand made knitted items by Jacqueline Blocklyn including some that can be ordered. There are also two, holiday card-making classes coming up on Saturday, Dec. 1 and Saturday Dec. 15. Please call for information and reservations at 922-5032 or check their website obh.org.

News

Driving rain and an early start time did not deter 600 people who arrived at Crest Hollow Country Club recently to celebrate the Women’s Fund of Long Island’s 20th year and to honor four exceptional women.

The breakfast started with a meet and greet and a chance to showcase Women’s Fund contest winner Patti Hogarty, designer of “Women as Bamboo.” Inspired by her neighbor’s bamboo, she entered the contest drawing a design of the bamboo, which Ambalu Jewelers of Roslyn then turned into various pendants of which 40-percent of the profits would go to WFLI. Hogarty wrote a short essay comparing women to bamboo in that they are strong and can weather difficult storms, yet remain graceful and continue to grow sending out new shoots.

Oyster Bay High School Principal Dr. Dennis O’Hara addressed the board of education at Tuesday night’s meeting about offering a summer school program at the high school. It would be the first time the district had a summer school program in more than 12 years.

Dr. O’Hara explained that with the institution of the Common Core state standards, students are faced with a greater level of academic rigor and more challenging coursework. The program would offer remedial and enrichment classes for students both in and out of district.


Sports

In the history of Oyster Bay High School athletics, no one has ever won a Girls’ Tennis New York State Championship. Celeste Matute and Courtney Kowalsky became the first when they won the 2014 New York State Doubles Championship in Latham on Nov. 3. What makes this tremendous achievement even more remarkable is that Matute is a junior and Kowalsky is a sophomore.

The girls, who are usually singles players, teamed up to take on the very best players in Nassau County and New York State. They won all 10 matches in the section XIII and NYSPHSAA tournaments and left Latham as the 2014 New York State doubles champions.

The conditions were as fierce as the competition earlier this month at Oakcliff Sailing’s Halloween Invitational.

Ten teams from the U.S., Canada and Bermuda battled 30-knot-plus winds, heavy rain and biting cold to see who would take top honors at Oakcliff’s final match racing event of the 2014 season.


Calendar

Raingarden Workshop

Wednesday, November 19 & Thursday, November 20

Informative Hospital Talk

November November 20

Opera Night

Sunday, November 23



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