Another great Oyster Festival is now a memory.
“It was incredible. Many people broke (food sales) records from the past. I would call this almost the best year ever. I am just starting to get some of the results, but, it looks like a banner year,” said Rotarian Bev Zembko, Tom Reardon Memorial Food Court coordinator.
The 30th Annual Oyster Festival is supported by the Oyster Bay Charitable Fund and is a project of The Oyster Bay Rotary. And the public seems to understand the true focus of the event. Walking along Larrabee Avenue on Sunday, a guest wearing a suede jacket with Harley Davidson written in sparkling rhinestones on the back, was talking about the $20 fee for parking in the Roosevelt Elementary School lot. “The money is for the benefit of the PTA. They use the money for programs for the school children,” she said, explaining that she and her companion appreciated being close to the festival and giving to a worthy cause at the same time.
Heart patients awaiting surgery often have a long road ahead of them, and the ordeal can put a lot of strain on their families. A local mom and daughter who know firsthand the struggles that coincide with heart disease are devoting their time and energy to helping others through the Harboring Hearts organization.
Michelle Javian,co-founder and CEO of Harboring Hearts, started the organization in honor of her father, who lost his battle to heart disease after a heart transplant in 2008. Both she and her mother, Mary, of Upper Brookville, spent long ours by his side in the hospital. While there they witnessed firsthand the need that existed for refuge and community support for heart patients and their families.
In spite of the federal closings of all national parks work is being done at Sagamore Hill National Historic Site by private contractors. There is a sign indicating there is parking for their contractors’ vehicles, as opposed to the general public who are not welcome during the closure. You can hear the knocking and banging sounds of construction when going along the entrance road to the park.
What is important to the hamlet of Oyster Bay is that what happens to Sagamore Hill happens to the hamlet, too.
The Annual Beech Brook Senior Center Memorial Service for deceased members will be held on Oct. 23. It will be for three members who have passed away during the year: Tina Cangari, Nicholas Baldino, and Columbia Galasso. They will have a breakfast buffet and attending will be Pastor Diane Melograne, Deacon Jay and Chris Bartol, BBSC honorary president, their former director.
Last summer there was a special service held in honor of James “Tiny” Brandt, who passed away in February. He was thanked for his time and dedication to the BBSC. Members of the Brandt family attended the memorial service including his daughters Sharon Brandt and Marjorie Brandt Berry, as well as his grandchildren and great grandchildren and Dorothy Brandt, his sister-in-law.
Museum supporters, rock-a-billy fans and tattoo aficionados recently gathered at The Whaling Museum in Cold Spring Harbor for a celebration of the art of nautical tattoos. Guests danced outside as the Buzzards played while inside visitors enjoyed the museum exhibits and voted for their favorite tattoo art submitted by local artists. The highlight of the evening was a presentation by Samantha Sheesley, paper conservator at the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts. True Love Forever: Preserving the Legacy of Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins described the process of acquisition and restoration of Norman Collins’ work. Samantha had several pieces of flash art and acetates on display the night of the event. “Sailor Jerry” was a famous tattoo artist, and a colorful character. Besides sailing and tattooing, he played saxophone in a dance band, hosted a radio show, and was a prolific writer who corresponded with pen pals from all over the world. Collins grew up in Northern California. He hopped on freight trains and traveled across the country and learned tattooing.
Long Island is home to 700,000 Italian-Americans, more than any area outside of Italy itself, said author Salvatore J. LaGumina, an emeritus professor of history at Nassau Community College, where he serves as director of the Center for Italian American Studies. He was speaking at the Koenig Center of the Oyster Bay Historical Society (OBHS) on Sept. 17 about his new book, Long Island Italian Americans. In his introduction, OBHS Executive Director Philip Blocklyn said that it was a return engagement for LaGumina. He had taken part in the OBHS exhibit The Italian-American Experience in Oyster Bay in 2001.
LaGumina opened with a slide show that illustrated the scope of the Italian-American influence on Long Island that because of the easy name recognition reminded everyone of how extensive their influence has been. Today, he said one of four residents of Long Island is of Italian-American heritage.
Mel Warren was handed a check for $24,000 toward his much-needed new custom van and electric wheelchair at the September meeting of the East Norwich Civic Association. Still, they are only half-way there to cover the costs. Present at the meeting were members of the Friends of Mel Warren Committee who committed themselves to raise the needed $38,000.
The plan to help Mel, who has chaired the arts and crafts portion of the Oyster Festival for about 30 years, was initiated at a meeting of the Oyster Fest committee of which he is a member. Mel, who contracted polio in 1958, currently has Post-Polio Syndrome (PPS), a painful attack on the body. Coincidentally, the Oyster Festival is a project of the Oyster Bay Rotary Club and Rotary International’s goal is to eradicate polio.
Assemblyman Chuck Lavine invited members of the public to an informative meeting held Oct. 1, at the Roslyn Public Library where representatives of the LIRR came to discuss the proposed Scoot Trains for the Oyster Bay to Mineola station run, being considered as a future capital project. Participants included Assemblyman Lavine; Bob Brennan, LIRR director of government and community affairs; Tim Keller, LIRR general manager, service planning; and Mark Epstein, chair of the LIRR commuter council. Commuters from Roslyn, Glen Cove, Sea Cliff and Oyster Bay attended and shared their traveling knowledge to enlighten the discussion.
The concept is to give riders more choices of time to use the Oyster Bay Branch with the addition of Scoot Trains that would go every half hour on the single track line. The trains would end in a siding to be built in Mineola, next to the regular platform for easy access to the many trains that arrive there. Coming home riders will have to walk over the walkway to get to the Scoot Trains waiting at the siding.
In honor of the Oyster Festival’s 30th year, there will be fireworks. Grucci fireworks will be doing a light show over the harbor at about 7 p.m. To accommodate the fireworks fun, the food booths and arts and crafts vendors and downtown venues will be open until 7 p.m. The buses will be running until 7:30 to allow visitors to get back to their respective parking lots.
The now iconic event comes the weekend after Columbus Day, Oct. 19 and 20, and while it is not a national holiday, locally, it seems like one. Especially since spending at the festival is “guilt-free” since the profits go to local charities.
The Knitted Purl, The Oyster Bay Main Street Association and the Oyster Bay East Norwich Chamber of Commerce joined forces with world-renowned artist, Carol Hummel to the launch their project of creating the Hand-stitched Hamlet, which unites communities by bringing them together to complete a culturally rich art project. The project kicked off on Saturday, Sept. 21 with “Bagels, Bites & Banter” with Carol Hummel and The Purl Girls. All enjoyed yummy bagels, fruits and Mimosas at the shop. It was the beginning of the project that will be completed at the season’s start of the 2014 ArtWalk next spring.
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