Some people deserve a long obituary: in a way, it is a tribute to the number of people’s lives they have touched, so for Dottie Brandt, it is a given. A long line of mourners stretched down the street from the Francis P. DeVine Funeral Home, in Oyster Bay, where Dorothy R. Brandt, known to everyone as “Dottie,” was laid to rest, soon after her death on Friday, Sept. 12.
Dottie was a beautiful woman that age couldn’t change. When your warmth, spirit and love come from the inside, it keeps the outside looking bright and fresh. Dottie was always smiling, full of energy and always willing to help people.
The music was rocking and everybody was dancing on Friday, Oct. 3 in the St. Dominic High School gymnasium as the school hosted its Fall Ball dance. The event included gregarious kids from St. Dominic’s dancing and socializing with 20 disadvantaged children from St. Christopher-Ottilie Family of Services in Sea Cliff.
“St. Dom’s is very active with St. Christopher-Ottilie during the school year,” said Janice Seaman, who was the party coordinator and one of many volunteers at the dance, which ran from 7 to 10 p.m. “This was the first time, though, that St. Dom’s invited the kids from St. Christopher-Ottilie to their school for a dance and it is a great way to bring some normalcy into these children’s lives and show them what a school function is like.”
If you are a fan of TR, the Roosevelts and Sagamore Hill, the new Plein Air exhibit at the Oyster Bay Historical Society (OBHS) will be “dee-lightful” for you. This is the fourth go-around for the Plein Air contest, awards and exhibit of paintings done over one day at Sagamore Hill National Historic Site. The result is a gallery filled with paintings competing for more than $2,000 in prizes. Many of the 25 competing artists submitted more than one paintings, on their path to be chosen for the show, open now through Nov. 16 in the Koenig Center.
Sagamore Hill Superintendent Kelly Furhman was thanked for allowing the open air painting contest to take place at the site by Phil Blocklyn, OBHS executive director. Fuhrman said President Theodore Roosevelt left a legacy of conservation, creating our national parks. He added that the paintings help share the vision of TR, and the mission of the NPS, “Not only tonight, but when they are sold, taken home and enjoyed over the next few years.”
During this year’s Oyster Festival, visitors will have a special opportunity to learn about the issue of human trafficking and how it still exists in modern times. The Freedom Schooner Amistad will feature a human rights activist from Ghana who will be discussing this problem in depth from Oct. 15 through Oct. 19.
Eric Peasah, founder of Right To Be Free (RTBF), a non-profit organization dedicated to freeing children and women who are victims of slavery, exploitation and other oppressive conditions, will have a station on the ship where people can learn more about the history of the problem and the issues surrounding it today.
Members of the Life Enrichment Center at Oyster Bay enjoyed an outing to a beautiful manor tucked neatly away in Syosset … and got nose-to-nose with horses. A visit to the Christian Fellowship House introduced center members and staff to Florence Steffens, the family matriarch who, along with her husband Rev. Paul, opened the adult home as a “Bed and Breakfast” for seniors in 1962. Their daughter Pam and her husband Steve, along with their daughters Michelle and Sharon, continue to manage the facility. Members enjoyed refreshments on the veranda while they overlooked Fellowship Ranch’s retired mares grazing in the peaceful green pasture just beyond the stately manor.
Members learned of a new program being offered at the Fellowship Ranch which centers on interacting with horses. Holistic Healing With Horses founder Ileen Kessler, LCSW-R, explained the therapeutic benefits the program provides. The success of the holistic program was quickly demonstrated when members experienced hands-on interactions with the Fellowship Ranch horses.
As summer faded, school began and so did school spirit. Proud Oyster Bay High School parents stood by under the shade of the trees watching the students parade down East Main Street on their way to the homecoming football game on Memorial Field. All students marching had spirit: the cheerleaders, the pep band, representatives from each grade level, Vernon and Teddy Roosevelt Elementary, and the homecoming royal court.
The first marchers in the parade were the peppy cheerleaders, proudly wearing purple and gold. The girls had pom poms in hand and smiles all around, their excitement gleaming and spreading to the parents along the sidewalk. They were followed by the extremely talented pep band, enthusiastically playing joyful music filling the air in Oyster Bay. Matthew Sisia, the proficient music teacher who led the school band to Carnegie Hall, marched with the pep band.
The Oyster Bay Railroad Museum kicked off its capital campaign on Sept. 22 at a well-attended meeting held at the Sagamore Yacht Club. The OBRM board of directors and Station Restoration and Campaign Committee members demonstrated how far they have come in their planning, including an interesting highlight about the station house architect, Bradford Lee Gilbert.
“His bread and butter was railroad stations. He did 18 different ones, including this one for the LIRR,” said John Collins, historic design professional, who is working on the new plans with architect Peter Albinski. Gilbert was known for his interest in the latest technology and became known as the Inventor of the Skyscraper.
Despite the rainy weather, approximately 65 people turned out for an unusual art fundraiser held on Centre Island for the benefit of Oakcliff Sailing Center last month.
The event started with guests boarding a boat in Oyster Bay Marine Center for the scenic ride over to the home of Betsy and Hunt Lawrence on the south side of Centre Island. Here, spread throughout their home, their 1906 restored Cypress wood greenhouse and their 4.5 acres were nearly 40 pieces of art for sale. Visitors were given a “treasure map” of the grounds that highlighted the art amongst it.
On Saturday, Oct. 11 and Sunday, Oct. 12, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Mill Neck Family’s Fall Harvest Festival arrives, welcoming returning visitors and new friends, too. This year includes a much-anticipated performance by Sean Forbes, who will take the stage on Saturday at 2 p.m. Forbes, an exciting new hip-hop artist who is deaf, launched his career by making music videos in his basement. Today, he performs and produces professional music videos with a focus toward the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, making him a voice for not only his generation, but deaf culture as well.
Forbes is co-founder of D-PAN, The Deaf Professional Arts Network, a non-profit organization that focuses on translating popular songs into American Sign Language music videos for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. After signing a record deal with Web Entertainment in 2010, Forbes released his debut EP music video titled “I’m Deaf,” which includes the Latin-influenced song “Let’s Mambo.” The stylish video, featuring the talents of Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin, as well as more information on Forbes, can be found at www.deafandloud.com.
By all accounts, GlenFest was a huge success. The music festival held at the Homestead in Oyster Bay on Sunday, Sept. 21 featured 80 local musicians spread out in 25 acts over the course of 10 hours.
“I am elated that everyone in attendance had such a wonderful time and was allowed the opportunity to enjoy such a talented list of musicians,” said event organizer Dave Losee after the event. “This was a righteous festival with beautiful people for a beautiful cause.”
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