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Mystery Picture: June 26, 2012

Emily Johnson Knows Oyster Bay

Emily Johnson identified the June 22 mystery picture in the Enterprise Pilot as the Locust Valley Plaza. “In the ‘70s I shopped there at the Shoe Tree.”

We also received a call from Ann Marie Kobrick of Arizona, visiting relatives locally. She guessed it was the Jack Halyards shopping center which was a great guess since the architecture is so similar. She commented that she thought the pictures had to be from Oyster Bay and we confessed that sometimes we throw in a ringer. She said she would think about it and called back later with the correct answer. “It is the Plaza in Locust Valley. I was born and raised here in Locust Valley. I have relatives in Locust Valley, Glen Cove and Oyster Bay. I’m a retired school teacher.” Ms. Kobrick is very well connected locally. Her cousin Lucille Parente volunteers at Silver Threads, the shop in the front of the Life Enrichment Center of Oyster Bay. Ms. Kobrick has been at the center having lunch with her mom, Jackie Gugiliano of Locust Valley. “I was going to do the Wellness Walk but I had something else to do. It’s a lovely center. The area has such wonderful things for older people. My mother was born and raised in Oyster Bay and moved to Locust Valley when she married my dad. This is all a beautiful area.”

Mystery Picture Mess Resolved

“Just a wild guess but the photo in the June 14 issue of the Enterprise Pilot looks like part of the parking lot of Town Hall looking up Audrey Ave. towards South Sreet. The store on Audrey Avenue looks like the deli across the street from the entrance of the parking lot,” said Tony Pilla. Correct!

Billy Minicozzi returned from Hawaii, after having a great time there, and said it was the parking lot in front of town hall. Correct!

On an entirely different note, we apologize to Leven Ashby who was correct in saying the store on the corner of South Street and West Main Street in the June 7 issue, was Dave Bernstein’s shop. We received the correct information from Oyster Bay Town Historian John Hammond when we met him at Town Hall on Tuesday, the day after we went to press. He got the message late — that we left for him asking about the location — and he wanted to give us the correct information for which we thank him.

Tony Pilla chimed in on the June 7 story saying, “I know at one time Dave Bernstein had a men’s clothing store there for many years. I think it was more pricey than Herman Bernstein’s Clothing Store directly across the street on South Street. That’s where we mostly bought our clothes.”

Elfia Presta too called to identify the June 14 mystery-mystery picture saying, “It’s by town hall,” she said. Ms. Presta said she enjoyed the events on Saturday, June 16 at the East Norwich Fire Company celebration. “It was very cool that night,” as opposed to Thursday, when she called and the temperature was still rising. “The ENFD Juniors won second prize,” she added.

Gregory Adami said of the June 14 picture, “It looks like the entrance to town hall. If you are heading east from Audrey Avenue, away from the post office. You can see the back of all the signs.” He added, “I didn’t call because I thought the line would be flooded with tons of calls. That photograph was made in late ’60s and early ’70s and that Volkswagen and the guy with the suit make it pretty cool.”

We received a very complete answer from Reginald Butt, Jr. in which he wrote that Mr. Ashby was correct. He said , “Bay Shoes was Bernstein’s (David) lingerie and ladies shoes. Around the corner on West Main Street was a men’s store (work clothes and things) owned by Mr. Simon, now it is an insurance company. Where the Travel Store is was where Mrs. Hagan’s Toy Store was located. Where the Oceanic House is was McIntrye Electrical with a little office next door (between Mr. Simon’s and McIntyre Electric), it was an office run by LILCO where you could go pay your bill. You are correct about Bernstein’s Department Store being on South Street across from Bernstein’s Lingerie, it was owned by Herman’s father. So without a doubt Leven Ashby is correct, I grew up with Leven, he was a grade or two ahead of me. I moved to Oyster Bay in 1939 and have lived here ever since, except for the time I spent in the military (20 years in the Navy),” said Reginald Butt, Jr.

Leven Ashby sent an email saying, “I think I’ll take a shot at that June 14, Mystery Picture. Looking at the buildings in the background, I wonder if that could be the corner of Orchard and South Street, across from the Methodist church. If so, I remember when there was a house on that property that was torn down. I thought about sending the above answer last week, but now I’ve really been challenged to do so since you haven’t received an answer. I won’t bet on myself being right though.”

Well, he is not correct. But, David Layton called and said it was a view of the parking lot at town hall. He also nailed the fact that Bay Shoes was originally Dave’s Shop where he sold sports jackets and was a men’s haberdashery. It was great to hear from Dave.

Jack Bernstein called to straighten out the Mystery Picture mess. He said, “My father’s store was called Dave’s Shop and it was in the exact location as Bay Shoes. My father was there until he closed his business in the late’50s or early ‘60s when it became Bay Shoes. He had opened the business in 1932, during the depression.

“The entrance was actually on the bias, part was on West Main and part on South Street, but the building was the same shape. I think Carmen [Berlangero] expanded it or maybe Larry Nathan did. The Brooks Insurance office was on South Street, next to it. That became Brooks, Robb and Callahan on Audrey Avenue.

“Kursman’s Department store was facing West Main Street in that same location and included the first and second floor. When my father was there, Dr. Figman was there. The Kursmans were there from the turn of the century. They decided to go/move to Bridgeport. They were my father’s cousins. My father and one of their brothers (one of his cousins) took over the Kursman’s until 1932. Phil Kursman had a liquor store on South Street, across the street in the Harborside Deli location or the Homestead or Cheese Shop location.

“The Simon Hardware store was the next store down on West Main Street. Oyster Bay was a great shopping center at that time. Herman Bernstein, our cousin, was across the street and my uncle Dan Bernstein had the hardware store up the block on South Street.

“Everyone called it Bernstein Boulevard.” Mr. Bernstein added that while he recognizes the mystery pictures he never responds to them, “but I had to with this one,” he said.

Wow, that was a lot of typing. Keep calling and I’ll keep typing.           

- DFK