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Mystery Picture: September 11, 2009

Bill Titus Knows Oyster Bay

Dorothy Titus called for her husband Bill, to identify the Sept. 3 mystery picture. “He got to the paper first. It’s taken from TR Park, looking out into the mooring field at Oyster Bay, with Centre Island behind. Two little boys are fishing off the stone wall. It’s a great picture of our great harbor. We’ve been members of the Sagamore Yacht Club for 30 years. It’s a wonderful harbor. We lived on our boat for a year and sailed into many harbors and this is my favorite,” she said. The first thing they look at in the newspaper, she said, is the mystery picture.

Pierre Brandt called to say the picture was taken facing north, from TR Park, by the sea wall and near the flagpole and showing the south side of beautiful Centre Island and our great bay.

The photograph was taken at the press conference for the 2009 Oyster Festival and Pierre said of the two day event, “It’s a one-time event that brings people to town and I’m sure it benefits the non-profits that sell food – and it is a nice thing to have. Oyster Bay is a cul-de-sac and you have to come out of the way to come to Oyster Bay. It shows off our beautiful town and our beautiful harbor.”

As for his take on the Atlantic Steamer water rescue boathouse he said, “It encourages the young people to join the fire service.”

Belle Santora too, answered the mystery picture saying, “It’s Roosevelt beach at the very end, where the flagpole is located and across the beach you can see Centre Island.”

She added, “I have a picture of that view, only further west and it is beautiful – with the stone wall and flagpole. It is by Winn Power and I bought it at Christ Church many years ago.”

Ms. Santora shared a story with us about her son, who graduated with the Class of 1957. She said it’s amazing how he and his classmates since kindergarten all stay together. After dining with a couple who now live in Huntington, he came back with a letter for Belle from Jeanie Zarifiss Antonini. Belle said, “They are a very nice couple. She is a sweetheart. I used to fill my car up with girls and take them to games. My son was on the basketball team and the boys went by bus.

“Dear Belle, I hope my note finds you feeling better, however I have a story to tell you that I hope brings a smile to your face. The enclosed dollar is from my brother Jimmy who lives in Ohio. He is paying the debt that he owed your husband from many years ago. Jim told me when he was a young boy around 14 to 15 years old, he was at the train station waiting to take the train to a Methodist church meeting. Of course, my parents didn’t know that he had aspirations to be a Methodist minister. [They were Greek Orthodox and part owners of the Oyster Bay Restaurant, many years ago, added Belle.] He needed a dollar for the train ticket and who comes off the train but Mr. Santora. He asked Jim, ‘What are you doing here?’ Jim replied and told Mr. Santora that he needed a dollar for the train, which Mr. Santora quickly gave him. Jim said he never paid your husband back. Since he always pays his debts he wanted you to have the dollar for the amazing kindness that Mr. Santora showed him so many years ago. I should tell you, he never became a priest. He got his BA from NY Tech and was a policeman in Malverne, LI. When he retired he became police chief in Marblehead, Ohio. Jim and his wife Bea Tharp from Bayside Avenue, in Oyster Bay, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on Jan. 17, 2010. Because of the winter weather, they are having the party during this Labor Day weekend so we are off to the Buckeye State. They have three children, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

“Life has been good to them and they have worked very hard to enjoy their retirement. They have 14 acres of land and are breeding bloodhounds.”

Ms. Santora said the letter was signed, “Love Jeanie and Ronald.” Belle Santora said she has the dollar and Jim’s address in Ohio and she plans to write to him. And now you know the story of another Oyster Bay High School graduate.

Jim can also read this story on the online version of the Enterprise Pilot. If you do read it, Jim, let us know.