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Over 60 ... And Getting Younger: January 11, 2013

Kopyczycncer

Six months after my wedding in 1962, my father handed me an ultimatum that stated “You are a married man now…you must join the Lodge so you can have a burial plot.” The Lodge was called the “First Kopyczyncer Young Men’s Independent Lodge.” It was formed by the landsmen from my father’s village in Poland.

I tried to put it off as long as possible because I was just married and had opened a dental practice on Parsons Boulevard in Jamaica, Queens. My father persisted, so I joined the group for their monthly meetings at Ratner’s Restaurant on Delancey Street on the Lower East Side.

As far as I could see there were no “young men” in the Lodge, and I appeared to be the youngest. I was 27 years old at that time. Ratner’s vegetarian restaurant was a famous New York eatery (which has since closed), famous for delicious onion rolls heaped in a basket and blintzes. I was surprised at their borscht and cherry soup, which I had never eaten before. Very tasty, indeed!

One of the celebrity members of the lodge was Guss of Guss’s Pickles fame.  He had a world-famous pickle store on the Lower East Side. Because of the pickle aroma, I jokingly asked not to be buried too close to Guss’ plot.

The cemetery or final resting place was on Staten Island. In those days, pre- Verrazano Bridge, the Staten Island Ferry was the only way to get there. The founders of the Lodge must have received a good buy on the Staten Island real estate.

My parents and most of my uncles and aunts are buried there. Those that passed away in Florida were buried in Florida. It still takes a good car trip for my sister and I to visit and tend our parents’ gravesites. Keeping the weeds out is quite a chore.

This story began for me in 1962 and it is still ongoing. Hopefully, I have no immediate plans to use the burial plot, but due to my father’s insistence, it is one less thing to worry about.

News

Driving rain and cold temperatures could not keep Long Islanders from coming out to support the first annual DogFest Walk ‘n Roll, a fundraiser for Canine Companions for Independence. Held for the first time at Marjorie Post Park in Massapequa, dogs of all breeds and sizes came with their humans with one goal in mind; to raise funds for CCI.

Massapequa resident and event organizer Yvonne Dagger, past president and now board member, discussed the importance of the event.

For as long as she could remember, Christina Amato-Smith has always wanted to open her own hair salon. The Floral Park native worked at a salon down the road from her home, but it wasn’t until 1994 when Amato-Smith made good on her promise to herself.

“I came to Bethpage to open my business because my clients were here,” said Amato-Smith, who now lives in Lindenhurst and has owned Top Cuts for 20 years.

While her business has been met with much success, in 2008, Amato-Smith’s personal life was met with a life altering challenge when she was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. It was this event that prompted Top Cuts to organize a cut-a-thon to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer. This year’s event occurs on Saturday, Nov. 1.


Calendar

4th Annual Harvest Festival

Saturday, Oct. 25

Health and Wellness Senior Fair

Tuesday, Oct. 28

Haunted Halloween

Wednesday, Oct. 29



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