Ever since we stepped foot in Port Washington for the first time, in May of 1991, we knew there was something really special about this town and the people who choose to call it home. More than just small town friendship, Port is a place of kindness, caring and community, as evident in the myriads of charitable activities that take place year after year.
We thought we had seen it all. Until Hurricane Sandy caused over a million dollars of damage to the Chabad Center on Shore Road. When we first walked into the building after Sandy, our hearts sunk. This was the place we built and nurtured for over two decades. It was now destroyed. What to do? Where to go from here? We knew our insurance didn’t cover anything close to the damage we were looking at. Plus what will happen to our preschool, Hebrew school and synagogue until we could clean the place up and make it habitable again? What about the hundreds of children who use our gymnasium each week for sports programs? We turned to friends in town, who passed along the message to their friends, and a chain of kindness began to form.
He is just an average-looking guy—average height and weight, wears glasses and there’s a touch of pigeon-toe in his walk. There’s nothing special about him, right? Wrong.
His name is Richard Coyle. Dick was born in Chicago, but grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. His father ran a branch of the family business, the Atlantic Gas Company; Dick’s mother, like many wives and mothers in middle-class America in the ‘30s and ‘40s, multitasked at home without the benefit of today’s labor-saving inventions.
The proposed 3.29 percent tax cap levy increase allows our district to maintain programming, while making the necessary investments in technology and security, as well as restoring full-time librarians at the elementary schools.
Over the last decade, Rabbi Irwin Zeplowitz and Cantor Claire Franco have dedicated themselves to further enhancing an already wonderful congregation as well as giving back to the town of Port Washington. Families are welcomed, friends are embraced, lives are enriched. These encounters are the cornerstones that make up The Community Synagogue. On May 11, The Community Synagogue honored Rabbi Z and Cantor Franco for their Decade of Dedication.
Rabbi Zeplowitz feels lucky to be a part of this town. He knows Port Washington is a community that embraces people when they come here, making them feel a part of a special place. Rabbi Z and Cantor Claire have dedicated their time to achieving just that. Cantor Franco has said that if she ever decided to give up her role as cantor, she’d always feel confident that her family belongs here. Over the last 10 years, Cantor Franco knows the synagogue has achieved a true sense of community.
Fascinating people, interesting people, people who would surprise you — that’s what you find in Port Washington. Thanks to Erica Prince, I was able to meet an impressive few at the Amsterdam, a well-thought-out lifecare/continuing care community that is relatively new to Port.
One — a future chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame — was a 14-year-old polio victim when told, “You’ll never walk again.” But, as Ed Stack says, “I proved them wrong.” How much wrong is an eye-opener!
Working for a charitable cause, as everyone knows, requires commitment and patience. These virtues are rare, especially with today’s hectic work schedules, school, child rearing, and stressful lifestyles. Somewhere in between all this, a special group of men, women and children, each year, share their precious time to come together for a five week commitment to produce a show that gives a spark of life to this community. These efforts have raised thousands of dollars for cancer patients and their families. Our fundraising efforts must continue to grow in order to meet the ever-increasing need for Cancercare’s services.
The Red Stocking is in its 34th year. This event has attracted thousands of supporters who come to enjoy a medley of songs, stage ads (created by our talented stage ad committee), skits and dance numbers, which are performed by our fabulous cast, all of which are members of our chapter.
Four years later! Simple questions. What would have happened if one of our elected officials had both the street and the sidewalks ripped up throughout the neighborhoods? What would have happened if those elected officials had no where to push a baby carriage? How loud would their voices had been if their children didn’t have a place to ride their tricycles or their two wheelers? What would they have done if their children didn’t have a place to skate in front of their houses and what would their reactions have been if a fence was erected and locked around their own back yards so that children couldn’t use those back yards? They would have screamed their heads off! But our elected leaders don’t live on the corner of Port Washington Boulevard and Harbor Road and, to be frank, they haven’t shown that they care, in the least, for the children who live there.
It’s been a very long time since I crossed paths with Howard Blankman, columnist for “Everybody’s Port.” However, I really want to thank you for the beautiful article about my father and big brother Frank and Rita. You really nailed the material and story.
It was such a pleasure being in business and growing up in Port Washington. We had the very best customers and friends. Frank and I will always remember their loyalty.
Let’s go out on the town one last time.
I consider myself one of the lucky ones. Hurricane Sandy in all her wrath blew down just a few of my trees at home and left my family without gas and power for a while but clearly we got off easy, others not so lucky. At my office in Port Washington the same can be said: no one hurt and just the inconvenience of no power and minimal fuel.
As I drive in to my office along West Shore Road, I pass on a daily basis North Hempstead Beach Park formally known to us old timers as Bar Beach. Bar Beach lies along the coast of Hempstead Harbor. During the winter months Bar beach parking lots are usually vacant. This year however, Bar Beach lots were filled with the cuttings of trees ripped down by Sandy’s powerful forces. Every passing day since Sandy’s arrival the parking lots filled with stumps, limbs, branches and other tree cuttings.
I watch television to relax. The trouble is, sometimes, it’s not so relaxing.
Take the police procedurals I watch. The officers go into a house or apartment, guns drawn, looking for someone. They sneak around checking closets, finding dead bodies, evidence, I-don’t-know-what-all …but the entire time, I can’t pay a scrap of attention, because I’m too busy shouting at them, “Shut the door! Close it behind you! How do you know they aren’t coming back?”
Nobody ever shuts the door! And by the way, what does it mean when they yell “Clear”? Apparently one thing it does NOT mean is, “There’s nobody here,” because half the time, as soon as they’ve said it, some criminal springs out of the closet or out from under the bed and attacks them; so I’m thinking it means “I’m all alone here…” or, as we used to say when I was a kid, “All-ye-all-ye-home-free!” Instead of “clear,” I think they should just yell “Marco!” Then whoever’s hiding in the closet could yell “Polo!” and we could be getting somewhere.
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