2016-06-23 / Columnists

Babylon News & Muse

by Mary Gallagher

•”Summertime and the living is easy!” So they say, anyway. The moon is full, and although we may need a little more rain, hopefully it will stay away from the weekends!

Father’s Day was lovely, as were most of the days preceding it. I know that many people like it best when the temperature is in the mid to high 80s, and as long as the humidity is low, that’s fine with me, too. Personally, I like the high 70s a bit better, but the most important aspect for me (and many others) is the humidity. I find myself praying a little for a summer that has relatively low humidity.

•Coming up with a column every week is not always easy. I try to find events that are coming up, as well as items that are amusing or helpful (or just strange). For instance, ladies, do you know that if you spill nail polish the best thing to do is quickly pour regular sugar on the spill? It makes the polish clump up and you can sweep it up (this is a tip from Pinterest, by the way).

•Most of you are now aware of the annoying fact that we have to dial the area code in addition to the rest of the number, even for your next door neighbor. And any of us that have to get new phone numbers will end up with a new area code. I’ve had a hard enough time coping with just remembering the 516 area codes for many cell phones. It seems as though the world is determined to make things like phone calls more complex while so many of us Baby Boomers are having a hard time just remembering six-digit passwords!

•One of my earliest memories in life was walking to St. Joseph’s Church with my babysitter to see the wedding of the young woman who lived down the street. Jane McGinnis was a blond vision in white, and her groom, handsome and darkly Irish, Tom Kane, were a romantic picture that I can still see to this day. Ten years or so later, I became the babysitter for their three darling (usually) children, Abby, TJ and Kristen. Since they couldn’t pronounce my last name, I became Mary Alligator, as they still call me today! Jane and Tom became an unofficial older sister and brother, while the kids became my younger sisters and brother. I also grew to know many of Jane and Tom’s close friends. Of course, unlike the babysitters of today, I made about 50 cents an hour, but I enjoyed myself. I took the kids and their friends on several camping trips, and we had a lot more outings. My babysitting days then and later with my own nephews and nieces were probably the best times of my life.

Sadly, one of the friends I made through the Kanes, Tom McLoughlin, formerly of Babylon, passed away on Sunday in his home in New Smyrna, FL. Tom, a skilled pediatric cardiologist, leaves his lovely wife, Mary Eileen, and their four children, Kammy, Katrina, Kerry and Kelly. I held a special fondness for Tom as he saved the life of my cousin Maureen, operating on her when she was just five. I’m sure that there are thousands of patients and families that Tom helped throughout his career.

•On a cheerier note, birthday greetings go to Todd Shaw, Gary Brunjes and Ceil Hearn. I hope you will all have a marvelous year!

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