2016-07-14 / Columnists

Babylon News & Muse

by Mary Gallagher

By any chance have you noticed a mass of young people swarming over the Village recently? It was a cloudy evening last Sunday. I was driving home from West Babylon about 7 p.m. I was on Trolley Line Road and was stunned by the number of cars parked along the lakeside curb. Was it a wedding, perhaps? No, the 150 people walking around were too casually dressed, and almost everyone had a mobile phone in their hand.

Being my normal, inquisitive (nosy) self, I pulled to the curb and asked the first group I saw what was going on.

“We’re all playing a game” responded the young man.

I remembered an item on News 12 that morning and hazarded a guess, “Pokémon Go?” I asked. The youths were obviously surprised that someone of my advanced years knew the game, and nodded enthusiastically.

I had heard that the game had come out three days earlier and soared to the top of the electronic game list.

As I drove home, I went to the West end of Carleton Avenue (the street just north of Village Hall) to see if more players were in the south side of the lake. There must have been another 100 or 150 people along the shore of Argyle Lake. It was an orderly, social group, and it seemed as though everyone was smiling and having a great time.

To be part of the game you have to download the App (it’s free). Then you create a character, called an Avatar, to represent you.

The App used your phone’s GPS and clock to determine where you are and allows Pokémon to show up on your phone around you. In technical terms this is called augmented reality. As you move, different Pokémon appear, depending on where you are located and what time of the day it is. The goal is to catch as many Pokémon as you can.

This game seems to bring people together, unlike most electronic games that are played in isolation. So, unlike having young people sitting at home alone playing games on their devices, this game does the opposite, with the players interacting.

•Almost Home Animal Rescue & Adoption will be holding a fundraiser at TULA KITCHEN, 41 E. Main St., Bay Shore on Sun., July 24 from noon until 3. Admission is $25 per person. There will be hors d’oeuvres, entertainment, a 50/50 drawing, and a Chinese auction for 30 or more raffle baskets. Each ticket holder will be entered into a drawing for a pair of Jet Blue vouchers for travel to a location of your choice. All money raised goes directly to the care and medical needs of dogs and cats in foster care. They also bring food and supplies to over 150 families in a community outreach program. Almost Home has saved and re-homed almost 1,000 animals since 2007. It is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, run completely by volunteers and your donation is tax- deductible. Call 631-661- 7485 for tickets.

•Sad news: After a lifetime of battling MPS, Casey Lessing died on July 4, five years after her brother Mark passed from the same disease. At 23, Casey is survived by her parents, Joan and Mark, and her brother Noah, as well as a large extended family. Donations can be made in Casey’s name to the National MPS Society, P.O. Box #14686, Durham, NC 27709.

•Best wishes for happy birthdays go out to Eileen Boyle and Stanis Beck! Here’s hoping that this year will be wonderful for both of you!

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