2016-08-04 / Columnists

Babylon News & Muse

by Mary Gallagher

•Welcome to August! As a child, I hated it when the calendar turned to August, because it meant the summer was half over. These days I have mixed feelings about starting August. One of the drawbacks is that the Gilbert C. Hanse Pool will be closing. Another is that many of my flowers will die.

But there are benefits, too. Now that I am no longer teaching, I don’t have to worry about school starting once more.

One of the good things that I connected with August was school shopping. As one of six children, my parents must have had to stretch their budget to feed and clothe all of us. To this day, I remember the excitement of shopping in August for our school supplies. Oddly enough, one of the things I remember was the smell of new things like pencil cases and shoes, and the excitement of picking out a new lunchbox! Our school did not provide lunch, so either you brought it from home, or you went home to eat lunch.

Tom Dottinger Tom Dottinger Today, there are a lot of local kids who can’t buy new school clothes or supplies. I never realized that until I taught a seventh-grade girl who wore the same leather jacket, day in and day out, no matter how hot the day was. She was a nice girl but the other students seemed to stay away.

It was my first year of teaching full time, and I went to the guidance counselor for advice. “She doesn’t have any clean clothes,” stated the counselor sadly. “You’d be astonished at how many kids skip school for the first week or two in September because they don’t have new clothes or school supplies.”

This girl never knew it but she saved a lot of other students from that same fate. The Pilot Club of Babylon was just starting to form and our first project was Start School Right. For nearly 30 years, Pilot has provided hundreds of students with new clothing and school supplies every year. If you would like to help this project, send a check made out to Pilot Club of Babylon to P.O. Box 231, Babylon, New York 11702.

Kathy and Joe Muller Kathy and Joe Muller •I mentioned Babylon Village’s Gilbert C. Hanse Pool a little earlier. The Village continues to improve the pool year after year. This year one of the major improvements was repaving the parking lot, something long needed. They also added some additional equipment in the playground and a grass lawn that will hopefully be used for some leisurely grass sports such as bocce and croquet after it is sturdy enough. The snack bar has been taken over by Molto Vino and provided an extended menu and tables and chairs.

•Runners (or walkers), don’t forget to sign up for the annual Babylon Village Classic 10K “Dirty Sock Run," being held Aug. 14. Check the site online or call 631-669-4700 for further information. Funds raised all go to the local food pantries and soup kitchens.

Also on Aug. 14 is the annual Afterguard Party for the Babylon Yacht Club, from 4 to 7 p.m. Former members of the club are encouraged to attend. It’s usually a great reunion of BYC members and a terrific party.

•Speaking of parties, Village resident Tom Dottinger was recently the guest of honor on the occasion of his birthday. Friends and family gathered together to celebrate with Tom and wish him well.

•People celebrating birthdays this week are Diana Azzopardi, Martha Rohl, Mark Salatto and Kathy Muller. I wish them all a wonderful year!

•Happy 36th Anniversary to Roomers! Pat Turner and her staff do such a terrific job, I wish them many more!

•Speaking of anniversaries, Jan. 28 marked the 120th anniversary of the first speeding ticket. A reckless driver sped through the streets of Kent, England, doing four times the legal limit. At that time (1896) the limit was two miles an hour and the car had to have a man walking in front, waving a red flag!

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