2016-09-22 / Columnists

Babylon News & Muse

by Mary Gallagher

•A lot of people were glad that Sunday passed without the promised storm interrupting the country fair. The humidity was enough to deter some, but from my house I could see that plenty of people attended the fair.

The funds raised at the fair are used to make Babylon beautiful. In 1972, when the Beautification Society began, we started with a yard sale, held in the Babylon High School parking lot.

The following year (1973) the garage sale was held at the old band shell in the southeast corner of the area where the gazebo now stands. Where donations came from is lost in the mists of time, but I vividly remember a group of my brother Rob’s friends (several of whom had just graduated from college in May) dancing along the sidewalk in front of the Argyle Falls, waving huge ladies' bloomers like a flag. They dressed in some of the clothes and one of them climbed into a big baby buggy and was pushed around Argyle. It certainly attracted people’s attention.

With the first funds raised, the BBS (Babylon Beautification Society) purchased hanging baskets, which they planted and hung from telephone poles on Main Street and Deer Park Avenue. Sadly, there was a lot of theft and vandalism.

In 1974 the garage sale turned into a small country fair, with 10 or so crafts booths. Ten years later there were 300 booths and the fair looked much as it does today.

Since those early days, the BBS built the gazebo, the clock on Deer Park Avenue and Grove Place. Working with the Village, the old-fashioned street lights began to appear, along with sturdier tubs filled with lovely flowers, in addition to the hanging baskets. A lovely statue was erected in front of the Babylon Public Library in honor of my mother, Isabel Gallagher. We had many ways of raising money and for a number of years held a spaghetti dinner (hosted by Linda and Ralph Scordino). All of us who live in Babylon are justly proud of the Village. Thank you to everyone who has worked and supported the BBS!

•Don’t forget the West Islip Fair and the Babylon Rotary Wine and Food Expo. Both take place this Sunday.

I had a discussion with Village Trustee Kevin Muldowney last week about Verizon Fios. I just changed from Optimum TV to DISH TV. I didn’t realize that I would have to find a new resource for my home phone and internet. I went to the West Islip Verizon store at the corner of Montauk Highway and Sequams Lane, where I learned that only the Fios part of Verizon can provide internet and the home phone for me. Then the clerk told me that Babylon Village will not allow Fios into the Village. THIS IS NOT TRUE! The Village Board has tried several times to get Fios to offer their services to Village residents. Unfortunately Fios has refused thus far. If someone from Fios or Verizon tells you they are not being allowed in, let them know that you know that is not true. I will have more on this soon.

•Speaking of phones, how often do you pick up the phone to find there is no one at the other end? If you wait long enough, someone comes on the line and tries to sell you something. These calls are “Robocalls” because they are dialed automatically by a machine. If you are like me and most of my friends, you hate to answer the phone at all most of the time. Well there is a new bill being proposed to Congress called the ROBOCOP Act. But lobbyists are trying to prevent it from being passed. Please contact your U.S. senators and congressmen and urge them to support the ROBOCOP Act so we can all have more peace and quiet.

•Happy birthday to Ellen Merryman!

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