2016-10-06 / Columnists

Babylon News & Muse

by Mary Gallagher

•Fall brings special memories to mind for lots of us…the vivid colors of the leaves, the sound made by your feet as you walk across a lawn piled deep with the fallen rainbow and the smell of leaves being burned on a crisp afternoon. Many grew up with that special scent until the day that people came to know they were adding to the problem of air pollution and it was outlawed. I can still conjure up that unique scent. Can you?

My dad never spent a lot of time on yard work. Having grown up in Brooklyn, it didn’t come to him naturally. But every fall, he would rake and burn leaves and that tangy smoke wound its way to neighbors who stopped by to chat as they watched the leaves turn to ash. I remember hanging around the fire, and the way our clothes would gather the smell and hold it for several days. I remember building great piles of leaves and jumping into them with my brothers and our friends. Sometimes we would use them to outline rooms in a pretend house and walk in and out of them.

The next day the houses were gone and the yard was full of leaves once more until Dad was ready to rake and burn them. Damn pollution!

•The 18th Annual Apples and Art Festival at the Conklin House will be held the weekend of Oct. 14-16. The art show will feature more than 60 artists, some of whom have exhibited at this event every year since its inception.

On display will be original artwork in various mediums by professional and amateur artists. The opening reception will be held on Oct. 14, from 7 to 9 p.m.

•On Saturday morning, Oct. 15, the Post Office Care will hold its 25th Annual 5K and 1K Fun Run. Hundreds of runners and walkers will make their way through the streets of Babylon. This event raises funds to support the National MPS Society, in memory of Mark Lessing, Jr. and his sister Casey Lessing. Tragically, both lost their battle to Sanfilippo Syndrome. (Note some streets will be temporarily closed as runners and walkers follow the route.)

•The Babylon Chamber of Commerce will hold its Fall Harvest Festival on Sat., Oct. 15, from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Deer Park Avenue will be closed to traffic from Main Street to Railroad Avenue. There will be two stages for the day-long entertainment as well as many carnival games. Foods will be prepared by local restaurants and there will be special sales by local shops. The sales start on Friday and run through Sunday.

•Shelter Link, a non-profit group that helps animal shelters and rescue groups, will be holding a fundraiser to help cut down on the feral cat population by spaying or neutering strays. Its Chinese auction will be held behind Islip Town Hall (39 Nassau Avenue) on Oct. 15 from noon to 3 p.m. The entrance fee is $5 per adult and includes six raffle tickets. Prizes include more than 70 beautiful gift baskets, more than 40 gift certificates, tickets to theaters and movies, as well as other great items. For information, call 516-458-3103.

•In case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t said much lately about 527 Deer Park Avenue (the David Smith Homestead). That’s because we’ve been waiting for a date when the Babylon Zoning Board of Appeals would hold a hearing on it. The Ognibenes, or Indian Crossing, asked the ZBA for permission to demolish the home, which was built in 1790.

A hearing will be held on Wed., Oct. 19 at Village Hall and the Babylon Village Heritage Conservancy is hoping that residents will turn out for it. If you have followed the history of the Smith Homestead you will know that it is almost four years since the ZBA directed the owners to move and maintain the historic home. The owners now want the ZBA to reverse it.

It is one of the oldest homes in the Village and was built after David Smith returned from fighting for America’s right to be independent. It is a part of Babylon’s heritage and should be preserved as such.

•Happy birthday, Chrissy Auer!

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