2016-11-03 / Columnists

Babylon News & Muse

•This is an appeal to all people in the Town of Babylon and the West Islip and Bay Shore areas. We need your help to end hunger in Babylon. This Sat., Nov. 5, the Babylon Rotary Club and other local organizations have set up the first Babylon Ends Hunger Program. This food packaging event will take place at the First Presbyterian Church, 79 East Main Street, Babylon, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

To do this we need dozens of volunteers to spend two hours packing up food items, either from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 1-3 p.m. This year’s goal is to package at least 30,000 meals for distribution to local soup kitchens and food pantries, as well as those less fortunate in Haiti. If you can help, please call 631-661-5300 ASAP.

This is a great chance for community service credits!

The second item is the “Golden Oldies Walk.” This is a free tour to see the exteriors and hear the history of some of the older buildings in the Village.

Stanis Beck, who has written several stories about older buildings in the Village, will lead the tour. If you would like to take part in this event, meet at Old Town Hall on Main Street at 11:15 a.m. Sun., Nov. 6. (Rain or shine.)

This is sponsored by the Babylon Village Heritage Conservancy. The group’s mission statement reads: Through advocacy, research and education, the mission of the Babylon Village Heritage Conservancy is to identify, protect and conserve the unique historical character and heritage of Babylon Village.

•Speaking of the Conservancy, the Village Zoning Board will be hearing the application of the Ognibene group to demolish the historical David Smith House, located at 527 Deer Park Avenue. The hearing will be held on Wed., Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m. in Babylon Village Hall. If you want to help protect Babylon’s heritage, please attend the hearing and make yourself heard.

•I have two requests for my readers this week. An old friend and neighbor, Erna Ersham O’Connor, dropped off a jar of jam at my house last week when she was in town. Erna lived on North Carll Avenue for many years but retired to the Carolinas. Sadly, she did not leave her address or phone number.

I wanted to get in touch with her for several years, and if you have information on how I can contact her, please call The Beacon office at 631-587-5612 and leave a message.

Longtime residents may recall Erna’s father, Ernest Ersham, who worked for the Village for many years, taking care of Argyle Park. I remember him from when I was a little girl. He was always repairing the lakeside or tending the plants.

•A reader has asked for information about an artist named Edith (Elliott) Couture, who lived in Babylon for many years. Mrs. Couture and her husband later retired to Connecticut. Sadly, she passed away in 2013. Apparently the reader recently bought an oil painting by Mrs. Couture, and would like to learn more about her. If you have information, please contact the Beacon office at 631-587-5612.

•Are you a bibliophile? (That’s a book lover, in case you’ve forgotten.) Twice a year, the Friends of the Babylon Library hold a book sale at the library. Funds raised from these sales help the Friends support programs, displays, special purchases and museum passes on behalf of the Babylon Library. Putting these sales together is a lot of hard work. If you have books that you would like to donate to the sale, please bring them to the Library. (Please DO NOT put them in the bins for library books!)

The sale will be held on Fri., Nov. 18, and Sat., Nov. 19. Members of the Friends are given a special preview on Nov. 17, a good reason to join the Friends ahead of time for a reasonable donation! Don’t forget to come to the sale; it is amazing what great buys you can find!

•Fred Van Bougondien, the scion of a multi-generational Babylon family, died in Naples, Florida on Oct. 26. Fred and his late wife Betty were wonderful examples of good citizens. Both participated in many activities and organizations, working to benefit Babylon and their family. They leave behind a large family and many friends.

•Happy birthday to Marty McCarthy, one of the most irrepressible men I know, and to Linda Burke, one of the nicest ladies! Special birthday wishes to Sue Borg, another nice woman and a wonderful friend!

Readers who would like to submit items to this column can send them to Mary Gallagher via email at acjnews@rcn.com. Please put News and Muse in the subject line. Or you can send them by U.S. Postal Service to 65 Deer Park Ave., Babylon NY 11701.

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