2017-03-16 / Columnists

Babylon News & Muse

•Tomorrow, of course, is St. Patrick’s Day. So I ask you to join the millions who will be wearin’ the green! I wish you a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day and hope that you are finished digging yourself out from the blizzard. I also ask St. Patrick to bring back the lovely weather we enjoyed a little more than a week ago!

•My laptop computer is not working so I am writing this column on a computer at the Babylon Public Library. God bless the library for having so many available to the public!

As I entered the library this morning, I ran into Patrick “Packy” McGinnis, an old friend. He told me a nice story about an experience he had last week.

Packy was using the ATM at a local bank, and accidentally left his wallet next to the ATM. Rushing back to the bank, he realized that he did not have a card to open the door to the ATM. When he finally did get in, the wallet was gone. Packy rushed home and cancelled a couple of credit cards. As he was doing this, the doorbell rang. On opening the door, he saw an unfamiliar woman standing outside with his wallet in hand.

The woman introduced herself and explained that she had found the wallet at the ATM as she and her husband were on their way to Glen’s Dinette for breakfast. While at Glen’s, the woman and her husband tried to find the identity of the owner of the wallet.

Apparently they found a photo of Packy and their waitress, Carol, said, “I know that man!” Carol was able to identify Packy! They drove over to his home and handed over the wallet, which was intact. Packy, of course, was delighted. “That’s one of the great things about living in a small Village like Babylon! Even if you don’t know someone, you are sure to run into someone who does!”

This is one of the reasons that some people stay in Babylon their entire lives…we enjoy a sense of belonging and also friendship with those around us. We truly are neighbors!

•Talking about being neighborly brings to mind the upcoming “Babylon Ends Hunger” event on April 1. Last November, a group of area residents, organized by the Babylon Rotary and with the support of many other local organizations, put together 30,000 meals, of which 25,000 went to local soup kitchens and 5,000 went to Haiti. We are planning to make 60,000 meals this year! The site will once again be the First Presbyterian Church (79 East Main Street). Again the majority of the meals will go to local food banks. WE NEED YOUR HELP!! Each volunteer would be scheduled for two hours. Last year we were overwhelmed by the number of volunteers, which is part of the reason for doubling the number of meals this year! We are also looking for monetary donations. $40 can provide 150 meals for needy neighbors. If you can volunteer and/or make a donation, please call Megan Noble at 631- 661-5300. Help Babylon End Hunger!

•Do you have a family that likes to fish? New York State is going to host the Spring Family Freshwater Fishing Festival on April 1 at Belmont State Park. Co-sponsored by the Parks Department and Department of Environmental Conservation, the Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the one day. To ensure that participants have a good chance of catching fish, the state is going to add 4,000 trout before the event! (There are already yellow perch in the 42-acre lake.) Additionally, participants can take lessons in fishing and fish cleaning. There will also be demonstrations of fly-fishing. Bait and some rods will be available to use for free. There will also be a fishing contest for children!

•Are you aware that this is the time for girl scout cookies? Like many other people, I am addicted to thin mints, and was able to buy a couple of boxes outside of Lowes in West Islip. Rather than eat them all at one time, I stash them in the freezer. Out of sight, out of mind really works for me!

This is the 100th anniversary of the girl scout cookie sale. A troop in Oklahoma tried it out as a fundraiser and success made it an annual event. In 1936, the organization started to license bakers to professionally make the wonderful treats. My personal favorites, thin mints, were introduced in 1951 and have been best sellers ever since!

•Many of us suffer from colds, allergies and the flu at this time of year. While a tissue or hand has been an acceptable cover-up for coughs or sneezes, until recently, professionals now suggest we sneeze or cough into the crook of our arm. The reason is that most people don’t wash their hands after a sneeze or cough. But did you know that the gesture of using the elbow has a name? It’s called “the Dracula” by some because it is similar to the way the monster moved his cape! Sadly a New Zealand study found that about 25 percent of the population makes no attempt to cover up a sneeze or cough. Gross!

•Connie Casteneda and Tom Melito are both celebrating birthdays this week. Many happy returns!

Readers can submit items for this column to Bablon Beacon, News and Muse, 65 Deer Park Ave., Babylon NY 11702. Please include a full name and telephone number. Items can also be emailed to us at acjnews@rcn.com. Please put News & Muse in the subject line.

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