2017-05-25 / Columnists

Babylon News & Muse

•Memorial Day is less than a week away! This weekend is much more anticipated than most holidays, primarily because it signifies the beginning of summer to so many of us. While officially summer begins at 24 minutes past midnight on June 21 when the summer solstice takes place, many can’t wait and begin celebrating it this weekend.

As a child, I remember a big gathering of family and friends at a barbecue following the Memorial Day parade. The “Rat Pack,” as we called the group, consisted of Dr. Joe and Lucille Welling, John and Rosemary Halpin, Doug and Grace Farrington, Jack and Marion Griffin and my parents, Isabel and Frank “Gal” Gallagher. It included the numerous children of the group (about 35 kids). Turns were taken with the party for many years until the group whittled down to smaller proportions. It’s been seven or eight years since any of the group gathered, as almost all the adults now meet up in the clouds. I miss that party every year at this time.

But there are many other family barbecues in Babylon and the surrounding areas. The Babylon Fire Department holds one. Members open their doors to the public once the firemen and their trucks return from the parade. You may want to stop by for a hot dog and some soda or other type of beverage.

The parade kicks off from the north end of the Village at 11 a.m. and generally winds up at the Argyle Park Gazebo by noon. Many people fill the sidewalks to watch their sons, daughters and neighbors march. There are at least three bands: the Fire Dept., the Saffron Kilts from the Hibernians and the Babylon High School marching band. All of them are received by the crowd with lots of applause.

•Sun., June 4, Jack Jacks Coffee House, 223 Deer Park Ave., and the Babylon Village Arts Council, present Susan Dingle reading her poetry from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in an open mic format. Come and bring a friend.

•Just heard from my lovely niece, Brianne, that her two boys, ages five and three, have both developed ugly red bumpy rashes caused by gypsy moth caterpillars. Apparently, there was no direct contact, just touching things the caterpillars touched. The rash can be very itchy, but can be treated with topical steroids. She lives in Massachusetts where there has been a bad outbreak of gypsy moths since last summer and it is continuing. It takes about two weeks to go away and may be mistaken for poison ivy. I’ve noted a number of gypsy moth nests locally, so keep this in mind.

Happy Memorial Day to one and all!

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