2017-09-28 / Columnists

Babylon News & Muse

After a beautiful summer-like weekend, I suspect that most of us are now ready for fall. While the past week was cloudy, I guess we can’t complain too much since one of the alternatives was a hurricane!

•By the way, St. Joseph’s Church usually does a Blessing of the Animals every year. I have been told that it will be held this Sun., Oct. 1 at 3:30 p.m. in Kelly Plaza (near the gym). Beasts of all types are welcome (even humans)!

•If you drove past Village Hall last week, you probably saw all the work on the various fire trucks, night and day. An annual inspection of the fire department always takes place on a Saturday at the end of the month of September. The equipment is all inspected and cleaned to a bright polish, and the firemen and women assemble in full uniform.

One of the companies wins an award for the best presentation. The Village Board of Trustees inspects various aspects of the dress uniforms, and the chiefs inspect the equipment.

An annual dinner for the fire department, including spouses, takes place after the inspection itself.

When you think of all the time these men and women spend on their duties, a good dinner is a small reward. I want to thank all the members of the Babylon Fire Department for their time and effort.

•I have a special respect for the fire service, as my father’s father was a chief in the FDNY. He served for over 40 years when he got a call asking him to come and take his father to the doctor one Monday morning. Within 48 hours, Thomas Gallagher lapsed into a coma, with his body consumed by cancer. He died shortly after his wife arrived at his side to say farewell.

In those days, people had no idea how many different, everyday products, when burnt, could cause cancer. We have much more knowledge of that now, and still people serve our communities, in spite of all the risks. So when you hear a fire alarm, say a prayer for the people that respond. And be sure to thank them for their service, including a donation for their annual fund drive!

•Another group we should thank for their service is crossing guards. Many people have mixed feelings about them, especially when a driver is in a hurry. But that’s just the time we should appreciate them the most! When we drive in a hurry we are less likely to notice a child about to run out in the road. Anyone who has spent a lot of time with small children knows that they can be unpredictable.

Few people are willing to stand on street corners in snow, rain and blazing hot days to see our students get across the streets safely. So thank you to crossing guards, too!

•This past weekend I found it annoying to watch the news. Every area newscast started with threats about the most recent hurricane and the possibility that it could hit us, only to say later that it won’t. International news was tragic with Puerto Rico and Mexico being devastated by Mother Nature.

But the news that really irked me was to see our president acting so childishly and trying to run the sports world. And why should the British Prime Minister have to tell him again that they wish he would stay out of their affairs? Don’t we have enough problems in the U.S. that he can concentrate on such as health care, poverty and the economy without him trying to run the NFL?

•I was saddened to hear that Geoff Phillips, a longtime Babylon resident, passed away on Aug. 31. Many of you may remember Geoff who was an active member of the Babylon Yacht Club (he served as commodore from 1985-86), and on the Babylon Public Library Board of Trustees. Geoff was the successful head of a British firm, Liberty of London. He and his wife, Jean, lived in Babylon for 45 years before moving south. They were married for 65 years and had one child, a son, Graham. I was fortunate enough to get to know Jean well as she helped run my shop, Sudder Bazaar.

•Last week I ran into Belle Baxter, who recently sold her lovely home on Shore Road and moved to Florida. An extremely popular person, Belle will be sadly missed on the Great South Bay.

I hate to see friends moving south, leaving Babylon. I understand that the winters are milder, and so are the taxes, but I still believe those who leave Babylon are making a mistake.

Every once in a while I think about moving, but I don’t like heat and humidity, and I still like cold and snow. I must be nuts! But, I wish Belle, and the others heading south, much luck!

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