2017-12-21 / Columnists

Babylon News & Muse

•Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I wish all my readers and friends the best for this holiday season!

•I bought Christmas cards this year and still hope to send some out, but obviously I am starting late!

I saw Santa and his sleigh pull out of the Babylon Village Highway and Sanitation area on Friday. The first time I saw this wonderful sight, I was waiting on South Carll Avenue to cross Main Street. I was back a couple of cars and was stunned to see the reindeer and sled rush by heading east on Main Street. For several minutes I was really flustered! I didn’t see anyone in the darkened interior of the sleigh and began to question my vision! When I got home, I immediately called my sister, and she told me which Santa was driving that night.

I found myself laughing, but not at all surprised.

Skip (Gardner) does whatever he can to improve the Village and this creation was way up there on his list of successes. Merry Christmas, Santa! Best wishes to you, and Mrs. Claus and the elves!

•Thank you also to all the men and women who work for the Village of Babylon! You are the backbone of this lovely Village, and best wishes go out to you all!

•I met some friends for a Christmas lunch last week in Bay Shore. We had lunch at a relatively new place: Whaler’s Restaurant, at the foot of Maple Avenue. Years ago it was Gil Clark’s, but the name of more recent incarnation slips my mind. In any event, we had a great time and the food was great! The majority of the lunch dishes ran about $15, which didn’t seem too bad to me. They featured a number of Korean items, mixed with American dishes to create an interesting serving. The staff was careful to keep track of our needs and we had a great time. I can’t wait to visit it again!

•I can’t remember the last time we had snow three times in December, but Santa may be bringing us some warmer weather. It’s too bad that we can’t put in an order for a white Christmas, but with so many people traveling, it may be just as well.

•Do you remember when groups of carolers used to walk around some of the neighborhoods in Babylon? When I was a child, my friends and I caroled every year. I would call them over to our house to practice a couple of nights ahead of time. Then, after dinner on Christmas Eve, we bundled up and equipped ourselves with candles (ooh, that dripping hot wax!) and made our way around our neighborhood (Argyle Park). We stopped at almost every home we knew and sang one or two songs that were religious and then a couple such as “Frosty the Snowman” and “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”, and always finished with “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”

Some of us would meet up later on and go to Midnight Mass together.

I remember one Christmas Eve when Peter Rettaliata and I walked home from Mass along Main Street. It was snowing fairly heavily, and the snow blurred the colors of the traffic lights, making them look very Christmassy!

In later years, I would find my way to my sister’s house and help Isabel and Dick wrap presents for their five children. I remember one year when I came back at midnight and shook some sleigh bells outside their windows, hoping they’d think it was St. Nick and his eight tiny reindeer!

•Still looking for gifts? Try F & M, the small shop just behind Norton & Siegel on Fire Island Avenue. They have lots of retro items from the 50s and before, and prices are reasonable. I stopped in at Roomer’s last week and found a number of great gifts. Pat has been running a special 12 Days of Christmas Sale on some nice products.

•I’m sorry to have heard that Mary Grover passed away a couple of weeks ago. She and her late husband Jim were fixtures in the Village and I send my sympathy to their children and grandchildren.

•Again, I wish all a happy holiday and a happy and healthy New Year!

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