2018-08-16 / Columnists

Babylon News & Muse

•Mid-August…is it possible that the summer has progressed so far? June’s graduates are beginning to travel to their colleges for the first time. They will go through a period called orientation with a group that may produce their best friends, competition, and possibly even a partner. It’s a time of great excitement and nerves. If they are lucky, they will quickly settle in and make a place for themselves. All, no doubt, will experience a least some form of homesickness. We wish them well and much success.

•Here in the northeast we start school later than most of the country. Students here relish those extra weeks of vacation, often the best weather of the summer. The water is now warm enough to swim for hours comfortably. The night has already begun to creep in earlier each day, but still stretches long enough to cram in extra activities.

Summer is a glorious time of year. Enjoy it while you can!

•I was fortunate to take a few vacation days in Upstate New York. My brother, Rob, and his wonderful wife, Lil, live some 15 minutes north of Albany. Most summers I spend time with them in Saratoga.

If you haven’t been to Saratoga, I suggest that you plan to go sometime soon. It’s a lovely gem of a city, only four hours north of Long Island. Located within easy reach of the N.Y.S. Thruway, it’s a beautiful ride to one of the prettiest destinations in New York state.

Perhaps best known for the summer racing season, Saratoga has many other wonderful features. Much of the architecture is Victorian, but set among rolling fields of green. There are a number of museums, wonderful shopping, spas, and many day trips to make it worth spending a week or more there.

After 30-plus years in Saratoga, Rob and Lil are planning to move to North Carolina this fall. The milder winters have a lot to do with this decision, as does the fact that their son and his family will be there to welcome them. Lower taxes are also a big draw. I know that I will miss Saratoga, and can only imagine how much they will.

•If you wondered what was going on early Sunday morning on Park Avenue, it was the Dirty Sock Run. The 10K race is a summer favorite, running north to Belmont Lake State Park along the trails past Southards Pond. More than 700 runners registered for the annual race, and they couldn’t have had a better day.

The Babylon Rotary Club organizes the Dirty Sock Run and the proceeds go to feed Babylon’s hungry. Volunteers turn up at 6 a.m. to set up and make sure the race goes without a hitch. Babylon Village does a great job to make sure that the trails are in good condition (if a bit muddy) and that runners make the trip in safety. The Fire Department has staff on hand to take care of any injuries, and this year the Babylon Village Meat Market came to provide sustenance to the many participants. Lily Flanagan’s opened to the runners after the race to make certain that one and all enjoyed the race. It’s just one more example of how well the people of Babylon work to make events such as this are a success.

•One of Babylon’s most popular residents, Neil O’Connell, recently celebrated his birthday with a family gathering at the Irish Coffee Pub. Many happy returns, Neil!

•Happy birthday to some other Babylon friends: Julie Noble and Marion Casserly! Readers can submit items to this column. Send them to News and Muse, c/o Babylon Beacon, 65 Deer Park Ave., Babylon NY 11702, or via email at acjnews@rcn.com

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