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What Can We Say Except ‘I’ll Pray For You’?

I hadn’t planned to be where I was Sunday night. In fact, I wasn’t supposed to be there. And yet, everything happens for a reason. And sometimes it takes a very long time for us to find out the reason. Sometimes we never do. And I was where I was for reasons different than for the man who you are going to read about now. And yet, I believe I was there for some reason other than the one I thought I had gone for. Confused? Life is confusing and disturbing. Especially so on Sunday night.

 

Under normal circumstances, striking up a conversation in a public men’s room in the basement of a building would be considered odd, perhaps even frightening. And this was anything but a normal circumstance. And this was no ordinary basement. And no ordinary building.

 

It was the basement of St. Kilian R.C. Church in Farmingdale, during the vigil for the four teens killed in the horrific car crash early Saturday morning on Conklin Street, near Staples Street. 

 

This story is not about the crash. 

 

This is about the anguish of one man, 14-year-old Carly Lonnborg’s uncle. And the pain of a family on Mother’s Day.

 

“Carly,” he said, “was my sister’s only child. And it’s Mother’s Day.” 

 

I touched his arm and said, “I will pray for you and your sister and her family and for Carly.” 

 

He thanked me and told me that he was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from the Farmingdale community. Mother’s Day night is supposed to be about celebrating family. Children and their mothers together.

 

When I shared the only words I could at this point, to “Keep the Faith, there is one you know...”

 

Carly’s uncle replied, “I know. I saw it upstairs.”

 

It isn’t the first time this community has gathered to support its own. Ten years ago, four teens also died in a horrific car crash. Conklin Street has a history of accidents. About four times a year, on average, there is a serious one on this heavily trafficked road, where too many drivers drive too fast, too often.

 

I was reminded in brutal fashion that none of us is promised tomorrow. For Carly’s family, along with the families of the other children who died early Saturday morning, Mother’s Day will never be the same.

 

Perhaps it is time for the state, county, town and village to work together to explore ways to make Conklin Street a safer road to travel.

 

Gerry Laytin is a career coach and lecturer at Hofstra University. Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


News

Driving rain and cold temperatures could not keep Long Islanders from coming out to support the first annual DogFest Walk ‘n Roll, a fundraiser for Canine Companions for Independence. Held for the first time at Marjorie Post Park in nearby Massapequa, dogs of all breeds and sizes came with their humans with one goal in mind; to raise funds for CCI.

 

Event organizer Yvonne Dagger, past president and now board member, discussed the importance of the event. 

It’s been more than 50 years since the Farmingdale High School class of 1964 roamed the halls of their beloved high school, but that doesn’t mean that the memories have faded. The class—the first to graduate from Farmingdale High—came together on Saturday, October 18 at the Marriott in Islandia to celebrate all of the good times past and make new memories as a class.  


Sports

3rd Grade Division

The Giants and Jets met for the 2nd time this season, with the Giants again getting the victory over the Jets.  Jalen Gordon scored late into the 1st half for the Giants, which turned out to be the only points in the half.  The Giants shut the Jets down for both halves, keeping the offense off the board.  The Jets strong point this weekend was the defense, with Kyle June and Jake Kuller picking up the weekly William June Foundation awards.  In what is turning into a rough offensive season for the Jets, these awards continue to remind the boys of the perseverance and determination of the award’s namesake and his “never say quit” attitude.

 

—Submitted by Paul Caputo


William Merola, a member of the Farmingdale School District’s wrestling program, was recently selected to attend the third annual U.S. Marine Corps Summer Leadership and

Character Development program, which is limited to 150 sophomores and juniors throughout the nation.

 

Over the summer, from July 20-26, Merola attended the third annual Marine Corps recruiting command summer leadership and character academy at the USMC base in Quantico. 

 

The SLCDA (Summer Leadership and Character Development Program) educates high school leaders about Marine Corps Officer Programs by participating in classroom academics, ethics training, accelerated college prep, physical fitness training, a field exercise, a community service component and a field trip to Washington, D.C.


Calendar

Networking Event - October 29

Halloween Parade - October 31

Holiday Craft and Vendor Fair - November 2


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com