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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

Farmingdale village officials will be holding a public hearing on Dec. 1, to reexamine school speed zones throughout the village, in order to establish a consistent school speed zone limit. 

Holidays Increase Daily Congestion 

While parking around LIRR train stations is typically a challenge, even on a regular work day, the holidays create more of a struggle for commuters in search of parking spots. LIRR spokesman Salvatore Arena said that ridership between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day increases by at least 10 percent; last year it was by 12 percent. Though the MTA is adding more trains to the schedule, that doesn’t ease the parking situation, which is operated not by the LIRR, but by individual municipalities in each town. 

 

“Every station is different,” Arena said. “A good part of our parking is in the hands of the locality. They set the rules essentially.”


Sports

At a special “wrap up “ meeting for the 2014 Marcum Workplace Challenge, Greater Long Island Running Club Vice President and Event Director Mindy Davidson of Farmingdale, presented a special plaque to Winsome Foulkes, team captain of the Farmingdale-based Telephonics Corporation.  Winsome is retiring from Telephonics after a long and successful career and has led the Telephonics Corporation in the Marcum Workplace Challenge since its inception.  

There is simply no better way for runners and their families to celebrate the Holiday Season than by being part of the fun at the Carter, DeLuca, Farrell & Schmidt Holiday 5 Kilometer Run, and on Saturday morning, Dec. 20, the Run will be celebrating its 27th anniversary edition at the John F. Kennedy Middle School in Bethpage. The run will start at 9:30 a.m. on Broadway in Bethpage.


Calendar

Les Miserables - November 21

The Wedding Singer - November 21

Holiday Parade - November 22


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