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Beatles, Blues And Everything Between

Hicksville resident shares musical talent,

success and passion with community

Music has always been a part of Hicksville resident Ronnie D’Addario’s life. Born and raised in the Theater District of Manhattan, D’Addario grew up surrounded by music, as his father played the saxophone and horns for The Four Seasons and Frank Sinatra and his mother was a talented piano player and singer.

“But on Feb. 9, 1964, everything changed,” said D’Addario. “I saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show and that was it. Music became my passion then.”

That summer, his mother bought him his first guitar – and he became obsessed. He started writing and recording songs immediately. He wrote his first song “Please Don’t Make Me Blue” at just 11. This marked the beginning of his long and successful musical career, one in which he crossed paths with many notable names in the entertainment industry.

“The first famous person that I knew pretty well was the director and actor Otto Preminger,” D’Addario reminisced. “My mom worked for him for 25 years and there were always celebrities in and out of the office.”

He met many musicians while playing with Clancy Brothers member Tommy Makem at Makem’s New York City club, Makem’s Irish Pavilion. Among these musicians were Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Bono and Eric Clapton. D’Addario also played with Tommy Makem on PBS Television specials and made an appearance with him on the Rosie O’Donnell Show.

About 10 years ago, D’Addario moved to Hicksville, where he now lives with his wife, Susan Hall, and their two children, Brian, 15, and Michael, 13. D’Addario’s success as a musician and Susan’s history as an actress sparked their son’s involvement in music and acting. Brian has been successful on Broadway, playing roles such as Gavroche in “Les Misérables” and Flounder in “The Little Mermaid.” Michael starred in the feature films “People Like Us” and “Sinister.”

In addition to acting, D’Addario’s sons are heavily passionate for music, showing talent both instrumentally and vocally.

“Their resumes are pretty impressive,” said D’Addario. “My wife and I are very supportive.”

D’Addario now works at Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale, where he has applied his skills as a musician and recording artist for the past decade. The high school releases two musical albums each academic year, and it is D’Addario’s job to guide students musically and lyrically. He then produces recordings of the songs and puts them on the albums.

“[The students] are thrilled with the results,” said D’Addario. “They gain experience and confidence, and they enjoy their first time in a recording studio.”

Although he’s busy raising his family and working at Kellenberg, D’Addario continues to share his music with others. He is a member of a successful local Irish band called The Irish Mist, with which he plays many gigs at various local restaurants and pubs. D’Addario also has three albums that are for sale online and he is currently halfway through writing his fourth album.

And though the times may be a-changing, D’Addario doesn’t seem too fazed.

“I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing – raising my children, writing songs and playing gigs,” he said.

News

A group of like-minded local residents banded together and saved more than 200 area trees from the chopping block — for now.

A state judge ordered Nassau County and the Department of Public Works to stop cutting down trees along South Oyster Bay Road, granting a temporary restraining order to a group of residents spearheading an effort to save the trees.

State Supreme Court Judge Antonio Brandveen scheduled a hearing on Thursday, Oct. 16 for the county to address complaints from residents, in particular a group called Operation STOMP (Save Trees Over More Pavement) founded by Hicksville native Tanya Lukasik.The Public Works department had planned to removed more than 200 30-foot trees in communities ranging from Plainview, Bethpage, Hicksville and Syosset.

For the past 16 years, Lucia Simon has walked from her home in Hicksville to her job at the Hicksville Public Library. She enjoys her job as a librarian and says that the staff has become like family to her. But for the past three years, Simon and 56 fellow co-workers have been frustrated at what she says is the library’s board refusal to negotiate a fair contract.  

“We have had no contract in three years. They refuse to bargain with us. Every time they come back to us it’s not fair,” says Simon.

However, the board of trustees disagree, saying that it has made a “fair offer.”


Sports

The Girls Varsity soccer team, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, wore pink uniforms and pink socks in their game on Oct. 8 against MacArthur whom they defeated 1-0. The girls and boys soccer programs at Hicksville High School are selling pink ribbon car magnets with a soccer ball and HHS on it with the words “Kick Cancer” on the ribbon. All the money raised will go to the Sarah Grace Foundation, which is a local foundation trying to beat pediatric cancer. The players plan to raise $1,000 for this organization

— From Hicksville High School

Hicksville native progressing through Mets system

The Mets minor league system is enjoying a rare period of prosperity. For years, it was barren due to trading off high-ceiling players for major leaguers, or neglecting the draft in favor of the free agent market. Since General Manager Sandy Alderson took over, the organization has reversed course and put a much greater emphasis on player development. During his second-to-last season, however, former GM Omar Minaya took a chance and drafted a local catcher, Cam Maron, out of Hicksville High School in the 34th round.


Calendar

Board of Education Meeting

October 22

Oktoberfest

October 25-26

Pancake Breakfast

October 26



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