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Preserving Hicksville’s History

If you’ve ever wondered what Hicksville was like back in the 1800s, James Janis is the person to ask. Janis is the Hicksville historian as well as a reference librarian at the Hicksville Public Library. He works on organizing the archives of Hicksville’s history, as well as preparing them for the future.

“I’m working in the past, I’m trying to prepare for the future, and at the same time, I’m working in the present,” said Janis.

The archives have original material that go back as far as 1896 and research articles that go back to the 1840’s. Some of Janis’ prized possessions in his archives include the Silver Star and Purple Heart of a Hicksville resident named James Madden who was killed during World War II, as well as a letter from the Western Union informing the parents of Charles Wagner that he died in World War I.

Janis received his masters in Library Science from Queens College and starting working at the the library five years ago.

Many people come in to the library to do research on families, Hicksville history, as well as school assignments. People also like to look at the yearbooks, and the library has a good collection of the yearbooks starting from the early 1930’s.

“I try and pay attention to what goes on in Hicksville and if something interesting happens, I try and preserve it and put it in the archives," said Janis. He collects vertical files on anything about Hicksville including horses in Hicksville, and even famous murders and serial killers from Hicksville.

“Everything is eventually going to be digitalized, and the archives should eventually be available online,” said Janis.

One of Janis’ daily duties include searching the The New York Times archives to find articles that have any mention of Hicksville. “The first article about Hicksville was in 1854,” he said. “It was about a woman named Betsy Baldwin, who fell down a well and the news made it into The New York Times.”

Janis is currently working on a program about Hicksville residents in World War I. He has previously done programs with Hicksville in World War II and Hicksville in the Spanish American War. The programs received good reviews and Janis plans on continuing with more programs, until he eventually covers Hicksville in all of the wars.    

“While working on these programs I do a lot of original research,” he said. “I end up tracking grandparents or descendants, I find documentation, and I find out things that nobody knew about Hicksville.”

Janis hopes to present the program on Hicksville in World War I in time for Memorial Day.

For more information, visit www.hicksvillelibrary.org

News

Hicksville improv sketch comedy group, Unrehearsed, will be performing this weekend at Crossroads Farm in Malverne.

The group, which consists of performers from Hicksville, will put on a fast-paced, interactive improv sketch show which will be made up completely on the spot. The only thing the actors know is which improv game they will be playing.

An Unrehearsed show follows a format similar to popular improv sketch comedy television shows, such as "Whose Line Is It Anyway," using games to create hilarious situations that are completely made up on the spot.

Superintendent Maureen Bright and the Hicksville School District are parting ways, a year earlier than originally planned.

At a Board of Education meeting May 20, Bright announced that she would not be renewing her contract when it expired at the end of the 2014-15 school year. However, a notice posted last week on the Hicksville School District website stated that she is leaving her position July 31, 2014.


Sports

Cantiague Park Senior Men’s Golf League had its fourth tournament on Thursday, July 17. We had 34 golfers and only three who scored under 40. Low overall score was won by Charlie Hong with an impressive 34. Joe Sander scored a solid 49 and won low overall net with a 31.

Competition on the nine-hole course is divided into two divisions. Flight A is for players with a handicap of 13 or lower. Flight B is for players with a handicap of 14 or more. The league is a 100% handicap league. Any man 55 years or older is eligible for membership. We have many openings for this year, and you can sign up anytime throughout the the season. The league meets every Thursday at 7:30 a.m., but the formal tournament dates are only the first and third Thursday of the month through late October. We will have a final luncheon with prizes on our last meeting.

The Michael Magro Foundation is once again partnering with The Mastermind Unit to put on the annual Soccer For A Cause tournament. The event, which raises money for the Michael Magro Foundation, will take place at the Kevin Kolm Memorial Field in Hicksville this Saturday.

The soccer tournament is an enjoyable event, which offers participants the chance to enter in the competitive game. In years past, approximately 20 soccer teams from the tri-state area have played. All participants will be able to enjoy music and entertainment while supporting a worthy cause. Each registrant will receive a special event t-shirt. Teams can register online at http://www.mastermindunit.com/ with a $500 donation.


Calendar

Soccer For A Cause

August 2

Blood Drive

August 2

Holy Family Church Fair

August 13-16



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