Written by Lorraine Mund, firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 29 August 2014 00:00
Somehow LSA, the Levittown Swimming Association, has always been a part of our Hicksville summers. My family’s introduction to the organization in 1975 began when our two older daughters tried out for the Parkway Swim Team, one of the nine teams that competed through July and most of August.
It was no small task for the younger girl, swimming her first full lap in the deep end of the pool to qualify at age six, but both girls made the team and donned the coveted gray tee shirts as the trees cast their shadows over the pool water at the end of practice.
During that first summer I watched the girls swim the seemingly endless laps under the direction of Coach Connie Schenck. She was a feisty woman with a very contagious laugh. She would walk back and forth on the deck with her floppy white hat and yell at anyone who tried to hang on the wall. She, with the help of older swimmers, taught the children how to dive, flip turn and cheer. My girls never missed a morning workout. Then after practice we would stay at the pool where the girls played with their team mates while I chased the baby around the kiddy pool until 5:30 p.m., the time when the pool was open to only adults except on team practice nights.
There were four meets that summer: Tri-Pool, Tri-Sectional, Novice and Championship. We put a hold on our trips to the lake, so that we could be there for each competition, even though our daughters did not qualify to swim at the Tri Meets. My husband, Joe, volunteered to be a timer. I sat with the kids in the bleachers and cheered. By championship, when we had to dry everyone’s towels in the laundromat because of a cloudburst and take turns at salvaging their sodden lunches, we were hooked. We couldn’t wait for the next summer.
The next year I began to help as an assistant coach and my three year old played along the wall of the swim lane. At meets Joe was given the job of lining up the swimmers for each event in the “bull pen” and sending them down “the shoot.” His 11 years as a Marine had fully prepared him for the task. The following year I assumed the position of head coach. Thus I began the best 10 summers of my life.
Meeting the swimmers at Parkway every morning was a great way to begin a summer day. I admired the spirit and determination of each child who struggled to improve. The swimmers were always so focused and enthusiastic. They were so kind and helpful to each other and to me. Each week we could see such improvement in skill and spirit. And, we all looked forward to Championships!
During those summers so many friendships were forged between swimmers and adults alike. We developed a healthy rivalry with Carman Avenue and even stole Coach Heaney’s mascot, Larry La Rock. We drove to each of the pools in the early morning and trimmed their fences with red and white streamers(our colors). We created cheers and practiced them on rainy days. We had scrimmage meets, spaghetti dinners and evening beach barbecues and enjoyed a wonderful awards evening in Levittown Hall at the end of the season. We established the tradition of collecting a bottle of Parkway water that was stored by the youngest member of the team, who would pour it into Jerusalem Pool at Championships for good luck.
Recently I have been meeting some of the former Parkway swimmers and parents. We are always remembering the fun days! We recall the names of people who volunteered time to make the days special for all the children: John Schuff, Betty White, the Epsteins, Joan Ednie, Dee Becker, Pat Fried, Ross Zennick Harry Kozak, Rose Marie Walker and many others from Parkway. We also recall the spirit of Ed Moody, the mentally challenged man who became a beloved honorary member of our team. We still laugh about the banner he led the children in signing on a sheet he had stolen from a dryer in the Laundromat and his swim on the Parkway Coaches relay that always started with a push by Joe because he was afraid to jump into the water.
My relationship with LSA led to many things. My children all pursued swimming as a sport, winning national meets and receiving swimming scholarships. Like so many of the participants, they contributed to the success of their high school teams and became lifeguards. And, some of the former LSA swimmers actually coach teams of their own. All of them, I believe, have wonderful memories of those summers. Best of all they learned valuable lessons about friendship, loyalty and working for a dream. And, of course, they learned about respect and sportsmanship.
It is good to see that LSA is still offering the young children of our area an opportunity to join an organization that will help them learn to be good swimmers and competitors and will provide them with wonderful memories of their childhood summers.
Saturday, 22 November 2014 00:00
Local veterans groups and residents gathered at Hicksville Middle School Veterans Memorial Park recently to honor brave servicemen and woman, past and present. William M. Gouse Jr. Post 3211 hosted Hicksville’s annual Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 11.
The ceremonies began with the pledge and national anthem sung by Hicksville High School student Cassie Pursoo, accompanied by trumpeter Conner Hoelzer. Monsignor Thomas Costa from Our Lady of Church in Hicksville gave the invocation.
Friday, 21 November 2014 00:00
On Nov. 10, a dedication ceremony was held to celebrate the completion of a beautiful new two-story house in Hicksville. However, while new dwellings are an ordinary occurrence on Long Island, this one was unique and special in a way that very few are.
The house at 77 Thorman Ave. was built in memory of Navy Lieutenant and posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Michael P. Murphy, a Long Island native who tragically died in combat while serving in Afghanistan in 2005. However, this house represents more than just the dedicated service of a man to his country; it represents the beginning of a new life full of hope for a brother-in-arms and his family as well.
Thursday, 13 November 2014 09:12
Football was Mike Torrellas’ heart and soul. He also liked a good Turkey Bowl.
Unfortunately, the Hicksville Crusaders co-founder wasn’t able to witness the program’s inaugural event, which took place Saturday, Nov. 8.
Torrellas passed away suddenly last December due to a blood clot, but the spirit and drive of the man who wore the number 53 and tragically passed at that age still surrounds the Crusaders football program.
Thursday, 06 November 2014 11:27
The Long Island Fight for Charity will be hosting its 11th annual Charity Boxing Event on Nov. 24 at the Hilton in Melville. Among the 20 volunteers putting up their fists for funds will be Hicksville business owner Mell Goldman, who will be fighting under the nickname “The Kid.”
Goldman is the President of All Boro Cleaning Services. He stated that he was enticed at the opportunity and wanted to contribute to charity.