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LSA...Providing Summer Memories

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.

News

Rhea Manjrekar traded in her running shoes and track shorts for high heels and an evening gown recently, as she participated in the Miss Teen India New York pageant. The 15-year-old from Hicksville snagged the title of first-runner up, and will be competing for the national title in December. 

 

This was Manjrekar’s first time competing in a pageant. But she started out with major doubts about even participating. 

 

 “At first, I didn’t want to do it. I have extreme stage fright. My mom told me to try it out because she thought it would boost my confidence and look good on my college applications, so I went for the practice,” Manjrekar said. “The girls were so nice. I thought I wouldn’t fit in but I made friends immediately so I decided to do it.” 

The parking lot of Sears in Hicksville transformed into a sea of cars this past Saturday as part of the ninth annual Long Island Cruizin’ For A Cure Car Show. 

 

The show, which was founded by Jericho prostate cancer survivor Sandy Kane, is the only car show on Long Island dedicated to raising funds for research, testing and also education for early detection of prostate cancer. The all-volunteer car show usually draws around 4,000 attendees. It features 600 cars, trucks, motorcycles and more; a perfect day for car enthusiasts and the like.


Sports

This November, Hicksville resident Marlo Signoracci will head to Florida for Ironman, a demanding, long-distance triathlon that includes biking, running and swimming. Here, she shares her story as she prepares for one of the most physically challenging athletic events out there.

 

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you! 

At 6 a.m. on a blustery Saturday morning 1,600 people arrived at Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park to participate in the 27th annual Runner’s Edge Tobay triathlon and tri- relay race. The participants were from all over Long Island, some from upstate NY, a few from out of state and were all ages and some even with disabilities but all came with one goal in mind, to finish.

The course starts out as a half mile swim in Oyster Bay Harbor, then a 9.3 mile bike ride through Oyster Bay, Laurel Hollow, and Cove neck which is very hilly but finishes with a 2.9 mile downhill to the finish. Then the riders have one more leg of the race which is 3.2 mile run through Mill Neck and Brookville, up to Planting Fields Arboretum and back down to Roosevelt Park to the finish line.


Calendar

Board of Ed Meeting - September 17

Back To School Night - September 18

Pasta Dinner Fundraiser - September 20


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