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From The Desk Of Dr. Charles Murphy

America is the land of opportunity. Unfortunately, these opportunities have diminished in recent years; however, with a little hard work they’re still out there for young people. During one of the worst periods in our country’s great history—The Great Depression—opportunities were few and far between for most Americans, much worse than today’s Great Recession.   

At this time, my paternal grandfather survived by working his small farm and many odd jobs in New York’s Mohawk Valley. Although he had left school in the eighth grade, he was considered fairly well educated for this time period. Incredibly at this time, only about 10 percent of students graduated high school. 

By and large, the Great Depression hit this part of New York State—the Leatherstocking Region—hard. In fact, employment opportunities were non-existent, and as a result, many people began leaving the area looking for new opportunities. My grandfather’s cousin Frank left a few years earlier and wrote to him about a great opportunity with New York City’s Corrections Department. 

Cousin Frank was living like a king as a corrections officer—he had an apartment, new clothes, food in the pantry and a little money in his pocket. He told my grandfather that New York was looking for additional guards and all that was required was a good score on their entrance examination. For an impoverished young farmer, my grandfather saw this as “an opportunity.” Sure he had to leave home, but without running water, a bathroom, or electricity, the decision was a rather easy one. After all, he just needed to take a test.  

Fortunately, his tiny one room schoolhouse in Herkimer had adeptly prepared him with a well-rounded education and the essential test-taking skills. He found his way down to New York City where he took the Corrections, as well as the police department, exams. Given that he scored well on both and that the police department paid better, he took at job with the NYPD where further opportunities to climb the departmental career ladder were available through additional test taking. Shortly thereafter, he traded his distressed farm for a house in Brooklyn with running water, two bathrooms, and electrical power. With the knowledge gained from that little schoolhouse, he was able to carve out his piece of the American dream. These days opportunities may be challenging, but with an education and the requisite skills, today’s children will be able to find their way.

News

U.S. Air Force Veteran Mario Dell’aera, 80, of Levittown said he first volunteered for service in 1952, during the Korean War.

 

“They called volunteers ‘regulars,’” he said, reflecting back to when he first enlisted.

 

From 1952-1956, Dell’era called the Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nev. home. The base, he said, operated 24 hours, 7 days a week, training pilots to fly overseas into Korea.

Something about the warmth and sunshine of summer makes it the perfect season for lounging around. 

 

On July 26, the Levittown Community Council hosted its 17th annual Lazy Days of Summer Picnic at the East Village Green Park for families to take advantage of this season of relaxation and laidback fun free of charge.  

 

The DJ played Latin songs as children shook neon colored macarenas and followed the dance moves of a Zumba instructor. Other children enjoyed pony rides, shooting hoops, playing Can Jam and

Tug-of-War, petting farm animals, jumping in a bouncy castle, and fishing for plastic fish in a kiddie pool. 


Sports

Those looking to take swimming lessons and exercise classes at a nearby aquatic center can register for the fall 2014 session at Eisenhower Park, 1899 Hempstead Tpke., East Meadow.  

 

On Friday, Aug. 1 is the last chance for open registration. It begins at 8 a.m. for any remaining spots.  The availability of remaining classes will be made public the day before at 5 p.m.

 

On Monday, September 8 the first day of classes for the fall session begin.

 

Swim lessons will be offered for all levels: 

Eric Haslbauer of Levittown scored fourth overall in the 11th annual Heart & Sole 5 Kilometer Run held on the streets of Plainview on July 20. 

Haslbauer, 21, who has done  most of his running lately for Molloy College, crossed the finish line in 17 minutes, 53 seconds, earning him the second place award in the highly competitive 20-24 age group.

 

A near record field of 531 runners and walkers completed the run, only ten less than the record set last year. The Heart & Sole has clearly become an important summer road race in Nassau County.  The

Run benefits programs at Plainview and Syosset Hospitals.  Race management was handled by the Greater Long Island Running Club. 


Calendar

Erik's Reptile Edventures - July 30

Rich Vos At Governor's - August 1

Worship Without Walls - August 2 


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