Opinion

"Americans, we love them." These are the words that greeted Grace and me on our last trip abroad. Those were the days when our country was liked most everywhere. We visited the Northern part of Spain, where few tourists travel. We took the trip given in the Spanish language. There were 52 of us and we were the only two Americans, all the visitors were from Spain or Latin America. Our fellow travelers were delighted when they found I spoke their language and everyone was anxious to try out their English on us. We visited the Basque Country, traveling along the Pyrenees and going through Guernica, Bilbao, La Coruna and reaching the burial place of St. James where we saw his tomb. Guernica is famous for being the first place ever bombed from the air at the beginning of the long Spanish Civil War between the Fascists of Franco and the Communist-led Republic.

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"Scarce" is the only word for the number of homeless downtown. Even before the onset of the cold weather, they seemed to have largely disappeared. They also have left the Memorial Park area. This is good news for the merchants of Second St. and Main St., where the homeless were becoming a problem. The few who are left are fellows looking for work, offering to shovel snow, chop up ice or sweep up.

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Speaking of downtown, everybody should be pleased with that huge new parking field just east of Main St. It holds 115 cars and should be a boon to business.

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Isabel Garcia, the owner of Creations by Belle, visited Portugal. She is the membership chairperson of the Mineola Chamber of Commerce.

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Bill Urianek, that ex-Marine who has done a lot to help our fighting forces overseas, is a good patron of the Memorial Library.

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Maryann Fearon was a pretty happy lady when her boss at CJ Gifts, Lou Citro, gave her four days off over Christmas. And to top it off, she went to the Garden and saw her Rangers defeat the Islanders. When I'm in their store, hockey is often the subject. Maryann is a big Ranger fan, I root for the Islanders and Lou is a Devil fan. The only thing we all agree on is the Jets, which is our favorite team - but we won't go there. Now we are all pulling for the Giants to repeat their Superbowl victory.

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Went to see a good movie. Try Valkyrie with Tom Cruise. It's the true story of the German officers failed attempt to kill Adolph Hitler.

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Received some good headlines: "Man kills self before shooting wife and daughter;" "Something went wrong in Jet Crash, experts say. "No, you really think so?" And, "Police begin campaign to run down Jay Walkers." That should do it.

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Frank Morehouse and his late wife, Grace, lived on Harrison Avenue for many years. Frank's dad was also born in Mineola and his grandfather was born in the village. Not too many can trace their Mineola roots through three generations.

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The caption on the picture sent to Jay Leno read, "Prisoner was handcuffed to Deceptive Jason Greene." Well, maybe he was a deceptive detective.

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Big crowd attended Christmas Day Mass at Corpus Christi. Had a chance to exchange greetings with Tony Donnelly, Maureen Pfeifer, Pat and his dad, Terry Connor, Frank and Maria Caetano, Mike and Jill Dougherty, Frank and Fran Luissa, Jack Whelan, Ed Hanlon, Tom Kelly, Terry Hale, Bob Mondello, Ted Lyons, Jay Monaco, Patricia Carfagno, John Pavlovich, Eileen Leone and Mary McGregor.

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Sal Lombardo of Beebe Road seems to be gradually improving from knee surgery. He still walks with a cane but seems to have picked up his pace.

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More and more of the former customers of the Jericho Diner are switching to the Williston Town House. They like the owners, Spero and Buffy, and the fact that some of the help from the Jericho works there doesn't hurt either. Denis Walsh, Vera Barrick, Mary Calfapietra, Fran Dempsey, Teddy McCormick, Dolores Mangold and Deacon John Reinhart are all customers.

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We love euphuisms. Hunger is now called "Food Insecurity," prison is called "Involuntary Seclusion." Some may remember "used cars." No, I mean "Pre-owned cars."

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Longtime Mineola residents, Frank and Josephine DePrima, are now living in Portland, OR. Frank and I had a connection, both volunteering to serve in the Combat Engineers in WWII.

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Ray and Ann Vaz live on Hampton St. Ray, in fact, has lived almost all of his 84 years in Mineola, coming here when he was just a year old. He used to be an appliance man for P.C. Richard and later for Mr. Jay. Ray says he loved his job.

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Christmas Eve has become a big eating out night. The Davenport had one of the best nights ever. The Seventh St. Café in Garden City had a full house and actually had hours of seating. Joe Jordan, owner of Papa Joe's, next to the Herrick's Movie, said he had a great night, too. Papa Joe's is the former Villa Margherita.


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