Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 05 November 2010 00:00
Some of you may not know who Jerry Asher is, but it’s safe to say you’ve heard of his grandfather. Harry Asher was the last president and first mayor of Mineola.
His grandson was on hand at a recent board of trustees meeting to donate some personal items and family heirlooms to the village for safekeeping. Asher said he felt it was the right thing to do.
“I was going through a number of family archive matters that had been sitting around for years and years,” said Asher. “And I stumbled upon some pictures that go back to the 1920s when my grandfather was the first mayor of Mineola. He was the last president of Mineola as well.”
Asher’s grandfather was a pharmacist and ran a pharmacy on Second Street in Mineola, and moved it to Willis Avenue and Jericho Turnpike where it stood for 60 years. Asher was born in Mineola and grew up on First Street and worked at the pharmacy at age 9.
Asher donated various items, including but not limted to a pamphlet titled “Mineola: The Place to Live,” a 1941 Mineola High School yearbook from Asher’s uncle on his mother’s side and a 1941 picture of Mineola’s first Little League team, the Lumber Elfs. Jerry Asher, a 10-year old at the time, is in the back row of the picture. Asher currently serves as a district judge in Suffolk County.
John Davanzo, a life-long Mineola resident, is in the 1941 yearbook on many pages, according to Asher. “As a football star, a basketball star and a baseball star, he is all over this yearbook,” he said.
“I really think it was an absolutely wonderful place to grow up,” Asher said. “Everyone was neighborly and friendly toward one another.”
Deputy Mayor Lawrence Werther said he hopes the contributions will be the beginning of a collection for a village museum that he and the mayor have been dreaming about for quite some time. Werther added that donating family items like Asher’s is an “absolutely wonderful and selfless thing to do,” and stated that other Mineola residents can also contribute.
“From the time I got on this board, and I know the mayor feels the same way, we always had it in our heart to put together a museum of the village of Mineola,” Werther said. “We have a list of ten pressing issues and I can say we have addressed every single one of them and solved them here as a board, but the items here are a welcome contribution. Perhaps a start that can go to that museum.”