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Around the Town with Lou - January 21, 2011

Beautiful music fills the air every Sunday morning thanks to the Corpus Christi Church choir. The singers are Michael Vezzi, Marta Bertoni, Nancy Becker, Katherine Brautigam, William Boerner, Janet Bromfield, Irene DeMedeiros, Maria Dos Santos, Janet Langer, Franni Luisi, the altar singer, Lisa Madsen-Connor, Dolores Mangold, Adriara Mello, Thomas Murphy, Christina Nunez, Tom Schmitt, Greg Tranchina, Patrick Tobin, Mario Valdellon, Francesa Pisano and Cindy Seabra. Troy Gordon is the director.

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The Williston Town House was one of the few places serving dinner Christmas Day. Among those there were Mattie Maffatore of Emory Road, Judge Scott and Lynn Fairgrieve, Jeff and Veronica Aquilina of Albertson (he has a business selling and servicing kitchen supplies and is often called the “Oven man”), and Janet and Mary Bromfield of Albertson Place.

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Tilly and Noel McPartland are customers of CVS. Tilly was the former owner of the Recovery Room in Station Plaza.

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Letter carrier Mary Gorry was delivering mail at the Mineola Center (the Mineola Medical Building) at Mineola Boulevard and Garfield Avenue. This place has been completely revamped top to bottom and is now a showcase.

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The world’s most expensive bridge has to be the Verrazano Bridge with a toll of $13.

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Nick and Susan Pennacchio and Gene and Maureen Dreyer were at the Davenport New Year’s Eve. I worked with Nick when he was chairman of the Pool and Recreation Committee. He is also a past Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus. At another table were Flo Licurse and Michela Narci.

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Speaking of the Davenport, it is the oldest and most successful of our Mineola restaurants. It was originally opened as a printing press by Charles Davenport. A man named Frank Antun bought and converted it into a restaurant and ran it from 1978-80. He sold it to the present owner, Dennis Liberatos. He has owned the place for the past 31 years. The Davenport used to have a salad bar and two fireplaces. When the Davenport was remodeled they eliminated a small alcove with one of the fireplaces and eliminated the salad bar. Dennis has in the last two years opened two seaside pubs in Rhode Island that are both doing a thriving business. His wife, Virginia, son Jerry, daugher Marida, and sister Fontini all help managing the Rhode Island pubs and in the Davenport. A key to the business is Lino Ferreira of Mineola who is the maitre d’. Everybody knows and likes Lino. His daughter Steffany is the hatcheck girl. They have a staff of 20 persons and can seat 180 people. They have upstairs rooms for private parties. For years they were haunted by floods. Big downpours would leave the access streets with a foot of water. That problem was solved when engineers built dry wells correcting the drainage problem when they were doing the railroad work. The Davenport has private parking next to the building and valet parking is available on weekends.

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When I asked Mary Ann Fearon, owner of the Whistle Stop, how her Christmas business was she said it was “fantastic.” This is Mary Ann’s second year and she seems to be doing very well. A winning personality, good location and fine merchandise are a winning combination. While there I met John Kappen, a man who spent 27 years in the army and retired working as a corrections officer. I also talked to Judith Holsgrove of Williston Park. She works next door at Coach Realty.

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Robert Ricken wrote to me. He served as a principal and superintendent of Mineola Schools for 25 years. He retired in 1988. He is presently teaching education administration at C.W. Post. Tom DiNapoli, our comptroller, was one of his eighth grade students. They are still close friends and Mr. Ricken worked on his campaign.

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Ben Zimmer, who writes the language column for the NY Times says the word of the year 2010 was “Junk.” It all started with Junk Mail and we have Junk Status, Junk Bonds, Junk Foods, a Junk shot, the early attempt to plug the leaking oil well in the gulf and now Junk DNA.

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The early English settlers soon noted that the forests were filled with wild turkeys and found that they were polygamous. During the mating season, the males chattered loudly hoping to be answered by lovelorn hens. Woodmen quickly learned to imitate this call and soon attracted a plum turkey within shooting range. From this emerged our expression, “Let’s talk turkey.”