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OBHS Gospel Concert and Exhibit

Learn about the connected Roosevelt clan, at the Koenig Center

Gospel singing and hand clapping will be heard along South Street on Dec. 8 as the Oyster Bay Historical Society (OBHS) hosts their annual concert. Come enjoy the free concert by the Hempstead A Cappella Ensemble at 4 p.m. at the Hood A.M.E. Zion Church, 137 South Street, at the corner of Summit Street. It will be followed by refreshments at an open house at the Earle-Wightman House at 20 Summit Street from 7 to 9 p.m. The one-hour gospel concert is a not to be missed event. Think toe-tapping and hand clapping.

The OBHS is also opening their new exhibit: “Miniatures: Doll Houses, Little Rooms and Childhood Treasures” at the Koenig Center. Featured will be the model of the North Room of Sagamore Hill; a model of the two period rooms in the Earle-Wightman house; and a 1922 dollhouse that belonged to Polly Weeks of Oyster Bay that was donated by her daughter Ellen Nicoll who grew up here.

OBHS Director Phillip Blocklyn said, “In the exhibit we are featuring things relating to Roosevelt children, not just TR’s children but the children in the larger Roosevelt family, and including them.

“There are letters written by or to Roosevelt children. There are a few letters TR wrote to Elizabeth Roosevelt’s father John Roosevelt. One was to John written by TR when he was on his African safari; and a number of letters and at least one drawing by Roosevelt cousins,” he said.

Mr. Blocklyn said, “The thing I notice about all the material is that the family kept in touch. The nieces and nephews wrote to their grand-parents and they wrote to each other. They were a very connected family.

“We have the text of the telegram that TR sent to his cousin Emlen when his wife Christine had her first child, named after her mother, in August of 1884. What is interesting is that the telegram was from Medora, North Dakota, and it was the same year TR’s mother and wife had died six months earlier.

“And the other interesting thing in this short telegram is TR ends it by saying ‘he’s perfectly delighted,’ which sounds so much like Roosevelt,” he commented.

Other things people will enjoy seeing are the miniature printing press, dolls and children’s clothing, children’s books and things made by children as well, like samplers. There are also lots of doll clothes and doll house furniture.

“The reason I like the things we have in the collections of the various Roosevelts is that they are not so much about history and politics but are an inside look into the family. And, they really were very much a well-connected American family,” Mr. Blocklyn said.

One could say they were well connected in both senses of the word.

Mr. Blocklyn said, “There were five cousins all born within about the same year and were called the Magical Five by the press. They were, Alice, born in 1884, Elfrida, born in 1883, Christine in 1884, Eleanor in 1884, and Dorothy all born in a 10-month period. They grew up together and all came out as debutantes at the same time.

“We have many letters from Elfrida who wrote a lot of letters as a child and they are very interesting. She mentions people like her ‘uncle Percy’ who is Percival Lowell, who discovered the planet Pluto — a planet no more. He also wrote about the canals on Mars. He is a very interesting person and she would mention visiting him. When you look to see who ‘he is’ — you find he is very important. The same is true of her Aunt Amy. She is Amy Lowell, a noted American poet. In the exhibit we have a calling card of Percival Lowell and a book of poems by Amy Lowell.

 “It is interesting to see how the Roosevelt family were connected to a large web of important families. We have put a great deal of the information online on our website under exhibitions and events and archives. There is something there about every event we have had since 2008.”

Mr. Blocklyn also announced a cookbook coming out on Nov. 19 that is being sent to members. It’s called Oyster Bay Historical Society Cooks. “It is recipes created by our staff for all of the events we’ve done over the past few years. We do our own catering and these are the recipes they created: Jacqueline Blocklyn, Nicole Menchise and there are even recipes by Grace Searby,” he added.

Additionally, the OBHS gift shop, Windfall, will have books for sale as well as hand made knitted items by Jacqueline Blocklyn including some that can be ordered. There are also two, holiday card-making classes coming up on Saturday, Dec. 1 and Saturday Dec. 15. Please call for information and reservations at 922-5032 or check their website obh.org.

News

With a general discontent about the view-blocking pedestrian railings recently installed along West Shore Road, the discussion at the Oyster Bay Civic Association meeting on Sept. 18 focused on the possibility of having the road designated as a scenic highway.

This concept was suggested by Gregory Druhak of Centre Island, a regular traveler along West Shore Road, who said, “I believe this is the most scenic drive on Long Island west of the Hamptons, perhaps on all of Long Island itself, and it is not being treated as such. I feel we are being given the Lefferts Boulevard [down by JFK airport] expressway extension instead. For all you can see, it might as well be the Belt Parkway below the fence instead of Oyster Bay. This is wrong.”  

This year you can expect to see the Freedom Schooner Amistad, Connecticut’s flagship, tied up on the Western Waterfront Pier at the Oyster Festival on Oct. 18 and 19. The ship is a Baltimore Clipper that is 129 feet in length and weighs 96 tons. Its home port is New Haven, Conn.

The tall ship visits ports worldwide, as an ambassador for friendship. It serves as a floating classroom, icon and monument to many souls that were broken or lost as the result of the transatlantic slave trade.

The original Amistad, which means friendship in Spanish, was made famous in 1839 when 53 African captives (men, women and children) transported from Havana revolted against their captors. The captives gained control of the ship under the leadership of Sengbe Pieh, later known as Joseph Cinque, who commanded the ship’s navigator to return them to Sierra Leone. Instead, the ship headed north, landing in Long Island, and was taken into custody by the United States Navy.


Sports

Football season is here and the Oyster Bay-Bayville Generals  held their opening day games on Sept. 14. Here are the results:

5 & 6 Peanuts:

The Peanuts opened the season vs. the Seaford Broncos and came out on the losing end of a hard fought game. The Lil Generals opened the game on offense and quarterback Rodney Hill, Jr. marched the offense down the field and completed the drive with a touchdown pass to Francesco Allocca. Yes, the Peanuts have a potent air attack with Hill Jr. going two for two for 26 yards. The defense played strong with Allocca leading the team in tackles with help on the defensive line from first-year players Dean Wolfe and Anthony Pelchuck.  

Former football coach and NFL player Bill Curry recently brought a wealth of experience, knowledge and history to a wide audience of student-athletes and coaches at Hofstra University for a lesson on diversity, tolerance and respect in high school athletics.

 

Director of the NYS PHSAA Sportsmanship Committee and Manhasset High School Athletic Director Jim Amen Jr. established the summit and invited Curry as keynote speaker.

Amen Jr. and Section VIII Executive Director Nina Van Erk introduced Curry to a crowd representing more than 37 local high schools.


Calendar

Plein Art Exhibit

Wednesday, Oct. 1

College Discussion

Monday, Oct. 6

Collecting Manuscripts

Thursday, Oct. 9



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