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Taste Of Spring

TR Sanctuary friends visit

Planting Fields main greenhouse

The invitation to the Taste of Spring benefit for the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center on Jan. 12 was very clear about the need. It was to help repair the damage caused to the sanctuary grounds by Hurricane Sandy. The main greenhouse at Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park was filled with guests chatting and enjoying the venue. More came than expected in spite of the uninviting weather that night with fog creeping along the ground on the dark roads.

Edward Mohlenhoff, event chair, explained there was a great deal of damage to the trees at the TRS as well as at Youngs Cemetery next door. “It’s taking a long time for the TRS to do the cleanup. It is because of the time involved in dealing with the insurance and with FEMA and other things that have to come together before the cleanup is complete. Our neighbors are a little impatient with us, but it is not an overnight fix. We will do everything we can to take care of it as soon as we can,” he explained. (See accompanying article.)

Ted Scherff, TRS&AC director, called the group to attention to make some remarks saying, “I knew you were having a good time because I couldn’t get your attention for some announcements.” He thanked all the TRS board members for their support saying, “It means an awful lot to me.” He added, “The day I was introduced to Elizabeth Roosevelt I knew I liked her.” She was one of the guests at the event.

Ms. Roosevelt has a special connection with the TRS&AC since in 1923, her grandparents, W. Emlen and Christine Roosevelt, established the first Audubon Songbird Sanctuary in the nation. The 12 acres were donated to Audubon in memory of their cousin, Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president.

Sharff thanked Edward Mohlenhoff and called him the greatest advocate for the TR Sanctuary. He hosted the event. Mohlenhoff explained more of why the TRS needs their help because of Sandy and also invited the guests to the group’s 90th Anniversary Gala. The theme of the gala is the 1920s and will be held on May 4 at the Piping Rock Club. He encouraged guests to buy a table to sit with friends as they enjoy the evening.

Everyone was enjoying the pleasure of each other’s company. Thomas Ross, Sagamore Hill Historic National Park supervisor, reminded the guests that the site is still open during renovation. “The woods and the nature trail are open all seasons of the year,” he said. “They are pulling out all the windows for rehabilitation, and doing selective demolition.”

He explained that the public will be able to see some amazing photographs of the mansion on March 8 when a new exhibit opens at the Oyster Bay Historical Society’s Koenig Center. He said, “Artist/photographer Xiomara had unfettered access to Sagamore Hill after we had emptied the house. He is an National Park Service artist in residence at the Weir Farm National Historic Site in Connecticut. We learned about him through his work there. He lives on Long Island, in Roslyn Heights. The Sagamore Hill photographic exhibit is going to be quite hot. He took photographs of features and parts of the rooms the public can’t see; and objects that were blocked by other items or were deep into the rooms. He is revealing them in an artistic way.”

Nearby, Louis Norris was chatting about the Great Horned Owl he had donated to the TRS. He inherited the museum specimen and then wondered what to do with it—where it would be appreciated—when he decided to donate it to the TRS. It was shot 50 years ago, he said. He said it is brought around to children’s fairs for them to see, “a genuine critter that they wouldn’t see unless they were in the mountains of New Hampshire.”

News

On Saturday, July 5, Building J on the Western Waterfront was opened to the public for a free concert of classical music played by talented youth in the Oyster Bay Music Festival. The acoustics in the large metal shed were lively as the backdrop of the Ida May, a wooden oyster dredge under construction, lent artisanal flavor to the rich stew of mostly sea-related musical selections. People sat on stacks and benches of freshly milled wood or stood in the cavernous space. They soaked in beautiful solos, duets and trios that combined voice, piano, flute, cello and violin. Frank M Flower & Sons provided fresh oysters that engaged the palate, and representatives from Steinway & Sons gave a quick overview of how their pianos are made, relating several aspects of their meticulous process to the construction of the Ida May.

Last week was one of Oyster Bay’s biggest, most anticipated summer events, the Italian American Society’s St. Rocco’s Festival. Returning to its usually spot in Fireman’s Field on Shore Avenue, the festival was filled with amusement rides, live music, and great food and company.

“We come every year to St. Rocco’s with friends,” said Laura Regan of East Norwich. “The rides and awesome food make it a lot of fun.”


Sports

Oakcliff’s intensive training program provided a high level of competition last weekend at the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship in Oyster Bay.

This year, the teams selected for the event were highly ranked through the United States, and several of the competitors are past and current Oakcliff trainees, including Elizabeth Shaw, Kathryn Shiber, Madeline Gill, and Danielle Gallo.

A total of 11 members of St. Dominic Track Team (grades 1-8) recently medaled at the Nassau-Suffolk CYO Championship Finals at Mitchel Field. In the finals, the athletes competed against the finalists from all three regions, representing more than 2,500 athletes from 23 other parishes.

In addition to the student athletes’ success, the track coaches were honored as well. St. Dominic CYO Track coaches Phil Schade (grades 1-3), Julie and Mike Keffer (grades 4-6) and Rich Cameron (grades 7-8) were selected by peer coaches in their region for the NSCYO Team Sportsmanship Award. The Saint Dominic CYO track program, in its second year, has already proven to be a force to be reckoned with and the young runners are among the best on Long Island.


Calendar

OB Band Concerts

Wednesday, July 23

Music Under The Stars

Friday, July 25

Annual Chicken BBQ

Saturday, July 26



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