Oyster Bay’s own Billy Joel — and his bike shop — were featured on the History Channel’s “American Restoration” on May 28. In the episode, the crew is tasked with restoring a rare 1967 BSA 850 motorcycle, a bike that has sentimental value to the pop superstar.
Show host Rick Dale drove up to Joel’s garage on Audrey Avenue, noting the down-home charm of the town and the décor of the bike shop, 20th Century Cycles. His first impression of the shop, located in a former Ford Dealership, was that it is the exact type of shop he would have. He thought, “This guy is just like me.”
The Oyster Bay-East Norwich Board of Education last week appointed a new superintendent of schools, Dr. Laura Seinfeld, a former assistant superintendent for the district.
“The district will be in good hands,” said Dr. Phyllis Harrington, outgoing superintendent, who announced in April that she is leaving the district to become superintendent of schools in Oceanside. The school board, which had been interviewing applicants, unanimously approved the appointment at their May 28 meeting at the Oyster Bay High School Library.
There were no Memorial Day speeches in the hamlet of Oyster Bay on Monday, May 27. The reason was simple, said Reginald Butt, Jr. commander of both the American Legion Post No. 4 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3088. “The town never brought out the amplification system. They said it was an oversight. Bob McGeever who was in charge of the event over the years, retired. But the American flag was set at half- mast at 8 a.m. and we put it up at noon. I asked that the system be installed and I had a confirmation letter from the town,” said the commander.
Voters in the Oyster-Bay-East Norwich Central School District last week overwhelmingly approved the budget for the 2013-14 school year and elected two new members of the school board.
John McEvoy, an attorney and business owner who entered the race late following the eleventh hour withdrawal of Jim Mattel, vice president of the board of education, won big with 1,060 votes. Jennifer Romeo, an accountant for King Kullen, won the other seat with 662 votes.
Board member Dr. Michael Castellano lost his bid for re-election, finishing third with 631 votes. Harriet Dorfman, a local school and community activist, finished fourth at 528 votes.
Raynham Hall Museum opened a new exhibit, “Wish You Were Here: Images of and around Oyster Bay from 1927, 1958 and 1969.” If you have lived in Oyster Bay during any of those years, you will recognize many of the locations.
Raynham Hall Museum has been working to share its many collected/donated items with the public. The current exhibit is of images selected from three binders of photographs in their collection. According to the exhibit brochure, the first binder contained contact sheets and photographic negatives from 1927. Some of the glassine envelopes were inscribed with the name “Ludlam.” Mostly streetscapes, one of the films was of the person now assumed to be the photographer because he is holding a shutter-release cord in his hand. At the present time, his name is unknown, although presumed to be Ludlam.
Opening night of Oyster Bay’s Cruise Night was buzzing with excitement on Tuesday, May 21, when community members gathered on Audrey Avenue. A wide variety of cars was brought into town, ranging from old classics to exotic, more recent vehicles.
Herb Pass Berger has brought his 1962 Dodge Polara to the car show for at least eight years. “It’s a fun place to be and a nice environment,” said Berger.
Business After Hours, the very popular Oyster Bay Chamber of Commerce networking event, was held at the historic Oyster Bay Train Station on May 15. A large-scale model of the Oyster Bay train station grounds was on display. The layout was assembled by board member Gary Farkash, with the assistance of Dave Morrison, historian. It was based on original plans and blueprints of the rail yard, which were obtained by Farkash. The view currently on display is a composite of all the elements that were in the yard between its original construction in 1889 until its closure in 2000. It is the goal of the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum to restore the train station to the way it would have appeared in 1902.
A lot can be learned by looking at the model. For instance, there are train tracks that used to connect Long Island Rail Road travelers to a ferry they could take from Oyster Bay to Connecticut. The museum owns one of only three known photos of the terminal.
The streets of Oyster Bay were full with enthusiastic supporters of the Oyster Bay High School PTSA, coming out in force to enjoy a Taste of the Town. This was the first annual Taste of the Town — Restaurant Stroll, and, judging by the crowds and the happy smiles in evidence all evening, it will be the first of many successful events.
This event, previously known as the Taste of the Gold Coast, had been held in catering facilities. This year, the committee felt strongly that they wanted to support the local restaurants and businesses that were impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The local restaurants and businesses are very generous to the community, whether to the PTSA, sports clubs or local nonprofits. The Chamber of Commerce enthusiastically supported the idea, and a wonderful concept came to life.
“There won’t be any fireworks on July 4,” said Caroline DuBois. She said letters have gone out to residents of Cove Neck from the Dolans telling everyone the news. Charles and Helen Dolan have celebrated their wedding anniversary with fireworks on the Fourth of July for many years. Having attended one of them was a great boon. It was a massive production and needed the cooperation of their neighbors, who were all invited to the party. We parked in an area along the road and with our invitation to show, we were picked up by a van and driven to the estate.
The entire beachfront was filled with tables and chairs. Food stations dotted the area. There was a carousel in the section where you first arrived. The food was served on china with real silverware: no paper plates and plastic forks. We sat with a basketball pro and his lovely family. When the party ended there were teddy bears for the children and stationery for the ladies. You knew you had been to a great party.
On Saturday, May 11, the Manor House at Planting Fields was transformed for the evening into an intimate dinner party to celebrate the age of railway dining cars and its cuisine. This was a special event to highlight the exhibition open now through Sept. 2: All Aboard! A Railway Fortune at Planting Fields.
Author of Dining By Rail James D. Porterfield spoke about the age of rail travel and dining cars, when top chefs were trained and recruited to showcase their best recipes for discerning passengers. Accompanying the lecture was a gourmet dinner, which featured dishes such as Pennsylvania Railroad Deviled Slice of Roast Beef with Mustard; New Haven Railroad Carrots with Mint Sauce; and Fred Harvey Hot Strawberry Sundaes for dessert. Attendees for this special meal dined as passengers would have on a rail trip of yore, at the same time learning about the culinary history of famous passenger trains. It was a festive evening, complete with book signing by Porterfield.
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