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Editorial: A Day and a Man to Remember

It was a “very Oyster Bay day” on Saturday, Oct. 30, as the Proctor statue of Theodore Roosevelt was re-dedicated at its new location, and the TR Triangle Park was dedicated for the first time. It still has some details to be added – the bronze plaques are still to be put in place, the pedestals at the trees will be different.

But the full effect is there. It is just lovely. It looks as if it belongs there.

Years ago, Mrs. Royce, whose family lived in the house opposite the triangle, was talking to this reporter, one late Friday night. The family had owned the office the Enterprise Pilot was located in at 76 South Street, and it had been a jail at one time in history. As we talked, she said when they moved into their home, opposite the triangle, they were told it would always be a park.

Then one morning they awoke to see the Busy Bee building going up. Next to it, if you remember, was a Coastal Gas Station.

The Royce family were disappointed. Their lovely view had changed.

Many local people just loved Busy Bee and the Coastal gas station. It was one stop shopping, and the ladies at the deli were all local; and the coffee was excellent; they made great tuna salad sandwiches and they used the famous and perfect, Fink rye bread.

But all things change.

And now we can say, changed for the better.

Definitely for the residents of the former Royce house, now owned and wonderfully restored by Renaissance Properties [thank you Walter Imperatore and Charles Wang] and for all of us. The new TR Triangle Park dresses up the hamlet. It does make you feel perky, as you drive by the new park-corner.

Additionally, the Oyster Bay Chamber of Commerce has been working on beautification for the Pine Hollow area. We are looking forward to seeing sidewalks there.

Things are looking up in Oyster Bay.

And we wanted to bring Supervisor John Venditto’s words to your attention. At the ceremony, he said,

“He (TR) would be proud of this project which represents that all things are doable when people like you care about something and in turn your elected officials respond in kind.”

That is true, and under Supervisor John Venditto many lovely changes in the Town of Oyster Bay have been happening. He is a responsive supervisor and we have enjoyed watching at town board meetings how he truly listens to residents. We have watched many supervisors and he truly has a gift for the job.

And as for our story of the dedication:

The last photograph of the day was of Joe Reilly and Mike Rich, standing on each side of the TR Statue on top of the hill. They deserve the honor for all the work they have done. Sincere congratulations to all.

And, a post script, Mike says to be sure to see the statue at night when it looks wonderful!

At the dedication we watched a family taking pictures by the statue. They might have been the first, but there will be hundreds, no, thousands of families that will stand there and have their picture taken with Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of these United States.

God bless America.