Written by D.F. Karppi Friday, 12 November 2010 00:00
At the members’ reception for the new exhibit at the Oyster Bay Historical Society, Boat Life on the Sound, on Nov. 6, Vivien Sullivan Koch remarked on the Nov. 4 editorial saying that there was “no Mrs. Royce” living in that house opposite the new TR Triangle Park in the time frame this reporter said there was (about 25 years ago).
We had telephoned the “woman-of-the-house” in the late 1980s for a story about the office the newspaper was then working out of, 76 South Street. We shared the address with The Oyster Bagel, a delightful store that had a booming breakfast and lunch business in a tiny space. That building had been the Oyster Bay Jail, when the Royce family owned the building, therefore the call, late on Friday evening when we were looking for an interesting story to write for the upcoming week.
Ms. Koch said the family member at that time was her aunt Beverly Aulmann.
She also had a story about her uncle Quentin Royce who was in the Navy in WWII. When he was born, Mrs. Frances Roosevelt gave his mother a silver spoon, that was somehow lost. Her uncle worked in a TV station in the Army.
“The house is now owned by Charles Wang, who restored it and made it so beautiful,” said Ms. Koch, whose husband Karl Koch is famous for his company that did all the steel work for the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in NYC. (The two attended the members’ reception.)
The Royce house now has a view of the TR Triangle Park. Driving down South Street on Saturday, Nov. 6, we saw some boys on bikes, parked below the statue in a carved out area – chatting. A mother and two children were reading the plaque at the north end of the triangle that is dedicated to veterans of “The Great War” now known as WWI. Some children were walking along the path on the east side of the triangle. The community has already taken ownership of the area.
Our congratulations to Billy Joel and his wonderful addition to the Oyster Bay streetscape. His place in the hearts of Long Islanders (and his national fame) will surely bring welcome visitors to the hamlet. He fits in nicely with the community.
During a Cruise Night visit we saw motorcycles parked around the Derby-Hall bandstand area and was happy to see them becoming part of the Tuesday evening events. Mr. Joel is a local person in his own right, welcomed as part of the community and we are delighted to tip our hat to him.