This year's Pride in Port celebrated Perry Como's life and the quarter of a century he spent in Port Washington. For one week in October, the PIP committee renamed Main Street Perry Como Way as a tribute to this worldwide singing legend. Now a group of this much admired ballad singer's fans and former neighbors are planning a memorial exhibition in his honor at the Port Washington Public Library in the spring of 2002. Como passed away earlier this year just before his 89th birthday.
One of Port's highest honors was bestowed upon one of its residents---an indisputable source of Pride in Port--- Perry Como, at this year's PIP celebration. Pictured here at the official renaming of Main Street for one week in October are (l. to r.) Town Councilman Tony D'Urso, Town Clerk Michelle Schimel, PWPD Officer Tony Guzzello, PIP co-chairs Barbara Faticone, Police Commissioners Sal Zimbardi and Jim Duncan, Chamber of Commerce President Warren Schein and Nassau County Legislator Craig Johnson, son of Barbara Johnson who was also recently honored by the PIP committee.
Perry called Port his hometown from the mid-forties to the 1960s. His first home was in Flower Hill. He later moved to Sands Point. He was an active member of the community where he and his wife, Roselle, raised two sons and a daughter.
Perry could be spotted around town eating in his favorite restaurant, the Club House, at church on Sundays where he often sang with the choir, or just riding in his car where he always had a happy wave for any "toot" he received from admiring residents.
Lifelong resident Barbara Faticone, known for giving so generously of her time for many worthwhile Port events, still remembers Como's rich sonorous voice in church where she used to go to hear him sing the Ave Maria.
"No one comes close to him today," said Mike Laurence, resident and writer/director of TV dramas and documentaries. "Unique in show business, a man without facade, with the quiet confidence to be himself---content to share his talent with the world."
People of all ages fell in love with Como's easy going style, smooth voice and gentle sense of humor. He became a giant in the music industry selling over 100 million records and hosting his own television show and specials for nearly 30 years.
The library's exhibit organizing committee is currently looking for residents who may have pictures, mementos or fond memories of Perry's presence in our town. If you have anything you would like to share or loan for the exhibit, please contact Bob Waldman at (212) 975-7580.
To kick off the month long tribute at the library a festive evening is planned featuring Perry's music and highlights from his TV shows along with special guest speakers. The organizing committee hopes to raise funds toward a permanent listening station and a plaque in Como's honor.
So, dream along with Port Washington and celebrate Perry Como, singer, family man and fellow resident, whom we admire for the life he lived.