06/24/2010 12:00 AM |

It was 20 years ago this week that the infamous “decade club” was launched. Who knew that a group, for which the only membership requirement is to be born in a year ending in zero, would be so popular and that so many people would admit their ages? (If I had it to do all over again I’d definitely reconsider the age revelation part) If John Tuthill were still with us, he would have been 100 today. He didn’t miss it by that many years. One who isn’t going to miss it is much-beloved former Orienteer Norman Dietz, who turns 80 today. (He’s going to kill me for the 80 part.) One of our younger members is Matthew Tuthill, son of Martha and John, who will be 10 on Monday. Baxter Townsend hits 20 sometime in the next week or so since she became a brand-new addition back then. In circa 1990, Dr. Grace Welles was our matriarch. She would have been 110 this month and Diane Hamblin would have been 70. (This is my trip down memory lane since they were all charter members.) I apologize for omitting Kathleen Latham (bride of Ritchie), who changed her decade to 90 in January while my column was on vacation. Mea culpa.

Speaking of Grace Welles, news of the death of her son, Christopher (brother of Jim), came over the weekend. Christopher is remembered as a summer kid who has held that status for seven-plus decades. I will share more info when I receive it.

The mention of Kathleen Latham brings me to the very special ceremony and dedication that took place at North Fork Fresh on Saturday. Close to 20 Latham descendents were in attendance as Ritchie Latham and Ann Bliss unveiled a handsome plaque dedicated to their father, George Ritchie Latham, who founded and funded Oysterponds Historical Society and was responsible for moving the Webb House to its present location. It was a memorable event and an amazing night.

Speaking of the decade club, Sophie Staron was properly honored Sunday at an extravagant bash orchestrated by daughter Barbara and her grandchildren in the newly renovated Poquatuck Hall. If you haven’t seen the new d cor, please stop in. Once the committees decide on the best way to replace the floor, and how to pay for that, there will be no finer gathering place on the North Fork. Stay tuned.

Among those OCA decision makers is Peggy Scott, who (along with husband Bob) is bursting with pride, having attended granddaughter Kaitlyn Macedonio’s graduation from the Waldorf School of Garden City. Peggy placed Kaitlyn’s first commencement program right next to hers in the family cedar chest. Congratulations all around.

Next Monday, June 28, the Orient/East Marion Park District is hosting a beach cleanup. Please assemble at Truman’s Beach at 5 p.m. and bring rakes or metal hoes. Gloves, bags, snacks and water will be provided. It’s great community service and who knows what treasures you might find? Rain date is Tuesday.

So much news, so little space. If you missed it here this week, it will be here next. I hear gas is $2.47 in Jersey, but the savings would be lost if you drove there to fill up.

Happy summer. Days start getting shorter tomorrow. Bummer. How’s that for a glass-half-empty statement?