Memorial Day is always one of the most exceptional days of the year in Oysterponds. Perhaps it’s because there is so much history here, or just because people care. Once again, the always special and memorable Memorial Day parade will kick off from the Orient firehouse at 7:30 a.m. and proceed down Tabor Road to the bay, where clergy and veterans will honor those fallen in every war by each monument. If somehow you have never been to one, it’s more than a must-see. It is also an opportunity to give thanks to those who have served our country and protected our freedom. After the parade, everyone is invited to the firehouse, where the OFD Ladies Auxiliary will serve up some morning goodies.

Orient Congregational Church will hold a rummage sale this Saturday, May 29, from 8 a.m. till 2 p.m. in the church basement “fellowship hall.” Then, after Sunday worship, they will hold their annual picnic. Please bring a dish to share and a friend. All are welcome, as always.

This is the year of the birthday — or at least the significant birthdays — on my calendar. As “my” decade changer quickly approaches, it draws my attention to others on the radar screen. Therefore, we need to wish Don Van Cleef a big Happy Day tomorrow, May 28. We know he’ll have many, many more; a decade and a half ago I said to Sarah, “It’s Mr. Van Cleef’s birthday and she asked, “STnS’Old’ Mr. Van Cleef or ‘young’ Mr. Van Cleef?” That once again plays out the magic of Orient, where a 9-year-old thinks a person in his 60s is young. We are all ageless here, as has been said before, in a place where old people go to visit their parents. So Don, bask in your day with the family and plan for your next 20 years.

While I’m on this page, although not a “significant” one, any birthday is an opportunity to celebrate, so give Marion Latham a special greeting today.

I’ll share a quick visualize this that happened to me this past weekend, and I chuckle with the memory. Most of us remember the Rev. Milt Heitzman and his bride, Rosie. Just before their deaths, Milt was serving a Congregational church in Bay Shore. They used to dash there from the North Fork on Sunday mornings and Rosie would always make a quick pit stop in the ladies room before proceeding to her normal front-pew seat. One rushed morning she mistakenly tucked the back of her skirt into her pantyhose (get the picture?). She wondered why no one hung around after church as usual but was even more befuddled that no one told her of her exposure. But she laughed as she told the story and I said I’d wait till after her death to share it.

There’s an early deadline for next week’s column due to the Memorial Day holiday. Please get your news for the June 3 paper to me this minute!

P.S. Gas in Florida this week was $2.70, down 20 cents over the last two weeks. Hope the trend comes north.

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